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Other Name
SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS / AIR MASK AND HARNESS
Date Range From
1975
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC, METAL, COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20150010017
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS / AIR MASK AND HARNESS
Date Range From
1975
Date Range To
2000
Materials
PLASTIC, METAL, COTTON
No. Pieces
5
Height
29.2
Length
68.8
Width
50.7
Description
SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS, INCLUDES CASE, HARNESS ASSEMBLY, MASK WITH STRAP, AND PAPER PASS CERTIFICATE. .A: CASE. BLACK MOULDED, TEXTURED PLASTIC CASE. ROUGHLY RECTANGULAR SHAPED. HINGED AT THE BACK, CASE HAS THREE HANDLES ON THE FRONT: ONE IS IN THE CENTRE OF THE CASE, WITH THE OTHER TWO ARE ON THE CORNERS OF THE BOX. THERE ARE TWO PLASTIC LATCHES BETWEEN THE THREE HANDLES. BLACK AND SILVER COLOURED STICKER ON THE TOP OF THE BOX READS: "MSA AIRMASK". A SECOND BLACK AND SILVER STICKER, ABOVE ONE OF THE LATCHES, READS: "ULTRALITE PRESSURE DEMAND" AND ALSO HAS "PASS IN BOX" HANDWRITTEN IN BLACKMARKER. A THIRD BLACK AND SILVER STICKER THAT READS "MSA AIRMASK" IS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BOX. YELLOW PIECE OF DUCT TAPE ON RIGHT SIDE, HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK: "ULTRALITE BMR". INSIDE THE BOX IS SUBDIVIDED INTO COMPARTMENTS. AFFIXED TO THE INSIDE TOP OF THE LID IS A PAGE OF INSTRUCTIONS TITLED "MSA AIR MASK, PRESSURE DEMAND TYPE". A SMALL PIECE OF PAPER AFIXED TO THE INSIDE OF THE LID IS TITLED "PACKING ARRANGEMENT" AND HAS AN ILLUSTRATION OF HOW THE UNIT SHOULD BE PACKED AWAY. DIMENSIONS PROVIDED ABOVE CORRESPOND TO THIS CASE. OVERALL IN FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. THE TWO "MSA AIRMASK" STICKERS HAVE PARTIALLY PEELED AWAY, WITH THE TOP STICKER MISSING THE BOTTOM OF "ASK" IN "MASK" AND WITH THE BOTTOM STICKER MISSING PARTS OF THE "MSA": THE "M" AND "A" ARE PARTIALLY MISSING, WHILE THE "S" IS ENTIRELY GONE; "MASK" OF THIS STICKER IS ALSO VERY DAMAGED. LATCH BELOW THE "ULTRALITE" STICKER IS IN GOOD CONDITION, WHILE THE OTHER IS PARTIALLY BROKEN. SEVERAL SCUFFS AND SCRATCHES IN THE PLASTIC, ESPECIALLY ALONG THE BOTTOM. .B: HARNESS ASSEMBLY. BLACK PLASTIC, METAL, AND FABRIC WITH SILVER COLOURED METAL. OUTER PORTION OF HARNESS DESIGNED TO HOLD BOTTLE OF COMPRESSED AIR. BLACK METAL BRACKET RUNS VERTICALLY UP AND DOWN THE HARNESS AND HAS A SILVER COLOURED CIRCULAR METAL BAND TO HOLD TANK IN PLACE. THE SILVER BAND IS 7.7CM WIDE AND HAS TWO BLACK STICKERS WITH “MSA” IN YELLOW STUCK ON. BOTTOM OF BLACK METAL BRACKET HAS A TRIANGULAR SHAPED PIECE, WITH A ROUND RUBBER TIP, TO HOLD THE BOTTOM OF THE AIR TANK IN PLACE. BELOW SILVER BAND IS A STICKER, WITH A DISCOLOURED WHITE BACKGROUND AND BLACK LETTERS GIVING INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE, ENTITLED: “CUSTOM 4500/ULTRALITE BELT MOUNTED SCBA. OPEN CIRCUIT, PRESSURE-DEMAND ENTRY