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June 20, 2019
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Last Chance Rescue Filters
Updated On: Sep 01, 2010

 The “Last Chance Rescue Filter” device and carrying case has been issued to be attached to, and carried, as part of each SCBA. The Last Chance Filter is a onetime use device that is only to be utilized in an out of air emergency or SCBA malfunction. Under no circumstances may the filter be used to extend work time in an IDLH environment.  

A.     Training

Department members shall be trained according to the manufacturer’s specifications (care, inspection, use, mayday, and limitations) for the Last Chance Filter upon unit being issued, and then at least annually. Training shall consist of classroom as well as a practical evolution. Training units must not be used in an IDLH atmosphere. Training shall be documented in the firefighters training record. Initial training shall utilize the manufacturer’s program. Members shall also be trained in the Norwalk Fire Department Mayday procedure (SOP 2.082).


The department also has six (6) training units that allow for training in attachment and use of the device. Training units are red; the actual unit is blue. Training units must not be used in an IDLH atmosphere.

B.     Inspection 

Department members will inspect SCBA and filter packaging at the beginning of each shift and after each alarm where the filter may be exposed to the elements or other hazardous conditions.


Filters will be inspected monthly and documented in the department’s monthly SCBA logs.


In the event of damage to the foil package the company officer shall be notified and unit taken out of service with and forwarded to the Deputy Chief, who will in turn forward to the Assistant Chief.

If the firefighter has any doubt of the filter’s condition the unit shall be taken out of service.

If a filter is reported missing or opened, the company officer shall be notified. The company officer shall notify the Deputy Chief so that a replacement can be obtained and the matter referred for an investigation.

All documents shall be cc to the Assistant Fire Chief.


C.    Emergency Use

A Mayday should have already been initiated when a filter is placed in use and updated after filter is utilized. (In a case of catastrophic SCBA failure the filter may need to be utilized before the Mayday would be given).  


If unit is utilized in an emergency the company officer and the firefighter or firefighters shall notify the Deputy Chief for documentation, replacement and investigation. All documentation should be cc to the Assistant Chief.


Important Points to Remember

  • The filter is not a substitute for good air management practices.
  • The filter shall not to be used to extend your time in an IDLH atmosphere
  • As the name implies the filter is your “Last Chance” and should only be used as such in an emergency after you have initiated a mayday and initiated self rescue techniques.

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