Author Topic: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA  (Read 6971 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.
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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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Offline FSTO

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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?

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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
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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.

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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

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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:

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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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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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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2017, 14:06:53 »
Perhaps, Jjt. But in all logic, is it possible that the reason MSA and Scott were not interested in servicing their equipment is that, as the most common products in use, there are sufficient numbers out there that an actual servicing industry exists for their models? If so, wouldn't that mean that the CAF could have tendered servicing out separately, possibly at a good price in view of the large number of potential bidders? [I guess that is so: Scott just beat me to it with the answer  :pirate:]

Anyway, my original point was trying to elicit wether the CAF had done the logical thing and bought the long duration SCBAs for the ships in view of the nature of their firefighting requirement (not a City FF force, so no support truck pulling up after an hour or so with spare bottles and the equipment to mass recharge the empty ones). I guess they haven't.

Now that I see the answers above, I am even more disturbed to find that the Daeger product they selected may not be the easiest to use of the available products on the market.

Considering that all shipboard personnel has to be trained in fire fighting, regardless of the fact that some trades are more specialized in it and are employed in such capacity first and foremost, and that this training is infrequent for most trades (NEQ, then annual quals of ships companies), I would have thought that ease of use would be an important consideration.

But, hell, who am I to think that you would consider the end user and the actual environment for use when selecting a primary piece of gear for a function that can literally be the salvation of a billion dollars ship and 240+ lives. Much better to save  a few tens of thousands of dollars per ship. /SARC OFF

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2017, 15:58:34 »
As l understand, price played a part, yes.  We were given the Canadian Friend price as they were wanting to clear off the model we bought because newer stuff was being rolled out.  But what really set the others apart was their reluctance in the servicing department.  It had to be part in parcel of the whole shooting match and only Drager were willing to give us all we wanted to get our business.

I have found in my portfolio that we as in the RCN and CAF are a minor bit player in our equipment buys when set against the big dogs, like our friends to the South.  In many ways, we're not worth the effort.  Just in the same vein we pay much more as consumers for our goods than the folks in the Ststes do for the same damn crap.  We're too small a market.

Getting back to SCBA, the Fire Halls use MSA.  Great gear and they would love for the navy to join forces.  The reluctance on our end is that the professional firefighter will use the bells and whistles and more importantly take care of it.  Your average duty watch OD or AB etc don't give a rats *** about the gear and it's more than we need in features for masks (for example).  Plus at say $1600 a mask X 60 masks X 12 CPF..... it just isn't an economical argument you can win with.  I'm not the SCBA guy, so l can only hear what's happening, not participate beyond voicing my opinion.

 

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2017, 16:03:41 »
Lifecycle maintenance costs are an important element in any purchase decision - if the CAF bought the latest and greatest (fill in the blank) but was unable to keep operating it after a few years, we'd be no further ahead.

Any purchase decision has tradeoffs.  Making sure that leadership knows about what is and is not acceptable is the role of the SMEs involved.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2017, 16:11:38 »
Quite correct Dapaterson. Which is why I am surprised that the two points that would have been close to  top of my list of requirements don't seem to be there: ease of operation (for all its faults, Chemox were easy to operate - and even then some seamen still managed to screw it up) and long duration of air supply (if you have to keep changing and recharging the bottles all the time and at highly variable intervals, it's not good for proper rotation of personnel in the fight).

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2017, 16:37:52 »
OK, so the CAF has a minimum of two platforms. Not a show stopper, and certain things are designed and legally bound to interoperability, like cylinders, but still not the wisest of moves.

I think that the servicing line of argument is a weak one, at best. If procurement knows what they are doing, and the piece of equipment being sought, then they'll know when something is serviced by the manufacturer, or when it is serviced by a manufacturer's representative in a third party capacity. I know what I just said.

