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SEL Number: 01AR-05-COMB
Title: Equipment, Respiratory Protection, Combination

Last Updated: 3/20/2024 10:24:58 AM

Previous SEL Number: 01AR-05-COMB

Description: A combination unit respirator employs the technology of at least two different types of respiratory protective devices, with one being an open-circuit self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA ) and the other method being an air-purifying or powered air-purifying respirator. The operating mode is selectable by the wearer.

Must be approved by NIOSH as a compliant combination respirator in accordance with 42 CFR 84, SubPart P, and be certified as compliant with the requirements of NFPA 1987. Appropriate Cautions and Limitations of Use apply for each respirator type/mode of operation.

ImportantFeatures: Combination equipment combines the advantages of multiple operational modes. For example, an SCBA /PAPR combination allows the user to extend mission time by utilizing the PAPR while ambient air is within tolerances, and switching to SCBA mode when ambient oxygen is not sufficient.

NFPA 1987, Standard on Combination Unit Respirator Systems for Tactical and Technical Operations, addresses the design, use, testing, and certification of CURs not covered by any existing provisions. This standard applies to combination PAPR or APR and self-contained breathing apparatus used in tactical operations, including:

- Rescue response missions
- Emergencies involving hazardous materials
- Terrorist incident response
- Similar types of operations where products of combustion, oxygen deficiency, particulates, or toxic products create immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) atmospheres

NFPA 1987 specifies the minimum requirements for the certification, labeling, design, performance, and testing of new CURs, replacement parts, components, and accessories. The standard specifies that CURs are tested for CBRN permeation and penetration as well as environmental and human performance.

NIOSH approval is contingent upon and will be issued in conjunction with NFPA 1987 certification. Appropriate Cautions and Limitations of Use apply for each respirator type/mode of operation.

Operating Considerations: Worn in conjunction with Incident Commander guidance and an NFPA-certified ensemble appropriate for threat.

It is important to note that when these devices are used, only one mode is used at a time. From a user standpoint, when a combination respirator with SCBA capability is used in that mode, it should provide all of the protections and functions expected of an SCBA , including CBRN protection. For some threat environments, only one mode may be appropriate for the exposure conditions (e.g., use of a SCBA /PAPR only in SCBA mode when Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) conditions exist). The capability of operation in alternative modes does not lessen the individual protection requirements in each mode.

Consideration should be given to protection of filters in an IDLH environment to avoid passive contamination.

Training Requirements: Core Training: NFPA 470, Chapter 6, 8, 10 as applicable, OSHA 1910.120, OSHA 1910.134, NFPA 1404.
Initial Training: Extensive (>2 days)
Sustainment Training: Extensive (>2 days)

Mandatory Standards:

Applicable Standards and References:

  • Law Enforcement: Bomb Squad
  • Law Enforcement: Forensic Technician
  • Law Enforcement: Maritime
  • Medical: Point of Dispensing
  • Mortuary Operations
  • REL: Full Canadian Recommended Equipment List
  • REL: LOS-1, Multi-Agency Intervention
  • REL: LOS-2, Scout/Reconnaissance Mission