PPE Training, Fit Testing, Evacuation Equipment

20180228_125015 w

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) staff can provide training, techniques and/or equipment for testing personal protective equipment (PPE) in the event of an emergency. While this is a free service, your organization must provide the equipment utilized for the training. To schedule an appointment for your organization, contact your regional EPR Coordinator for more information. Please note that agencies who use the PPE and/or PAPR are required to have their own policy and procedure in place.

Prior to EPR staff meeting with your organization, the following requirements must be met:

  • Respiratory Policy – A respiratory policy or respiratory protection program/plan must be in place.
  • Medical Evaluation – All individuals who will receive FIT testing must have completed a medical evaluation prior to the test. You may utilize the OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire for this process.

EPR staff can also help train your organization in the use of certain specific types of evacuation equipment. We will bring the evacuation equipment to the training.

Following successful completion of the training, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health will provide your organization with a completion certificate.

PPE Donning/Doffing

IMG_6182 cEPR staff are certified as Level C PPE instructors and are trained in donning and doffing Level C PPE and PAPR systems. A full description of the four levels of PPE can be found through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Level A Protection

  • Positive pressure, full face piece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or positive pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA;
  • Totally encapsulated chemical- and vapor-protective suit;
  • Inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves;
  • Disposable protective suit, gloves and boots.

Level B Protection

  • Positive pressure, full face piece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or positive pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA;
  • Inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves;
  • Face shield;
  • Hooded chemical resistant clothing
  • Coveralls;
  • Outer chemical-resistant boots.

Level C Protection

  • Full-face air purifying respirators;
  • Inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves;
  • Hard hat;
  • Escape mask;
  • Disposable chemical-resistant outer boots.

Level D Protection

  • Gloves;
  • Coveralls;
  • Safety Glasses;
  • Face Shield;
  • Chemical-resistant, steel-toe boots or shoes.

Fit Testing

SCAN1007_001 cwA fit test tests the seal a respirator’s face piece makes on your face. Th is test takes 15-20 minutes and should be performed annually.

There are two types of fit tests: qualitative and quantitative. However, EPR staff only conduct quantitative fit testing at this time. More information about the tests is located online through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test that uses your taste or smell reaction to an irritant to test leakage into a facepiece.

Quantitative fit testing uses a PortaCount machine to measure the actual amount of particulate leakage into the face piece, and does not rely on an individual’s sense of taste, smell or irritation.

Not everyone can get a good fit with one specific respirator. Upon completing the fit testing, each individual will need to know which make, model, style and size respirator works best with their face. These factors could change due to a variety of conditions:

  • Large weight gain/loss;
  • Major dental work;
  • Facial surgery;
  • Significant scarring in the area of the seal.

Facial hair such as a beard or mustache likely will affect your respirator’s ability to protect you. Anything that serves as a barrier between your face and a respirator’s seal, or gets into the respirator’s valves, can allow contaminated air to leak into the respirator facepiece.

Evacuation Equipment

IMG_6153 cIn the event of an emergency, your staff may be required to utilize evacuation equipment to help others reach safety. EPR staff can present how to utilize two tool options for your organization: evacuation chairs and evacuation sleds.

An Evac+Chair belts an individual into a seat for safety and then uses a friction-based track system to safety transport and individual down stairs. While a ParaSlyde serves the same general purpose, it accomplishes this in a drastically different way. EPR staff will demonstrate how to assemble the heavy duty cardboard sled and how to safely slide an individual along the ground or across an uneven surface, including stairs.

Additional Resources

Fit Testing Check-Out Form

PPE Checklist & Procedures 

How to Wear a Respirator

OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire

Respiratory Protection Program Example from SW Region

Respiratory Protection Program Example from SE Region

  1. Crystalynn Kuntz

    Emergency Preparedness Regional Coordinator

  2. Kalen Ost

    Emergency Preparedness Information Specialist

  3. Public Health

    Physical Address
    500 E. Front Ave.
    Bismarck, ND 58504


    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 5503
    Bismarck, ND 58504

    Phone: 701-355-1540
    Fax: 701-221-6883