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Journey to IFO: Mask Confidence-Change of Scenery

Catherine Best

3 min read

Feb 18

329

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Desperate for some variety, the workout routine was temporarily relocated to the gym at the CFFD Station late Sunday Morning. We started out by running on the treadmill (slight incline), then jumped over to the elliptical and the stair climber wearing a sixteen-pound weighted vest. As recommended by Princess DJ H, the 80's freestyle tunes were cranking. Of course, my sillies, there was dancing! Never doubt the Gen-X Bronx Girl!





Now, onto the good scoop! 'Mask Confidence Training Plan A,' was slightly derailed on Saturday morning, but Plan B managed to evolve quickly and actually worked out quite well. Many thanks to the CFFD brothers that stepped up to the plate to answer my last-minute distress call.


Long story short, training began Sunday afternoon at the CFFD North Salem Station. For those of you who are not familiar with the terminology, Mask Confidence Training allows firefighters to get comfortable wearing their face piece and know that it's working. The face piece, known to give some people a run for their money, is one of the major elements of the Scott Pak- or the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The SCBA provides breathable air in hazardous breathing environments with oxygen deficiency, smoke, dangerous gases, and other airborne contaminants that may be otherwise dangerous to breathe. The cylinder contains air, yes regular air with 19-21% oxygen and last about thirty minutes pending lots of variables. There are lots of elements to understand; regulators, pressure lines, PASS alarm system and many other key components including the mask, elements that save lives.


Step 1: Get re-familiarized with the SCBA. Check!


Step 2: The Fit Test. You ask, what is a fit test? Well, a fit test basically evaluates the interface between the firefighter's face and the face piece to ensure proper and correct fit. We decided that a medium would work best but to be prudent would test the small mask tomorrow. I will spare you the gory details as to how the test is actually done. So, Step 2, Check!


Step 3: Donning the face piece. We walked around the apparatus floor and noticed the slight change in peripheral vision, but it was manageable and with practice, it would become more familiar with time. Now, keep in mind that this is a controlled uneventful environment, not IDHL (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health). This will become more challenging as the variables change. So, Step 3, Check!


Step 4: Inspecting the Cylinder. After confirming both the expiration and hydrostatic test dates on the cylinder, we donned Paks. Silly side note, Paks are not made for short people with little arms, but we made it work! Step 4, Check!


Step 5: The Grand finale. Minus a few boring but important training details, ex-chief opened the value, and, yes, air ....air baby! And the best park, I wasn't anxious or panicked. Phew! We spent some time discussing the PASS Alarm System, and other key warning indicators that the cylinder is running out of air. Then before calling it a day, we refilled the cylinders, cleaned the face pieces and made a plan to re-group tomorrow evening for additional drills donning full PPE. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, ex-chief for responding to my distress call, I couldn't have done it without you! Step 5 CHECK CHECK CHECK!


Onward! No room for failure. #CFFD










Catherine Best

3 min read

Feb 18

329

0

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