AND ESCAPE SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS OR COMBINATION SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS AND TYPE C SUPPLIED AIR RESPIRATOR.” SILVER BAND FOR TANK HAS A HANDLE THAT EXPANDS AND CONTRACTS THE BAND, TO ALLOW FOR REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION OF AIR TANK. AT THE TOP OF THE BLACK METAL BRACKET, THERE IS A CIRCULAR SECTION WHICH ALLOWS FOR THE ATTACHMENT OF TWO BLACK PADDED FABRIC SHOULDER STRAPS. THESE STRAPS ARE BOLTED ON WITH BLACK AND SILVER COLOURED BOLTS. BLACK METAL BRACKET ATTACHES AT WAIST AREA TO BLACK MOULDED PIECE OF PLASTIC. BLACK MOULDED PLASTIC FITS AROUND THE HIP AREA OF THE WEARER. SHOULDER STRAPS COME DOWN FROM TOP OF METAL BRACKET AND ATTACH TO THIS BLACK PLASTIC JUST ABOVE THE HIP. SHOULDER STRAPS ARE PADDED AND HAVE A SECOND SMALLER STRAP, WHICH WOULD CROSS THE WEARER’S CHEST WITH A BLACK SIDE RELEASE PLASTIC BUCKLE, WITH THE FEMALE COMPONENT ON THE RIGHT STRAP. ON EACH STRAP BELOW THE PLASTIC BUCKLE IS A SILVER COLOURED “D” RING. ABOVE THE BUCKLE ON EACH STRAP IS A SILVER COLOURED SILK SCREEN SECTION WITH “MSA”. AT THE BOTTOM WAIST PORTION OF THE MOULDED PLASTIC IS ANOTHER BLACK FABRIC STRAP, TO GO AROUND THE WEARER’S WAIST. THE BELT ATTACHES WITH A SILVER COLOURED METAL LATCH PLATE ON THE RIGHT SIDE, WHICH FITS INTO A BLACK PLASTIC BUCKLE, WITH A BLACK PLASTIC BUTTON TO RELASE, ON THE WEARER’S LEFT SIDE. ATTACHED TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BELT IS A PRESSURE REGULATOR AND HIGH PRESSURE SUPPLY HOSE. THE PRESSURE REGULATOR CONSISTS OF BLACK METAL AND PLASTIC, AND GOLD AND RED COLOURED METAL. A CIRCULAR GOLD COLOURED METAL PIECE HAS REMNANTS OF TWO STICKERS ON ITS FACE: “MSA AIR MASK – MFD BY MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES COMPANY – PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – PRESSURE DEMAND.” BELOW IT IS A HOSE COUPLING. THIS COUPLING HAS A BLACK RUBBER CAP, EMBOSSED WITH “FHR”. BESIDE THIS IS AN AIR PRESSURE GAUGE: BLACK METAL TEXTURED EDGE, GLASS FACE, AND RUBBER ENCASING. THE FACE OF THE GAUGE IS OFF-WHITE WITH A DIAL INCRESING IN INCREMENTS OF 5 (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30), WITH A RED SECTION FROM 0-5, A YELLOW SECTION BETWEEN 20 AND 25, AND A GREY SECTION AT 30. BELOW THE DIAL IS “PSI X 100 – USE NO OIL – MSA 18” BESIDE THE GAUGE IS A RED COLOURED METAL KNOB, WITH “ß OPEN – BY PASS” EMBOSSED ON FRONT FACE. BESIDE THIS RED KNOB IS A GOLD COLOURED KNOB WITH A SILVER COLOURED TAB “^PUSH^”. ON THE FACE OF THE GOLD KNOB, EMBOSSED, IS “MAIN LINE ^” WITH “MSA” IN CENTRE. OPPOSITIE THE PRESSURE GAUGE IS A HIGH PRESSURE SUPPLY HOSE. THE HOSE IS BLACK PLASTIC AND FABRIC. ON THE END OF THIS HOSE IS A SILVER COLOURED BELL, USED AS A LOW AIR ALARM. AT THE VERY END OF THE HOSE IS A BLACK TEXTURED METAL COUPLING. .C: MASK WITH HOSE. BLACK PLASTIC RESPIRATOR MASK WITH CLEAR PLASTIC VISOR. FITTED NOSE PIECE WITH TWO SMALL CIRCLES ON EITHER SIDE OF BRIDGE OF NOSE