Author Topic: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA  (Read 8095 times)

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Offline sailoraye123

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CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« on: October 30, 2017, 18:10:30 »
Lol.. have you ever cut open one of the lungs of a chemox unit, one was displayed for us and the amount of mold was absolutely disturbing... if mold is a huge issue then why isn't this being dealt with? Ppl wouldn't deal with black mold in a pmq or barracks so why is pmed obviously turning a blind eye to this nasty problem?? Sounds like a payout is coming...

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 20:45:56 »
Chemox are history.  Have been for most of the fleet for several years now.  And l signed the death warrant the other week for the final 100 or so that were still in the system.  Felt good to decree they be smashed to bits and thrown out.  Some days my present job is satisfying.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 01:49:40 »
Chemox are history.  Have been for most of the fleet for several years now.  And l signed the death warrant the other week for the final 100 or so that were still in the system.  Felt good to decree they be smashed to bits and thrown out.  Some days my present job is satisfying.

You sir, are doing the god (or insert applicable deity)'s work.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 05:21:44 »
You sir, are doing the god (or insert applicable deity)'s work.
:bowing:

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 08:26:06 »
Thank-you.

As someone who is part of the reason that the 'quick start' candle system was removed from use, and who has the chlorine gas exposure recorded in my medical file as a result, I thank you.

Insert disclaimer statement here....

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 09:09:04 »
Glad to see those demon spawn sent to their just rewards in the darkest pots of hell.

Just once I would love to us getting something modern long before the current equipment is decades out of date.

Offline Colin P

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 10:50:33 »
What are you using in it's place?

jollyjacktar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 10:54:51 »
Drager SCBA is what replaced the Chemox.  Would not be my personal choice of SCBA system, but it is heads and tails above the Chemox.  I am sure that in the day, Chemox was revolutionary and of course was better than nothing at all. 

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 12:08:05 »
I found a photo in a book I have about the underground war in WWI.

It was of a mine rescue team from one of the Tunneling companies.

They were using a Mine Safety Apparatus (MSA) chemical chest breather back, with very little difference from the Chemox...all it was missing was the full face respirator.  Instead it had a nose clip/mouth bit.

We were using something that was, quite resoundingly reliable and proven, but is now quite truly a century old technology.

I'm VERY glad its gone.

NS
Insert disclaimer statement here....

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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 20:52:32 »
I found a photo in a book I have about the underground war in WWI.

It was of a mine rescue team from one of the Tunneling companies.

They were using a Mine Safety Apparatus (MSA) chemical chest breather back, with very little difference from the Chemox...all it was missing was the full face respirator.  Instead it had a nose clip/mouth bit.

We were using something that was, quite resoundingly reliable and proven, but is now quite truly a century old technology.

I'm VERY glad its gone.

NS

Some of the mine escape ones had a cage over the lungs so they wouldn't be collapsed when you were crawling around. Of course, that was removed for the navy, and generations of us had to experience the momentary terror of collapsing your lungs and having no air.  Don't miss those for a second though, Draegers are absolute heaven in comparison, even if we didn't necessarily get the best SCBAs (not even the best Draeger).

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 06:04:35 »
Some of the mine escape ones had a cage over the lungs so they wouldn't be collapsed when you were crawling around. Of course, that was removed for the navy, and generations of us had to experience the momentary terror of collapsing your lungs and having no air.  Don't miss those for a second though, Draegers are absolute heaven in comparison, even if we didn't necessarily get the best SCBAs (not even the best Draeger).

No intent on a derail here.  Can someone give me a brief synopsis of what separates the Dragger from the competing models ?

Honest question.  90% of my Navy life is in CHEMOX and I probably have a combined 4hrs of dragger time.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 08:58:43 »
My whole career was in the Chemox era. Never seen a Draeger type SCBA except for the "real" firefighters of the air groups.

Now, we were always taught that the excuse ... I mean the reason we didn't use air tanks was that in action, you could go through your tank of air very fast when expanding a lot of energy and then had to recharge the air bottles, whereby the Chemox guaranteed one hour no matter what and then replacing the cartridge was fast and easy.

Now that was probably complete bull meant to make us feel good about the equipment we were given (and it didn't work). However, in my experience, fire at sea are either nicked by rapid response before they get big, or start already big with a bang, and then take a lengthy firefighting effort to extinguish.

So my question, simply after all this intro, is: Did the Navy get the "twin-backpack" style 4 hours Draeger SCBA or did they get the regular one hour bottle type?

jollyjacktar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 09:38:12 »
No intent on a derail here.  Can someone give me a brief synopsis of what separates the Dragger from the competing models ?