Hell, I just did a quick search for Drager in Canada and it appears they "might" have a service centre somewhere in Nova Scotia, but it also shows "authorized service partners" The trap that I see having been sprung was that of purchase and service married together. It's a fallacy. The difference between Drager servicing a Drager set and AGI servicing something from MSA is minimal, at best.

If I currently ship most of my stuff to AGI, an authorized MSA service centre, for repair then I am not even permitted to get the training required to carry out the repairs and/or testing myself, it's kind of a protectionist thing. If AGI can't handle it then it goes to MSA in Toronto and the process, aside from the time it takes, is quite seamless.

I can speak somewhat at length about my experience with Scott and Survivair as well, having been a service tech for both. It was kind of like having a fast food franchise - you had to do things a certain way and stock certain items, but you were the business end of things. You have the same training and access to libraries as their own techs. And if your experience was overshadowed by an issue you had them to call upon from somewhere in the States - but given the life history of their particular products, their were not many issues you'd encounter that weren't easily researched and solved. I can think of only one in all the years I worked on and used them primarily.

As far as durability, I have never seen a set as bombproof as a Scott. I know near originals still running like a top. MSA is chugging right along behind them. I have some gripes, but think they'll get ironed out as generations evolve. In fact, I always have more worries about the one-off sets or those ones that are heavily discounted, compared to the big two. You get what you pay for, ultimately.

Finally, on duration, most of the SCBAs on market now have a max duration of 60 minutes. Yes, that is limiting, but cylinders are cheap, relatively and anyone can be trained to run a compressor or cascade. In fact, I am pretty sure some of the sisters to our huge Jordairs are in the dockyard.

[/bageek]
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 16:42:26 by Scott »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2017, 17:22:36 »
Finally, on duration, most of the SCBAs on market now have a max duration of 60 minutes. Yes, that is limiting, but cylinders are cheap, relatively and anyone can be trained to run a compressor or cascade. In fact, I am pretty sure some of the sisters to our huge Jordairs are in the dockyard.

But at sea, it is more than limiting, Scott.

Regardless of how cheap they are, there is a limit to how many cylinders you can have onboard a warship. If you have had a chance to sail on a destroyer or frigate, then you know how much stuff we already pack in every nook and cranny.

Then, you don't necessarily have the personnel to spend a lot of time on reload.

On a frigate in  the middle of fight, about 120 of your 225 personnel will be involved with fighting the ship, be it watching over some sensor or actually operating the weapons systems. Out of the 100 or so left, you have about 20 involved in running all the propulsion and machinery spaces and keeping track of the damage control/stability situation at the same time, so you are down to about 80 for first aid, fire fighting and damage control. That may seem a lot but not if after a hit you have to stop flooding in one or two compartment, fight a major fire while re-establishing power to an essential weapons system, such as the CWIS, because the sonovab***h airplane who did this is getting lined up for another pass, the whole while trying to evacuate about 15 casualties from the area hit and provide them with first aid.

having to over-rotate your personnel involved with the fire in such circumstances and spending time you don't really have on reloading the empties, is not necessarily something you can do.

The French navy have a backpack style breathing apparatus that gives them between two and three hours of air and recharge in five, so the materiel exists that can do it, and MSA has a four hour pack breathing apparatus. That's all I am saying.   

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2017, 18:12:40 »
But at sea, it is more than limiting, Scott.

Regardless of how cheap they are, there is a limit to how many cylinders you can have onboard a warship. If you have had a chance to sail on a destroyer or frigate, then you know how much stuff we already pack in every nook and cranny.

Then, you don't necessarily have the personnel to spend a lot of time on reload.

On a frigate in  the middle of fight, about 120 of your 225 personnel will be involved with fighting the ship, be it watching over some sensor or actually operating the weapons systems. Out of the 100 or so left, you have about 20 involved in running all the propulsion and machinery spaces and keeping track of the damage control/stability situation at the same time, so you are down to about 80 for first aid, fire fighting and damage control. That may seem a lot but not if after a hit you have to stop flooding in one or two compartment, fight a major fire while re-establishing power to an essential weapons system, such as the CWIS, because the sonovab***h airplane who did this is getting lined up for another pass, the whole while trying to evacuate about 15 casualties from the area hit and provide them with first aid.

having to over-rotate your personnel involved with the fire in such circumstances and spending time you don't really have on reloading the empties, is not necessarily something you can do.

