December 3, 2013
On Nov. 22, 2013, Scott and other respirator manufacturers received notification from the National Institure for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of Chemical, Biolgoical, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) testing errors at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC). During a period from July 2012 through October 2013, ECBC utilized concentrations of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) that were below those required under NIOSH testing procedures. As a result of these errors, NIOSH and ECBC have temporarily halted all CWA testing until test procedures can be validated.
For more information, please see the NIOSH Respirator User's Notice.
March 13, 2012
During the March 8, 2012 fire fighter advisory committee meeting, representatives of cylinder manufacturer Structural Composite Industries, Inc., had requested to be placed on the agenda to discuss the SCBA breathing air cyclinders available through their company as an aftermarket option for use on compliant SCBA units.
The commission would like to remind all departments that in accordance with NFPA 1981, to be compliant with the standard your SCBA and all its components must be tested and approved by the SCBA manufacturer and meet the NIOSH testing criteria. The purchase of aftermarket SCBA breathing air cyclinders that are not listed in the manufacturer's part list and not approved by the manufacturer will make the entire SCBA unit non-compliant. You should NOT purchase cylinders that have not been tested and approved as part of the entire unit (see the June 17, 2011 article below). If a commission compliance officer finds an unapproved cylinder in use, the commission will require your department to come into compliance with the standard.
(Note: The manufacturer's representative's presentation to the committee begins at approximately 49:00 of the FFAC morning recording. Committee Presiding Officer Jim Reidy brought the presentation to a halt following a brief conversation that begins at approximately 1:24:00 of the recording.)
December 3, 2013
The commission's compliance inspectors have recently discovered an issue that may be costly to departments that are attempting to update their self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs).
Your department may be purchasing "approved" components or parts that may not be approved by the manufacturer for use in a specific SCBA unit or system.
The issue is that there are two ways for an SCBA to become non-compliant: 1) the component by itself does not meet the NFPA standard; or, 2) the component does not meet the manufacturer's specifications as an approved component or accessory from the manufacturer's parts list.
If either of these conditions applies to a component, the entire SCBA becomes non-compliant. This will require the department to remove the SCBA from service or to repair the SCBA using only manufacturer-approved parts and components prior to placing it back into service.
An example the compliance inspectors have found is the use of DOT-approved 30-year SCBA breathing air bottles. The breathing air bottles meet all DOT requirements, but do not meet the manufacturer's specifications (including proper testing for certification). In this case, the use of of an "approved" component on a compliant SCBA will render the entire SCBA non-compliant, because the manufacturer has not tested the breathing air bottles with the SCBA for certification.
To help reduce the risk of creating a compliance issue, the compliance section recommends that you contact the SCBA manufacturer (or manufacturer's representative or vendor) before replacing or substituting SCBA components that you have purchased from a source other than the manufacturer or authorized supplier.
Please refer to the agency's page, Complying with NFPA Standards, for more information. In this case, please review the requirements for complying with NFPA 1852, 2008 Edition (sections 4.6, 7.1 and 7.2) and NFPA 1981, 2007 Edition (sections 4.2 and 4.5).
December 19, 2011
E-ONE is recalling some model year 2008-2011 CYCLONE II, TYPHOON and QUEST vehicles manufactured from May 1, 2008, through November 28, 2011, and equipped with Meritor Wabco electronic stability control (ESC) modules. Under certain road and driving conditions, vehicle body roll and road inclination characteristics may adversely affect the slip angle calculation of the ESC system. This might cause the ESC to perceive an oversteering situation and apply the outer wheel brake on the front axle until the vehicle is perceived to be stable. If the driver is slow to react during the ESC intervention, the vehicle may deviate from the intended line of travel, increasing the risk of a crash. If you own one, or are unsure, contact your E-ONE dealer. Please see the recall notice at safercar.gov for details.