Honest question.  90% of my Navy life is in CHEMOX and I probably have a combined 4hrs of dragger time.

Basically how the bottle is attached to the backpack, to the regulator, how the facemask is attached to the lung demand valve.  Each different company does it a little different.  The model of SCBA we purchased was a line that was being phased out for a newer model.  We were given a sweetheart deal to some degree and service support from the company was the deciding factors.  It is more clunky to do a bottle change out and the pack really needs to come off the back to make it happen.  The lung demand valve can be a pain in the *** to attach to the face piece.  To sum up, there are newer, better, more user friendly systems out there, which I suppose is a personal preference/opinion and may colour one's opinion.  Regardless of how easy or not to use, the Drager is a god send  when set aside the Chemox and I am thankful for that.  If I was to push it, as I said, I would prefer a different make/model on my back and face.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 10:10:26 »
My whole career was in the Chemox era. Never seen a Draeger type SCBA except for the "real" firefighters of the air groups.

Now, we were always taught that the excuse ... I mean the reason we didn't use air tanks was that in action, you could go through your tank of air very fast when expanding a lot of energy and then had to recharge the air bottles, whereby the Chemox guaranteed one hour no matter what and then replacing the cartridge was fast and easy.

Now that was probably complete bull meant to make us feel good about the equipment we were given (and it didn't work). However, in my experience, fire at sea are either nicked by rapid response before they get big, or start already big with a bang, and then take a lengthy firefighting effort to extinguish.

So my question, simply after all this intro, is: Did the Navy get the "twin-backpack" style 4 hours Draeger SCBA or did they get the regular one hour bottle type?

During the PRO fire, they came within 4 bottles of running out completely, before they began to slowly make up bottles by the portable, gasoline powered compressors (there was no emergency power available to run the fitted filling stations. Somewhat of an oversight...). I am told that some people ran through bottles in 10 minutes; others made their bottles last almost an unbelievably long time. All told, the SCBA were a godsend in that situation, I think. Chemox would have made things that much harder, IMHO.

jollyjacktar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2017, 10:50:35 »
My whole career was in the Chemox era. Never seen a Draeger type SCBA except for the "real" firefighters of the air groups.

Now, we were always taught that the excuse ... I mean the reason we didn't use air tanks was that in action, you could go through your tank of air very fast when expanding a lot of energy and then had to recharge the air bottles, whereby the Chemox guaranteed one hour no matter what and then replacing the cartridge was fast and easy.

Now that was probably complete bull meant to make us feel good about the equipment we were given (and it didn't work). However, in my experience, fire at sea are either nicked by rapid response before they get big, or start already big with a bang, and then take a lengthy firefighting effort to extinguish.

So my question, simply after all this intro, is: Did the Navy get the "twin-backpack" style 4 hours Draeger SCBA or did they get the regular one hour bottle type?

Regular one hour bottle.  Which doesn't last an hour.  If you're an air pig, you're going to suck back the contents like a *******, as SKT said they did.  If you're black like PRO, the Bauer compressors will be your only salvation.  I'll still take an SCBA over Chemox any day of the week.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2017, 11:15:23 »
Basically how the bottle is attached to the backpack, to the regulator, how the facemask is attached to the lung demand valve.  Each different company does it a little different.  The model of SCBA we purchased was a line that was being phased out for a newer model.  We were given a sweetheart deal to some degree and service support from the company was the deciding factors.  It is more clunky to do a bottle change out and the pack really needs to come off the back to make it happen.  The lung demand valve can be a pain in the *** to attach to the face piece.  To sum up, there are newer, better, more user friendly systems out there, which I suppose is a personal preference/opinion and may colour one's opinion.  Regardless of how easy or not to use, the Drager is a god send  when set aside the Chemox and I am thankful for that.  If I was to push it, as I said, I would prefer a different make/model on my back and face.

Thanks for the info JJT :)
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Offline Colin P

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 11:42:33 »
We had the Scott and the Scott 2a in the CCG, not sure if they are still using them.

Offline Scott

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2017, 11:44:35 »
The pack needs to come off to change a cylinder? What edition (year) are the sets? That sounds crazy, to me.

Drager enjoyed a swing in popularity in the 90s on the east coast of Canada, with several larger orders of their kit (not sure the subname) But since then, I believe they've been in decline.