PIECE. EACH CIRCLE HAS BLACK PLASTIC SPOKES AND A TRANSPARENT FLAP, WHICH IS ON THE INSIDE OF THE NOSE PIECE. HANDWRITTEN IN GOLD COLOURED INK, ON THE INSIDE OF NOSE PIECE, “G29C” OR “929C”. FRONT OF NOSE PIECE, VISIBLE THROUGH THE VISOR, HAS “MEDIUM” EMBOSSED ONTO MASK. FIVE BLACK PLASTIC STRAPS WITH SILVER COLOURED BUCKLES ALLOW MASK TO BE SECURELY TIGHTENED ONTO THE HEAD. STRAPS MEET AT A ROUGHLY STAR-SHAPED PIECE THAT SITS AT THE BACK OF THE HEAD. THIS STAR-SHAPED PIECE HAS THE FOLLOWING EMBOSSED ONTO THE PLASTIC: “M2 C5 – MSA – PULL FRONT STRAP LAST – U”. ABOVE THE “M2 C5” IS AN EMBOSSED MULTI-SPOKED CIRCLE. EMBOSSED IN THE CENTRE OF THE CIRCLE: “93 – 94 – 95” EACH OF THE FIVE STRAPS ARE LABELLED; TWO AT THE BASE OF MASK, EACH LABELLED “NECK”, NEXT TWO UP ARE “SIDE”, AND THE FIFTH STRAP AT THE TOP OF THE MASK IS “FRONT”. ON FRONT OF MASK, AT THE MOUTH AREA, IS A LONG ACCORDION-STYLE HOSE. IT IS ATTACHED TO THE MASK WITH A SILVER COLOURED METAL CLAMP. ON THE NUT OF THIS CLAMP IS WRITTEN “ALL STAINLESS BREEZE”. BELOW IS A BLACK METAL BAND, WHICH IS STAMPED IN YELLOW WITH “-18 TINNERMAN”. BELOW THAT THERE IS A SILVER COLOURED METAL RING, WHICH HAS A BLACK FABRIC STRAP ATTACHED (SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION OF THIS ITEM, P20150010017D). THE BOTTOM OF THE HOSE HAS A BLACK METAL BAND AND THEN A SILVER COLOURED, TEXTURED METAL PIECE TO CONNECT TO THE AIR SUPPLY CANISTER. BELOW THE HOSE CONNECTION, AT THE CHIN AREA OF THE MASK, IS A MEDIUM-LIGHT GREY CIRCLE, EMBOSSED WITH “MSA – U.S. PAT. 4,007,758”. TO THE RIGHT OF THE HOSE ATTACHEMENT HANDWRITTEN IN GREEN INK IS “#4”. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE MASK, BETWEEN THE “NECK” AND “SIDE” STRAPS IS A FAINT STAMP IN YELLOW “7-212-“. EMBOSSED IN CENTRE OF MASK, ABOVE FACE VISOR, IS “MSA” IN A CIRCLE. INSIDE OF THE HOSE ATTACHMENT, BELOW THE MOULDED NOSE AREA, IS A BLACK DISK WITH HOLES IN IT. VISIBLE THROUGH THESE HOLES IS A PIECE OF GOLD-COLOURED METAL. DIMENSIONS OF MASK: HOSE IS 83.5CM LONG; VISOR IS 18CM WIDE. .D: STRAP ON MASK. BLACK FABRIC STRAP, WITH TWO BLACK SNAPS. SNAPS ONTO SILVER-COLOURED METAL RING AROUND THE HOSE. STRAP IS 92.5CM LONG AND 1.9CM WIDE. OVERALL CONDITION OF B, C, D: WELL WORN. ALL STICKERS SHOW SIGNS OF WEAR: DISCOLOURATION AND FINISH OF STICKERS SCRATCHED. STRUCTRUALLY IN GOOD CONDITION. MANY SCUFFS AND SCRATCHES ALL OVER. ALL FABRIC IN GOOD CONDITION. RUBBER RETAINS FLEXIBILITY AND PLASTICS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE WITH NO CRACKS. .E: PAPER PASS CERTIFICATE. GOLDENROD COLOURED PAPER. READS: "MSA - ULTRALITE DP - B.M.R. C/W FACEMASK. THIS UNIT TESTED AND HAD ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE ON SEPTEMBER 02, 2008. KEN HOBIAK" (WITH KEN'S SIGNATURE ABOVE HIS TYPED NAME). REVERSE OF PAPER: "THIS UNI PERFORM KEN H" (APPEARS TO HAVE MISPRINTED ON THIS SIDE). PAPER IS STANDARD LETTER SIZE. CONDITION IS GOOD: PAPER HAS BEEN CRUMBLED AND HAS A FEW SMALL TEARS AROUND THE OUTSIDE.
