PERSONALALERT SAFETY SYSTEM FAILURE
PersonalAlert Safety System failure
ThePersonal Alert Safety System (PASS) is a significant accompaniment ofthe Self-ContainedBreathing Apparatus (SCBA).It produces an alarm in the event a firefighter gets inactive for astated period for them to be rescued("Visualizationof auditory masking for firefighter alarm detection," 2016).At times, the alarm fails to be loud enough to be heard by otherfirefighters. Consequently, a firefighter runs out of air leading totheir death. The PASS devices contain the pre-alarm element, whichstarts few seconds before the entire alarm activates("PASSAlarms | Firehouse," 2016).This is meant to alert the wearers, and in case there is no issue,they reset it manually.
KevinBell was a firefighter at Hartford fire department for six years. OnOct. 7, 2014, he was allocated to Engine 16 to fight fire in a housealong the Blue Hills Avenue. He was in the house for not more thantwelve minutes when another firefighter called for help, as recordedby radio transmissions. All firefighters were given the order toevacuate the building. However, a head count revealed that Bell wasmissing, and was not accounted for in the building for a periodexceeding eight minutes. A group from Tactical Unit 1 went back tothe house on fire and located him within thirty seconds. He was foundon the second floor in a room on the right side of some staircaseentwined in iron furniture. According to records, he was in thebuilding for less than twenty one minutes. The SCBAshould last for thirty minutes depending on the exertion level, andthe amount of air for each breath. Additionally, Jason Martinez, afirefighter, was severely burnt and jumped from the second floorthrough a window. Bell’s death came as a result of PASS failure atthe fire ground marking the first death in line-of-duty for overforty years. One of the alarms required to warn him of his SCBAgoing low on air was in poor working condition("Conn.firefighter died after SCBA ran out of air", 2016).Therefore, it failed to warn him that his breathing gas was almosttwenty to twenty-five percent low causing him to die.
Conn.firefighter died after SCBA ran out of air.(2016). FireRescue1.Retrieved 29 October 2016, fromhttp://www.firerescue1.com/fire-products/fire-breathing-apparatus/fire-scba/articles/2113236-Conn-firefighter-died-after-SCBA-ran-out-of-air/
PASSAlarms | Firehouse.(2016). Firehouse.Retrieved 29 October 2016, fromhttp://www.firehouse.com/news/10494163/pass-alarms
Visualizationof auditory masking for firefighter alarm detection.(2016). Repositories.lib.utexas.edu.Retrieved 29 October 2016, fromhttps://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/31976