Two Rings & A Rubber Hose: Putting a SCBA Mask on a Downed Firefighter

Face mask emergencies are one of the 3 major types of SCBA failures that can occur (do you know the other two??).  If a SCBA mask fails, or a FF who is out of air removes one, you as the RIT may have to put a new face piece on the downed FF if they are unconscious – and the environment you will have to perform this operation in will not be pleasant.  While the techniques may differ slightly for different SCBA manufacturers, the concept is the same.  During our recent “Back to Basics” program at the DCFD’s Training Academy, we have discovered several techniques and some “tricks” to simply the operation. 

Over the past 4 months and few hundred FF’s that have come through the program, a common problem has occurred:  it is tough for a gloved hand to grab small parts of a SCBA mask and make it fit.  We have discovered that the simple addition of a small piece of rubber hose at the bottom of the SCBA mask netting as well as two large rings on the lower face straps allow the mask to be placed eaiser and more securely.

The rescuing FF lines up the chin-cup of the mask with the downed FF’s chin and holds the mask against the victims face to create a temporary seal.  With their other hand, the rescuer grabs the rubber hose (easily ID’d) and pulls it down over the vicitms head to the bottom of their neck.  The two large metal rings are much easier to find than the small kevlar straps, and those are used to tighten the bottom straps (which create most of the seal).


One Response

  1. I took this article and showed the pictures to one of our “do-ers” on the department. Within a couple of days, he’d done the same thing with an MSA facepiece…great stuff.

    Keep up the awesome work on the site…I look forward to checking it every day!!!

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