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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Air management

Air management is essential to the safe and effective operation of breathing apparatus operations. It begins when BA wearers go under air, i.e. after they have been briefed and have confirmed receipt of instructions.

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Operational practice

It is essential that BA wearers return to the BA entry control point either before the low pressure warning device or whistle activates or by a pre-determined time of return specified in the briefing and instructions. Following deployment, BA wearers are responsible for their own air management.

In addition to duties outlined in BA operational procedures – all incidents, the following responsibilities apply:

Role and responsibilities of the BA team leader

The BA team leader will:

  • Ensure that every BA wearer returns to the BA entry control point before their low pressure warning device or whistle activates
  • Inform the BA entry control operative immediately if they become aware that this cannot be achieved

Role and responsibilities of the BA wearer

The BA wearer will:

  • Read their own gauge and make calculations
  • Take responsibility for informing the BA team leader of the pressure at which they will need to start exiting the risk area
  • Make the BA team leader aware of their gauge readings on a regular basis, so that work can be shared evenly in the team to maximise the remaining working duration
  • Inform the BA team leader of any variation in their expected air consumption rate