The French navy have a backpack style breathing apparatus that gives them between two and three hours of air and recharge in five, so the materiel exists that can do it, and MSA has a four hour pack breathing apparatus. That's all I am saying.

No idea what it's like on a warship.

And your MSA 4 hour bitty is a closed circuit type BA, not a positive pressure type - just so we are clear. Comparing something with compressed air to another type of chemical oxygen set is apples and bowling balls.

Is it possible part of the reasoning behind open circuit SCBA was the inclusion of compressed breathable air at a CSA/NIOSH standard?

Genuinely curious.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2017, 18:16:06 »
Didn't want to edit in case someone is replying.

Here is what is linked as the French Navy's answer: http://www.matisec.com/products-services/respiratory-protection/supplied-air-respirators/scba-triplair

Still only 60 minute duration, just a slim design and perhaps lighter weight.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2017, 18:44:08 »
Good to known Scott.

I was told differently when I was on exchange on the French mine hunter Pégase. But that was from the petty officer I was questioning on the equipment, so he was obviously misinformed or plain wrong.


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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2017, 19:26:28 »
In practical terms, we carry enough bottles that if you are at the point where you need to refill them to keep teams going to fight a big fire you aren't doing anything else. At that point you have people dedicated to doing nothing but refilling the bottles, which you do when you swap the bunker gear for a new person.  It's really not that big a deal to remove it from the pack, although it is fidgety if you don't do it often.

The other big change is that there is no hesitation to use the fitted system and it's drilled into everyone that's the first thing they do, and they don't need permission for a confirmed fire to use it.  That's different than the 'gung ho hero' attitude I was taught a decade ago where you would save the halon, CO2, AFFF etc for when company comes over or something. With the fine water mist systems or some of the halon replacements its a lot more widely available anyway, but it's been recognized (the hard way) that the heat and smoke that will rapidly fill a space is much worse for electronics fitted in sealed boxes than some sprinkler water or AFFF. So your first team should be doing checks for casualties for evacuation and making sure it's contained, vice fighting a raging fire, if it was in a space with a fitted system.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2017, 20:01:08 »
Good to known Scott.

I was told differently when I was on exchange on the French mine hunter Pégase. But that was from the petty officer I was questioning on the equipment, so he was obviously misinformed or plain wrong.

You might still have it, I just went with google-fu.

In practical terms, we carry enough bottles that if you are at the point where you need to refill them to keep teams going to fight a big fire you aren't doing anything else. At that point you have people dedicated to doing nothing but refilling the bottles, which you do when you swap the bunker gear for a new person.  It's really not that big a deal to remove it from the pack, although it is fidgety if you don't do it often.

The other big change is that there is no hesitation to use the fitted system and it's drilled into everyone that's the first thing they do, and they don't need permission for a confirmed fire to use it.  That's different than the 'gung ho hero' attitude I was taught a decade ago where you would save the halon, CO2, AFFF etc for when company comes over or something. With the fine water mist systems or some of the halon replacements its a lot more widely available anyway, but it's been recognized (the hard way) that the heat and smoke that will rapidly fill a space is much worse for electronics fitted in sealed boxes than some sprinkler water or AFFF. So your first team should be doing checks for casualties for evacuation and making sure it's contained, vice fighting a raging fire, if it was in a space with a fitted system.

Here's a question then, if you can indeed answer it without giving something verboten away: do you guys have to wait for a full muster before setting something like a Halotron or CO2 system off?
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2017, 20:09:51 »

Hell, I just did a quick search for Drager in Canada and it appears they "might" have a service centre somewhere in Nova Scotia, but it also shows "authorized service partners" The trap that I see having been sprung was that of purchase and service married together. It's a fallacy. The difference between Drager servicing a Drager set and AGI servicing something from MSA is minimal, at best.

