Rescue rebreather rated 4 hours

A survey of closed breathing apparatus users reveal a four hour rating on a new technology rebreather unit, to be launched in Accra, Ghana, in May 2010.

Bio Pak 240 replaces the old Scba technology. It has a four hour rating, compared to one hour on the Scba 3. A scuba training facility in Kyalami will soon train users on behalf of the African distributor.

The survey in USA, Europe and Australia posed these queries; Would staff in hazmat environments use closed circuit rebreathing apparatus? What are the biggest challenges posed by currently available breathing equipment? Should communication devices be integrated in closed breathing apparatus? Should full face masks include breathing apparatus?

Responses from users in Australia included these comments by senior firefighter 2468;

“We use Biopak for training fire teams in mines, they are the standard against what others are assessed. They cost a lot more, but when you need to walk into a large underground mine to find a few miners you need as much duration as possible.

”The idea of double dutching with a double 9L OC system is just silly, most people would struggle to walk 100m in a double dutch system, whereas the CC systems are a lot lighter.”

”We have walked around while using the new unit for over four hours at work doing heavy activities such as lifting heavy coils of old canvas hose with brass couplings, operated pumps and climbing ladders. The cooling system in the CC systems keeps the air cool.

“CC is used throughout the Hunter Valley very successfully in mines. The fire service also has a number of sets for large building searches”

Breathing apparatus technology now uses a supply component of pure oxygen, O2, instead of purified air as the Scba unit did. The unit has faster deployment, worldwide standards approval, and is used in USA, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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