Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus program gets new facility at Brayton Fire Training Field

3/30/2017 12:00 AM

COLLEGE STATION - A new $2.4 million facility for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is under construction at Brayton Fire Training Field of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The 9,100-square-foot building will hold 28 trailers with 32 SCBA on each trailer – for a total of 896 SCBA.

The building will include a compressor room, a diagnostics room for flow testing and repairs, a facepiece wash room, an office and breakroom, along with restroom facilities, which will be available for students and staff. Designed by Patterson Architects, the building is expected to be completed in mid-June by contractor Quad-Tex Construction, in advance of the July Fire Training Schools.

TEEX staff perform an estimated 75,000 refills on SCBA per year, said Chris Masterson, SCBA Training Support Foreman.  SCBA support is required for many of ESTI’s Program training scenarios; Industrial, HazMat, Rescue, Municipal, Marine, and Extension are all programs that routinely utilize SCBA. “Other TEEX divisions have their SCBA equipment maintained and flow tested here as well,” he added.

“Annual testing of every SCBA is required and we also have to sample the air that the compressors are producing so as to ensure the sampled air meets the NFPA standard for breathing air,” Masterson said. “Our SCBA program is also audited by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection to ensure it follows established guidelines.”

A little known fact is that Brayton Fire Training Field has 2.5 miles of stainless steel tubing as part of the Air System that delivers breathing air to each project.  Three Breathing Air Compressors produce high-quality breathing air to a pressure of ~4500 psi, he said. This air is stored in large cylinder banks throughout the field to facilitate the volume needed for SCBA refills at every firefighting project.

Chris Masterson, Julian Alvarado Sr. and Mike Brown of TEEX are certified as SCBA Technicians. They are assisted by Student Technicians Edwin Castillo, Erick Plasencia, Nick Knoerzer and Chase Nobles.     

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