[/bageek]

Drager does have an service center in Burnside in Halifax.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2017, 20:19:42 »
Drager does have an service center in Burnside in Halifax.

Okey dokes.

And if Scott had a service centre in the same place you could still get the same service and repair from one of their partners. Same would apply to Drager.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2017, 20:21:07 »
Drager is a good product, robust and fairly easy to use with training. Ships do not have a problem recharging cylinders with the cascade system and personnel are designated at section base to do so. The bauer diesel compressor is slow and takes time to get the bottles up to max psi. CPF's and Kingston Class have the capability to fight sustained events. Thats from a Sea Training perspective.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2018, 13:50:29 »
CHEMOX never bothered me.  As a young Reservist, I once spent an entire summer at the DC School wearing one for several hours, virtually everyday.  I became so adept at using it that I could put it on and have air flowing faster by myself than if someone was trying to "help" me.  I also usually did this without using the quick start candle.  One of the big advantages I felt was that with everything in front, one could move around much easier in a shipboard environment.  I even managed to get through an escape hatch without collapsing the lungs - and I'm a big boy.  The only real advantage I saw in the Scott Pack was that the air tended to be cooler and "taste" better.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2018, 14:02:53 »
CHEMOX never bothered me.  As a young Reservist, I once spent an entire summer at the DC School wearing one for several hours, virtually everyday.  I became so adept at using it that I could put it on and have air flowing faster by myself than if someone was trying to "help" me.  I also usually did this without using the quick start candle.  One of the big advantages I felt was that with everything in front, one could move around much easier in a shipboard environment.  I even managed to get through an escape hatch without collapsing the lungs - and I'm a big boy.  The only real advantage I saw in the Scott Pack was that the air tended to be cooler and "taste" better.

Your arms must be longer than mine. I constantly collapsed my lungs. I doubt if I ever fought a fire with the chemox working.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2018, 16:12:26 »
Once the guy who made the quick start candles retired the canisters became rather sketchy and dangerous. There were more than one incident at the school where students and staff had close calls. Plus the lungs must have been breeding grounds for god knows what.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2018, 16:21:30 »
Once the guy who made the quick start candles retired the canisters became rather sketchy and dangerous. There were more than one incident at the school where students and staff had close calls. Plus the lungs must have been breeding grounds for god knows what.

Never worn the device, but heard loads of stories.

We have a CBRN approved hood with attached filters now rated to 5000 ppm H2S, but something tells me if push came to shove, I'd want positive pressure any day of the week.

Then again, I cut my teeth on 2As and moved to early generation 2.2 and onward to several other makers - so I have always been a cylinder guy.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2018, 16:41:58 »
I was witness to one of the sets catching fire while strapped to an instructor.  They were just able to cut it off him before it really went south.  Nothing says "holy crap" like one of those things going Chernobyl on your body.

Now that being said, they were fantastic when set against what they had before, which was SFA.

As for lungs, l was frequently collapsing mine and always at the worse possible time.  I'm glad they're gone for good.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2018, 04:43:49 »
Your arms must be longer than mine. I constantly collapsed my lungs. I doubt if I ever fought a fire with the chemox working.

Yes.  I always wondered why the lungs were in front rather than on the back.  Even though I have no chance of using it again, I'm glad they're gone.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2018, 07:47:05 »
I have a CF-98 on my file from WUPs in 04 on STJ.  We had multiple cannister failures - instead of producing oxygen, they were producing chlorine.

*not fun* to get a blast of Chlorine gas in your face when you are expecting oxygen.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2018, 12:14:01 »
Yes.  I always wondered why the lungs were in front rather than on the back.  Even though I have no chance of using it again, I'm glad they're gone.

