Highlight: Management of SCBA Tests and Inspections


Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is a crucial component of the personal protective equipment used by today’s fire service. The importance of regular maintenance and inspection of SCBAs cannot be underestimated as SCBAs serve to protect public safety by protecting the lives of first responders.

A bungee jumper will inspect their chords before every jump as they know they are the only instrument between life and death, a Firefighter’s protective equipment is no different. Self-contained breathing apparatus, or SCBA are perfect examples of this first line of defence. In order to protect the Firefighter an SCBAs must be operating at at an optimum level.

Current Approach to SCBA Tests and Inspections

Regular inspections are required to ensure SCBAs are functioning at their best. NFPA 1852 “Standard on the Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Breathing Apparatus” mandates, all compliant SCBA be tested once per year at a minimum on a calibrated breathing machine before being put into service. It’s worth noting that many states and jurisdictions have adopted NFPA standards as law.

Flow Tests/Performance Tests, OSHA Recommended Monthly Checks, Cylinder Testing, tests when going back into service, Basic Inspections and Functional Testing create a huge data management burden. Combining the previous with the question of who completed the test and when was the test completed makes for an impossible data storage task.

Flow Tests

The Challenge

Most response teams track and store the various tests in a spreadsheet or access database. An inability to automate the data entry creates a substantial capacity for human error. Frankly spreadsheets and their ilk are simple accounting tools, they were never designed to be a multi user alerting system and that’s why they fail to solve the problem outlined.

The Solution

Below is our D4H Equipment Management Inspections module; in the example image we can see the steps needed to complete the Annual Test. The person required to complete this annual test received the alert 5 days prior and can barcode scan the SCBA to complete the Flow Test.

D4H Equipment Mgmt

Once complete they can mark the SCBA back into service, attach the document of the test results or assign out a repair; all of which is auditable as being signed off by the individual.

We can also see the location of the equipment, reference it’s unique ID and see when the SCBA is due for inspection. Each SCBA has it’s own unique profile inside the software where an image can be added, it can be tracked by Fund or Grant purchasing source and all the above is reference able. More information on managing your HAZMAT response team and equipment can be found right here.

Company Bio

D4H is the #1 information management software for emergencies and incidents worldwide. Recording over 15 million response hours per year, D4H solutions are deployed in more than 16 countries. Everyday we drive efficiencies within clients’ in public safety teams and private sector.

Founded in 2008 by Robin Blandford, combining his background in the Coast Guard with an accomplished team of computer scientists and emergency managers; D4H has injected global visibility into tens of thousands of operations on every continent in the world. Driven by a talented executive team, D4H Technologies’ mission is to provide the “Right Information When Things Go Wrong”.

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