Breathing Apparatus

FOI Number: 23162

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, Breathing Apparatus, is detailed below.

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Freedom of Information

Published on 2 February 2024

WMFS OFFICIAL – NEW – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI23162 

Ref: FOI/23162 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST 

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request. 

Please find below a summary of our findings. 

Request 

Would it be possible for you to answer some simple question in relation to your FireFighter life critical breathing air. 

1.Is your breathing air tested to BS EN 12021 (2014) 

Reply 

Yes 

Request 

2. Do you charge your breathing apparatus cylinders to 300bars pressure. 

Reply 

Yes 

Request 

3. Is your breathing air tested by your Fire Service personnel or a contractor? 

Reply 

External Contractor 

Request 

4. Is your breathing air tested monthly or every three months? 

Reply 

Bi-Monthly 

Request 

5. If every three months does your high pressure compressor have a constant air quality monitoring device? 

Reply 

N/A 

Request 

6. Do you allow your compressor/s to remain in service is it fails to meet the minimum standard of BS EN 12021 (2014) 

Reply 

No 

Request 

7. If a breathing air compressor fails to meet the standards above do you have a lock out procedure. 

Reply 

Maintenance contractor would isolate equipment 

Request 

8. Other than testing the air quality at source do you have a “random cylinder air testing policy”. 

Reply 

West Midlands don’t have a policy for randomly testing the air quality in cylinders, that is why the air quality is tested at each compressor site to highlight any issues. If there was a problem with the air quality at a particular site, the affected cylinders could then be traced through the compressor charging log-book which is filled in with the cylinder numbers that are being charged. 

Request 

9. Would it be possible to have any fire service policy, procedures or risk assessments in relation to the above under freedom of information. 

Simply I’m trying to get a simple policy within the questions asked.  i.e. if the tested breathing air does not meet the minimum standard of BS EN 12021 2014 do you allow the compressor to remain in service and if not what is the lock out procedure to prevent cylinders being charged with air uncertificated air. 

Reply 

If the tested breathing air does not meet the minimum standard of BS EN 12021 2014 the contractors would not allow to remain in service. 

The ‘lock out procedure’ to prevent cylinders being charged with air uncertificated air would be to isolate unit and place “off the run” signage 

From a maintenance perspective we do not hold any further policy, procedures or risk assessments as we pay an external contractor to maintain and service. 

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.  

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF. 

Please note: Due to a migration and ensuring the accessibility of our policies and documents where possible, not all documents referenced in our FOI's are available. If you require a copy of a document referenced in our FOI's which is not linked below or is in a format that is not accessible to you, please email contact@wmfs.net.