They were designed to provide air to miners escaping from a collapse; think it's on the front so you can crawl out on your hands and knees.  Of course, they had cages around the lungs to prevent them collapsing.

Had one with a tear on one lung, so we cut it open out of curiousity; it was full of mold and all kinds of crap.  Glad they are gone, they were never meant for repeated use, but guess they were better than nothing.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2018, 17:23:15 »
Here's a question then, if you can indeed answer it without giving something verboten away: do you guys have to wait for a full muster before setting something like a Halotron or CO2 system off?

Didn't see this answered earlier, with Halon the system is activated and a pipe is made, with AFFF the spaces is checked before activation. The attack team will clear the space as much as possible visually, and with the TIC looking for casualties. Every effort is made to ensure nobody is in the space short of a verification muster when AFFF is used.


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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2018, 11:32:39 »
Your arms must be longer than mine. I constantly collapsed my lungs. I doubt if I ever fought a fire with the chemox working.
The trouble that I witnessed most often at the DC school with collapsed lungs came from wearing the set too low.  The key was to wear it so the canister was high on the chest (i.e. with your chin only about 4" above it.). It was also more comfortable up there and easier on the back.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2018, 11:46:37 »
I have a CF-98 on my file from WUPs in 04 on STJ.  We had multiple cannister failures - instead of producing oxygen, they were producing chlorine.

*not fun* to get a blast of Chlorine gas in your face when you are expecting oxygen.

Admittedly, my chemistry is a little rusty, but I don't that's chemically possible.  Chemox uses potassium superoxide (KO2), which when combined with water (i.e. from your breath) produces a "breathable mixture" (containing oxygen).  Using normal chemical processes, you cannot create an element (which chlorine is), nor can you separate it from a compound if it doesn't contain that element in the first place.  Therefore, those canisters that malfunctioned were not producing chlorine.  That's not to say they weren't over producing something else unpleasant (hydrogen peroxide is produced in the normal chemox process), but it wasn't chlorine.

It's worth noting that potassium superoxide is also used in oxygen generators used in submarines and spacecraft and has even had limited use in some underwater rebreathers.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2018, 12:26:38 »
Chemically, I would agree.  Which is why the OS who had it happen to him first wasn't strongly believed by myself (MS) or the PO2 who was present in the Aft ERT.  So, the PO2 supervised me, step by step, properly checking, and donning the Chemox.  We inspected the canister, installed, closed the bale, and yes, I got what smelled like Chlorine in the face.

How?  I'm not a chemist, but it happened.

More than just me as well.  There was a good lineup of us outside sickbay.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2018, 13:20:24 »
I can't tell you what you smelled, but unless the canisters had a severe manufacturing defect (e.g. filled with a completely wrong substance), what you smelled was not chlorine.  It is in no way possible to extract chlorine gas from potassium superoxide.
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2018, 14:40:35 »
I agree - but Chlorine is what I smelled.

Same with the OS.

Along with the PO2 who supervised me.

Along with others on the ship who encountered canisters from the same batch.

Contaminated canister?  Manufacturing defect?  Don't know. 

I do know what Chlorine smells like though.

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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2018, 13:25:13 »
Just because something smells like something, doesn't mean it is that thing.  Sarin smells like "new-mown hay," but it most definitely is not!
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Re: CHEMOX vs Drager SCBA
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2018, 21:05:13 »
If there were a number of canisters at once, was probably from the same batch with some kind of contamination during the manufacturing process.   There may have been some impurities or something that released a bit of chlorine (maybe simple table salt ionizing and off gassing?); unfortunately it can happen by something as simple as not cleaning out the equipment properly in the manufacturing line.

Once made straight chlorine gas by accident in a lab by not following instructions closely enough and caught enough of a whiff for it to hurt (that was with a fume hood).  On the plus side, you can smell chlorine at doses far lower than what is harmful, but if you had gotten a lungful at a high enough concentration, you would have been foxed, so it's unlikely it would have been the wrong chemical all together (that would have just killed you).