This is a photo of an air consumption drill that we typically do during our Mayday training. However, we encourage our company officers to use these like pop quizzes every so often to keep our people comfortable and familiar with their SCBA’s.
This is a simple drill that makes the firefighter be “active” for a duration of time that is dictated by how long it takes for their low air alarm to sound.
This provides the firefighter with the opportunity to become familiar with how long they have until their low alarm goes off. This is important, especially in larger structures, because we want them exiting prior to that alarm going off if at all possible.
Once the alarm goes off they just walk or stand as if they were conserving air. This provides them with an idea of about how long they can conserve their air if they do get trapped and their low air alarm does activate.
Is this drill perfect? NO! But, it is a good drill and the more often we put our people on air, the more comfortable and confident they get wearing it.
You can add several other little twists and curves to this drill to challenge their SCBA skills. Get creative and keep it fresh. In many instances, the guys and gals doing the drill will think of new ways to perform it.
Train hard and stay safe.