Gamber & Community Fire Co. is in the process of replacing all self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or air packs for all firefighters on the company’s apparatus. The current SCBA’s are beyond their usable life of 15 years and will be traded in. They have become too costly to repair and they do not meet updated safety standards.
Twenty-six Scott Air-Pak X3 Pro 5.5 units have been purchased from Municipal Emergency Services of Rockville, Maryland. Funding for this large purchase came from county funds and is supplemented by money raised through fund raising efforts by our members.
Included in the order are three new smaller rapid intervention team (RIT) packs and three pack “trackers” that can be used to locate downed or disabled firefighters.
Spare air bottles are also included in the order as well as a Scott monitor which will let the command officers to monitor firefighter’s air status in real time during an incident. This alarm will advise the command post whether someone’s air pack is in alarm status, low air, or if they are exiting the fire.
All active firefighters are currently going through initial training on the new Scott air packs. A target date for full implementation is March 1, 2019.
Acquisition of the new self-contained breathing apparatus has been under the supervision of Chief Charlie Green. Training has been coordinated by Lieutenant 13-1 Ian Runkles and Firefighter Frank Smith.