The breathing apparatus sets we use are made by Drager, a German company who are a world leader in the design and manufacturer of breathing apparatus. The kit consists of a compressed cylinder of air, the set itself and a face mask. A BA set weighs approximately 15kgs.
Breathing apparatus is worn on any occasion where the atmosphere may cause difficulty in breathing. This could be in a fire situation or when toxic chemicals are giving off fumes. Breathing apparatus teams will always consist of a minimum of two firefighters.
A BA cylinder has a capacity of nine litres. When the cylinder is filled with compressed air via a breathing apparatus compressor located at 18 fire stations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the cylinder will contain 2,430 litres of compressed air that will give the firefighter 36 minutes of air. This figure can be increased or reduced dependant on the task the firefighter is completing.
Every time breathing apparatus is worn a breathing apparatus entry control board is set up. This allows us to record the cylinder pressures of the firefighters before they enter the risk area. The dial on the top right of the BAECO board is used to calculate when the firefighters will run out of air.