For SCBA, the industry today is dominated by Scott (40%), MSA (40%), and then everyone else: Cairns, ISI, Drager, Sperian, among others. Scott used to boss about 80% of the industry, but MSA started coming on as Scott stuck with the same design, just new names.

Most SCBA sets today will include the air source (carbon fibre bottles being the best), a first stage regulator, second stage regulator (commonly face mounted),  face piece and a frame to hold all the guts. What differs is the makeup of the regulating/pressure reducing systems, the extra bits of added crap - like PASS, HUD, RIT connectors, etc, and the weights of everything except the cylinders (cylinders are usually a common manufacturer like Luxfer with a company specific outer wrap)

My personal experience started with Scott when it was still 2A - the old elephant trunk with a demand/positive switch.

I then moved on to 2.2/3.0/4.5 and fell in love with the simplicity.

Survivair, or Surpriseair, came next with the nasty habit of the FM regulator flying off when in the middle of a fire.

I moved to a EN version after this which was Sabre, and I have hardly seen a more simplistic setup for use/wear, and for testing, repair and recertification.

Lastly, I moved to MSA and Sperian/Honeywell (a Frankenpack of varying designs, one of which is good old Surpriseair)

I am absolutely in love with the MSA BA. I love(d) Scott, but MSA made things simpler, lighter, and more user friendly.

Pretty sure the old 2A is allowed to be used, just so long as it does not have the pressure/demand switch. But why would you? It shows a complete lack of caring for workers by using those antiquated pieces. They belong in museums.
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jollyjacktar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2017, 12:29:07 »
We acquired the Drager in 2008 or so.  The bottle having to come off is a real pain in the *** and I hate fighting with the connection to the regulator as it has to be "just so" to thread on properly.

Offline Colin P

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2017, 12:46:09 »
As I recall Drager was the No1 set for the mining industry


Meanwhile back at the RCN ;)



http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/Images/10536185.jpg

jollyjacktar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2017, 12:53:37 »
I don't know what would be worse.  No gloves, that suit or the convection action on the noggin of all that metal in the helmet in the fire.  ouch.   :evil:

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2017, 13:09:51 »
The 'advantage' of the Chemox was that a box of 6 canisters (6 hours of air) took up less than the volume of space for a single air bottle for any SCBA.

You could carry a huge amount of 'boxed air' for the Chemoxes in a relatively small space, and didn't have to worry about running HP Air compressors to provide breathable air.

When the disadvantages of the Chemox started to appear....the quick-start candles failing and blowing off Chlorine gas into my (and others) face.  The disposal of canisters started to cost the navy A LOT of money due to it being HAZMAT.

Then the black mold/lung issue started coming to the fore as well.

It was nigh time to dispose of them 20 years ago, but we kept them going because our procurement processes are....not simple....and this is a fleet-wide matter. 

Having been in the HAZMAT cleanup world, where we had the MSA Firehawks already in service on the ships, I would have been more than happy to see them continue in service, and be selected as the general replacement for the Chemox, alas, it went to Draeger, and we have, what is in my professional opinion, a lesser system than the Firehawk, but is still LEAPS AND BOUNDS ahead of the Chemox.

In a choice between Firehawk, Chemox, and Draeger, it'd be Firehawk first.  Alas, that wasn't to be, so we got 2nd place, which is effectively like replacing a Model T with a Porsche, instead of a Ferarri.

NS
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2017, 13:31:39 »
Firehawk is one of the systems I am using. Modular, lightweight, simple.

The one and only "failing", if you can call it one, is that most people learn on Scott. So when they have a push to connect FM regulator it only screws them up and they fight with it.

The only way that the fringe companies keep hawking their wares is through massive discounts compared to the majors. Or a shortened procurement which leads to selection of the best/most available.
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jollyjacktar

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2017, 13:39:36 »
The big guys weren't interested in servicing their equipment, like Drager was.  That was really the big deciding factor over Scott and MSA.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2017, 13:57:43 »
Really? The major factor wasn't price?

Did procurement include a set of training for some maintenance in house?

To be clear: MSA and Scott do not have techs present for service, it's farmed out through folks like K&D Pratt, AGI, DBI, etc. along with some other outfits who service their own rental fleets; or the fire department angle where you had HRM dudes servicing and maintaining Scott and Survivair before their purchase of MSA (no clue if they still work in house or not, but it wouldn't shock me)

You've got me genuinely curious now.

While we are at it, isn't it MSA present in the fire halls? Does it differ between the divvy ones, say, at dockyard or Magazine Hill, and the one at Shearwater?
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