You are in a dark, heat, smoke filled room, and you are taking your last breath. You think to yourself now what?. Your mind quickly goes to a check list of things to do. During this check list, your family comes to mind. Is this it? I’m never going to see them again. The nervousness and anxiety is starting to overcome your thoughts. Is it really time for this? I never thought I would use this. As you grab your pouch, you take a deep breath (your last from your SCBA supply) and tear open the bag and pull out your Last Chance Rescue Filter and exchange your regulator for it. Now you have given yourself a second chance, the last chance.
The Last Chance Rescue Filter is a device designed to give firefighters a last chance effort to escape a smoke filled environment when their air supply runs outs. You may tell yourself that you will never allow yourself to run out of air. I’m sure the past LODD involving out of air emergencies would have loved the chance to use this device in time of need. I personally teach on Out of Air Emergencies and a Firefighter Confidence and Survival course through Fire and Rescue Concepts. But that does not mean that I will never be in a situation where I will run out of air. I personally carry a Last Chance Rescue Filter with me while I’m on duty. I even carry one while I perform live fire training, whether it is an acquired structure or a burn building, because you never know when you may need it. I’d rather have it and not need it, then need it and not have it .
Where did the Last Chance Rescue Filter come from?
Eric George, a firefighter in Connecticut, invented a lifesaving concept for firefighters trapped in an out of air emergency. He licensed his technology to Brookdale (a DuPont company in Canada) to bring his idea to market. This was the birth of the EVAC Pro. The EVAC Pro was a big hit and highly looked at as a premier escape device. But It was discovered that Brookdale’s packaging design on the Evac Pro and related products was fatally flawed, which resulted in a total product recall; this was the end of Brookdale and the Evac pro. So if you currently have an Evac Pro, I suggest that you remove it from service immediately. With a huge void left in firefighter survival, Essex recognized the importance of keeping Eric George’s concept alive by giving firefighters a new plan for out of air emergencies. Essex Industries acquired Brookdale’s assets from DuPont along with the license to manufacture Eric George’s patented technology. Essex’s engineering team designed the Last Chance Rescue Filter using materials that stand up to the rigors of fighting fires and successfully meet the EN403 standard through third party testing. Essex’s teamed up with Yale University to conduct a live burn in Hamden, CT to prove out the efficacy of the Last Chance and prove that there’s enough O2 in a structural fire to sustain life. Each day, firefighters are committing themselves to becoming leaders in the field by utilizing proven technology and solidifying their plan for out of air emergencies.
Is the Last Chance Rescue Filter compatible with my SCBA?
Currently the Last Chance Rescue Filter is compatible with the following
SCOTT SCBA MASKS: AV-2000, AV-3000, SCOTT-O-VISTA
DRAEGER SCBA MASKS: PANORAMA NOVA-P, FUTURA P, F2P, FPS 7000
MSA SCBA MASK: FIREHAWK
SPERIAN SCBA MASKS: TWENTY TWENTY PLUS
ISI SCBA MASKS: RDV FACEMASKS
How does it work?
-Contaminated air is drawn through the Last Chance Rescue Filters three main layers of protection:
-N95 pleated filter (Captures solid matter, soot and particulates)
-Activated Carbon Filter (Scrubs or absorbs the toxic gases)
- Manganese Dioxide/Copper Oxide (hopkalite) (Converts CO to Carbon Dioxide)
The makers of the Last Chance Rescue Filter certify their product to filter out the harmful particles and smoke for 15 minutes. This does not mean that you have an extra 15 minutes to allow you to stay in and work longer. But this means that the time needed for your escape or the incoming RIT team is there. Understand that the Last Chance Rescue Filter does not give you more 02. It only filters out the harmful particles in the atmosphere for short amount of time. Individuals wishing to use this product need to undergo training with the training unit in a non-smoke environment before In-service status the Last Chance Rescue Filter. The Last Chance Rescue Filter is encased in a vacuumed sealed moisture barrier and has a shelf life of 5 years from the date of manufacture. There is also a protective cover designed to carry and protect the filter. The protective cover can be attached to a SCBA waist belt or a bail out belt of some kind. Firefighters must understand that they need to take care of this piece of equipment just like any other piece used for life safety. I suggest that firefighters do a daily and after run check of the device to make sure the filter and or vacuum sealed moisture barrier has been damaged in any way shape or form. Once the filter has been used once or the moisture barrier has been breached, then the used of the filter is now void. Remember the main killer of the EVAC Pro was the fact that moisture was allowed to enter into the filter before use. The makers of the Last Chance Rescue Filter will replace any filter that is used in any firefighter escape in an actual incident.
When would you use it?
-A firefighter becomes lost and disoriented and is running out of air. There is not enough time to get out.
-With the Last Chance Rescue Filter , he would be able to take the last breath of supplied air, clip in the Last Chance Rescue Filter , have 15 minutes to get out and/or continue to update RIT for rescue.
-Also, his mask remains ON, ready for RIT to replace the filter with supplied air versus RIT having to replace the firefighters mask.
-A firefighter’s air pack becomes trapped and he can’t get out of the jam.
Only in the extreme case should a firefighter remove an air pack. Without the air pack, the firefighter has no PASS device, transfill , or buddy breathing hose.
- By donning the Last Chance Rescue Filter the firefighter can escape without the air pack!
- A firefighter experiences a sudden SCBA failure and suddenly you’re out of air.
- Don the Last Chance Rescue Filter and get out!
-RIT team is called in for multiple downed firefighters and there is not enough supplied air.
-Carry additional Last Chance Rescue Filter in RIT bags for this circumstance.
I invite every firefighter to watch to video below and let us know if you have any question.
You can purchase the Last Chance Rescue Filter on our online store or contact Eric Stroud at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have incorporated the Last Chance Rescue Filter with our Firefighter Confidence and Survival Training