What’s 500psi of air worth?

Look at the picture to the right, it’s the pressure gauge on a SCBA bottle.  Is this bottle full?  I say its not…  In the DC Fire Department the “books” say that when you check an air-pack, the minimum acceptable pressure is 4000psi.  But these are 4500psi bottles, so that’s 500psi you’re giving up!  By my math, thats a little over 10% of the SCBA bottle’s overall capacity – or about 6.5 minutes.

Unfortunately bottles like this get an “ok” during AM checks everyday – and I’m sure it happens all over the country.  You can call me “anal” or tell me it’s no big deal, but it is a big deal.  What is that 10%?

  • It was the last 10′ to the seat of the fire you couldn’t make.
  • It was the last bedroom you couldn’t search… The one with the civilian in it.
  • It was the last 5 minutes you wished you had before you died after you got trapped / disoriented.
Sorry to be the Grim Reaper, but thats how I see it… These bottles take just a minute to change, just a fraction of the 6.5 minutes it’ll give you later when you REALLY need it.

Be “Combat Ready“, everyday, every fire…


One Response

  1. Excellent point.

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