Subjects
MINING & MINERAL HARVESTING T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THIS SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS (SCBA) WAS USED BY THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT. IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT PROVIDED AT THE TIME OF DONATION, JESSE KURTZ, DEPUTY CHIEF – SUPPORT SERVICES (RETIRED), EXPLAINED THAT THE MASK WAS “USED BY ALL FIREFIGHTERS TO CONNECT TO THE BELT MOUNTED REGULATOR SCBA TO ENTER HAZARDOUS ATMOSPHERES” AND THAT THE HARNESS WAS “USED BY ALL FIREFIGHTERS TO BREATH IN HAZARDOUS (SMOKY) ATMOSPHERES.” HE CONTINUED SAYING THAT THERE ARE “MORE MODERN MASK MOUNTED REGULATOR SCBAS [THAT HAVE BEEN] DEVELOPED AND PURCHASED.” IN THE SUMMER OF 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING: CLIFF “CHARLIE” BROWN (HIRED IN 1966, RETIRED 2004), TREVOR LAZENBY (HIRED IN 1994), AND LAWRENCE DZUREN (HIRED 1959, RETIRED 1992). BROWN EXPLAINED THAT THIS SCBA “WAS AN ON-DEMAND REGULATOR. THAT WAS NICE TO HAVE DEMAND, BECAUSE NO MATTER WHO IT WAS, THE HARDER YOU BREATHED, THE MORE AIR IT WOULD GIVE YOU. THE HARNESS IS PROBABLY MORE COMFORTABLE [THAN PREVIOUS ONES]. SOME GUYS WOULD USE THREE TANKS, SO THE HARNESS WAS A LITTLE BIT MORE COMFORTABLE FOR THEM. THEY’D COME OUT, THEY’D TURN AROUND, THEY WOULDN’T EVEN TAKE OFF THEIR GEAR. THEY’D TURN AROUND, THERE’D BE GUYS WHO WOULD TAKE THE TANK OFF, PUT ANOTHER TANK ON, HOOK IT ALL UP, A GOOD PAT ON THE BACK, AND BACK IN THEY’D GO WITH ANOTHER TANK. THEY’D DO THAT THREE TIMES BEFORE … THEY WERE JUST TOO TIRED … WE DIDN’T HAVE AN AIR COMPRESSOR TO FILL OUR OWN TANKS. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHERE THEY WENT. THEY MUST HAVE WENT TO THE SWIMMING POOL.” LAZENBY CONTINUED SAYING THAT THIS SCBA WAS “A VERY, VERY OLDER GENERATION SCBA BOTTLE. THESE WERE KIND OF RUDIMENTARY DESIGN. THE BOTTLE WAS STEEL ON THESE, WHICH MADE THEM VERY, VERY HEAVY. MODERN BOTTLES ARE FIBERGLASS WRAPPED WHICH MAKES THEM MUCH, MUCH LIGHTER; ADDED TO WHICH, IT HAD A BARELY PADDED HARNESS SYSTEM ON IT AND BASICALLY A GLORIFIED SEATBELT STRAP FOR A WAIST STRAP. SO WITH THESE KINDS OF THINGS, YOU DON’T WANT TO KEEP A TON OF WEIGHT ON YOUR SHOULDERS BECAUSE IT FATIGUES YOUR UPPER BODY VERY, VERY QUICKLY WHEN YOU’RE WORKING. BUT WITH THIS TYPE OF HARNESS ON THEM, IF YOU CINCHED THE WAIST UP REALLY TIGHT AND TOOK THE PRESSURE OFF YOUR SHOULDERS, THIS JUST SEEMED TO DIG INTO YOUR WAIST LIKE CRAZY, LIKE IT WAS VERY UNCOMFORTABLE TO WEAR … THAT BEING SAID, WHEN GUYS WENT TO THIS FROM LIKE THE CANISTERS THAT THEY USED TO WEAR, THIS MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE A NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR THESE GUYS … I WORE THESE IN TRAINING – I DON’T THINK I EVER WORE ONE OF THESE