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maritime DC & PPE Information Center
personnel protection

Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)


The SCBA Damage Control/Firefighting (DC/FF) shipboard equipment is the replacement for the current Oxygen Breathing Apparatus (OBA).

The SCBA provides the firefighter with air for breathing while in a fire or another hazardous environment. It consists of a composite cylinder for high pressure (4,500 psi) air storage and regulators to reduce air pressure to useable levels. Air is provided to the user at above ambient pressure to provide a positive pressure in the facepiece and prevent hazardous gases from entering.

There are currently four configurations in the USN that are explained in SCBA Tip 029: USN SCBA Configurations. Helpful shipboard warranty information is found in SCBA Tip 036: SCBA Warranty and Corrective Maintenance.

The SCBA can be recharged in one minute utilizing the quick-fill connection. The quick-fill consists of a quick disconnect and manifold, which transfers air from the Air Booster Pump Assembly (ABPA) and automatically stops when cylinder pressure equals the ABPA set point of 4,500 psig. Information on the various configurations for breathing apparatus systems is found in Systems Description, Tips and Information area under  Breathing Air System.

Online courses about the SCBA apparatus and the Breathing Air system are available in the following ways:

  1. For rapid access familiarization are available at http://dte.anteon.com/STEP_Program/. A course certificate is not available at this time.
  2. Download the large files in the Computer-Based Training (CBT) area of this website.
  3. CNE is working to make these courses available through NKO.
  4. SCOTT has provided a streaming video available at www.damagecontrol.tv under SCBA Operation and Maintenance that is very informative.

For more information, see the Index

Image of SCBA Quick-Fill Configuration showing high pressure filter assembly, air booster pump assembly and BACS
Image of SCBA Quick-Fill Configuration

Image of Sailor Wearing SCBA
Image of Sailor Wearing SCBA