Last Wednesday new Scott X3 Pro packs were put into service. Our old airpacks were aging out. Our airframes were a mix of packs designed to the 2007 and 2002 standards. The new packs will meet the NFPA 1981-2018 standard.
The new packs come loaded with safety features not present or available on our old packs. The first is the emergency breathing support system (EBSS), this system allows us to connect two firefighters airpacks together. If a firefighter is in trouble, a firefighter can connect two EBSS hoses together or connect an EBSS directly to the face mask of the other Firefighter.
We are able to connect directly to the facepiece because of the modular nature of the new airpacks, there is a quick disconnect on the face mask air hose. This functionality lets us replace smaller parts and not necessarily take an entire airpack out of service when something fails. The packs straps are also modular and removable to be able to wash them. There are a lot of plastics and chemicals in modern structure and automobile fires, and being able to properly clean and service our gear is very important.
The new airpacks and bottles utilize a quick connect coupler. This allows for quick bottle changes allowing firefighters to return of service as soon as they are ready.
Our new air packs operate at a higher pressure than our old air packs. The new packs operate at 4500psi versus 2216 our old packs operated at. These new packs allow interoperability with our mutual aid partners. Grand Isle is already operating at this pressure and with the new quick connect bottles. North Hero will be upgrading shortly as well.
As part of the new update and in an effort to make sure firefighters make it out of buildings with enough air, our low air alarms go off at 1/3 of a bottle instead of 1/4. The PASS alarms (personal accountability safety systems) alert sooner to a motionless firefighter. And our new face masks are designed to withstand more heat without distorting and discoloring.