BOTTLES ON AN ACTUAL FIRE CALL … WE HAD THE FIBERGLASS ONES IN FRONTLINE SERVICE WHEN I STARTED SO THIS WOULD BE PRE-1994, IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN. I DON’T THINK WE HAD THESE ON THE TRUCKS IN ’94. THEY WERE AROUND AND THEY WERE BACKUPS, BUT THEY WEREN’T FRONTLINE.” HE ELABORATED FURTHER, SAYING: “WE DIDN’T HAVE INDIVIDUAL MASKS; WE SHARED MASKS ON THE FIRE DEPARTMENT BACK THEN … THERE WASN’T ENOUGH MONEY FOR THEM TO BUY US OUR OWN INDIVIDUAL FACE PIECE … SO WHAT WE USED TO DO IS AFTER EVERY INCIDENT OR AFTER EVERY TIME YOU WORE ONE OF THESE THINGS, IT WOULD COME OFF THE TRUCK, WE WOULD HAVE A BOTTLE OF MSA MASK CLEANER THAT WE WOULD PUT INTO A TUB, WE WOULD MAKE A SOAPY WATER SOLUTION, WE WOULD WASH THE MASK, RINSE THE MASK, LET IT HANG TO DRY, AND THE NEXT PERSON WOULD USE IT AS THE NEXT SHIFT CAME ON.” HE ADDED THAT NOW EVERYONE IN THE DEPARTMENT HAS THEIR OWN MASK: “WE’VE HAD OUR OWN MASKS FOR 10-12 YEARS. WE STILL SHARE THE SCBAS AS FAR AS THE BOTTLE AND THE HARNESS GOES … THEY’RE IN THE RACKS ON THE TRUCK, IN THE BACKS OF THE SEATS AND DOWN IN BY THE HOSE OR THE PUMP COMPARTMENTS.” IN DISCUSSING WHY THIS MODEL IS NO LONGER USED, LAZENBY STATED: “THIS HOSE EASILY CRIMPED SO YOUR AIR SUPPLY COULD BE CUT OFF. THE AIR SUPPLY THAT NOW GOES FROM THE TANK TO YOUR MASK IS A MUCH MORE RIGID HOSE THAT, REALLY, YOU’D HAVE TO BASICALLY BEND IT IN HALF TO STOP THE FLOW OF AIR.” DZUREN ADDED FURTHER: “PRIOR TO [THIS] OUR BREATHING APPARATUS WAS WHAT THEY CALLED A CANISTER TYPE OF BREATHING APPARATUS … IT WAS JUST A CANISTER THAT YOU HAD IN FRONT OF YOU HERE AND IT WAS LAYERS OF … GEL, AND SAND, AND SILICA … THERE WAS A SHELF-LIFE WITH THOSE THINGS. IF YOU USED THEM, YOU PRETTY WELL HAD TO DISCARD THEM AFTER YOU USED THEM.” WHEN ASKED WHEN THIS TYPE OF SCBA CAME INTO SERVICE, DZUREN STATED: “I WOULD PROBABLY SAY MAYBE IN THE ‘70S SOMETIME? … I RECALL GUYS GOING IN WHEN WE JUST HAD THOSE CANISTERS. THEY WOULD GO WITHOUT ANYTHING. AND THEY WOULD COME OUT AFTER A WHILE AND THEY WOULD BE BARFING THEIR GUYS OUT … IT SEEMED TO BE, EVEN PRIOR TO MY TIME, WHEN THE STORIES I HEARD FROM GUYS THERE LONGER THAN MYSELF, THAT SEEMED TO BE THE MACHO THING. GET IN THERE AND THEY’D GET IN THERE WITHOUT A MASK. BUT EVENTUALLY, YOU KNOW, BETTER THINKING CAME ALONG AND SAID ‘DON’T BE SILLY, GET SOME STUFF ON THERE.’ BUT ONCE THEY GOT IT, AND THEY STARTED TO USE IT, YOU DID FEEL A LOT BETTER GOING IN, ‘CAUSE PRIOR TO USE GETTING THAT WE HEARD THE HORROR STORIES OF GUYS WHO DID SUCCUMB TO THE ELEMENTS BECAUSE OF ALL THOSE CANISTER TYPES, BUT ONCE THEY GOT [THIS SCBA] IT WAS BETTER.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Catalogue Number
P20150010017
Acquisition Date
2015-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail