Provided by Alan Walker
‘The Proto breathing apparatus was a 2 hour duration set, and always were operated in pairs so if one got into trouble the other was a backup. It was used in the HMAS Tarakan fire 25 January 1950.
It was a re-breathing set that was dosed by a small flow of oxygen from a 2 litre oxygen cylinder. The re-breathing bag was at the front of the body and the oxygen cylinder at the back. The canister at the front top was filled with soda lime to scrub the exhalation breath of Co2 the dose. These sets were in service until 1988 and were replaced with dragger oxygen re-breathers but these to were phased out in 1998 in preference of twin cylinder compressed air breathing sets.
From the beginning of the permanent fire service in 1884 up until World War 2, firemen used to have parades and demonstrations on frequent occasions. Note the image of the sailor in the foreground.
World War 2 firemen were issued with “tin helmets” if they had to fight fires during hostilities.