Safety issue with Sabre Contour SCBA

March 23, 2005

The Union has become aware of a meeting held on the 15th March between the manufacturers of Sabre Contour Air Sets and the Department where demand valve problems with Sabre Contour SCBA were discussed.The manufacturer conceded that the demand valves were constantly leaking air which “would limit the operating time of the air set.”

The Department has not seen fit to advise the Union or any of our members of this fact. In the interests of safety the Union now does advise all members using Sabre Contour Air sets that the leak will reduce the operational time span of the air set.

At this stage, the Union believes that the 477 affected air sets are in use mainly in the Illawarra and southern regions of NSW.

The Union will seek urgent discussions with the Department in order to learn more about this issue.

Until the matter is rectified and/or more information is forthcoming as to the extent of the problem all members using Sabre Contour Air Sets are advised to be aware of the possibility that their operating time is less than they might think and that all members are advised to check their pressure gauges regularly.

Additionally, members engaged in First and Second Stage BA Control are strongly advised to factor the reduced operational time span into calculations for entry/exit times for SCBA wearers at incidents and drills.

Darryl Snow                               



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