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“It doesn’t matter if you’re underway to heaven or hell, you’ll still have to change in Atlanta!” No other saying expresses better the function of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia’s capital city. The airport is geographically located, that allows 80 % of the US population reachable within two hours flying time, Atlanta is the most important transfer airport in the USA:
  • 89 % of all flights to/from Atlanta are internal and 152 of the192 gates are reserved for this purpose.
  • At peak times, there are over 200 flights per hour and in 2019, Atlanta handled a total of 904,3011 aircraft movements.
  • Since 1998, the US hub leads the international passenger volume statistics. With the exception of the corona year 2020, as from 2015, the airport has handled more than a hundred million passengers annually. Atlanta is, therefore, the world’s busiest airport.

Only the best for the biggest

The PANTHER has proven to be absolutely reliable in tough daily operations In 2019, Atlanta, Peking, Los Angeles, Dubai, and Tokyo represented the ranking sequence of the world’s largest airports in terms of passenger volume and they all have one thing in common. As far as the “front line” of their ARFFs is concerned, they all rely on Rosenbauer’s flagship vehicle, the PANTHER.

For example, the Airport Battalion of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department has had six PANTHERs in service for the past two years, which have long passed their baptism of fire and proven to be absolutely reliable in tough daily operations. As a consequence, the Airport has ordered another three PANTHERs with the result that from next year onwards its ARFF vehicle fleet will consist entirely of Rosenbauer ARFF vehicles.

Versatility of the series

Orlando, Miami, Houston, Nashville, and Fort Lauderdale are other large US airports that operate PANTHERs in their fleet, including the United States Air Force, United States Army, and the United States Coast Guard. The versatility of the series plays a decisive role in this connection, as for example the vehicles on 4x4 and 6x6 chassis can be delivered as compact versions suitable for air transport.

In turn, the larger trucks with 6x6 and 8x8 chassis can be fitted with the Rosenbauer STINGER extinguishing arm and thus be augmented to form genuine quints. The extinguishing arm can be extended to 16.5m (20m as an option) and apart from a water/foam turret also carries a piercing tool for remote interior attacks utilizing penetration through the outer hull of the aircraft.

Performance that pays

What makes the PANTHER particularly special is the perfect integration of its chassis, superstructure and extinguishing technology systems, which not only creates maximum driving dynamics and extinguishing performance, but also safety and reliability. When sprinting across an airport, the truck attains maximum speeds of up to 135 km/h and the uncompromising all-wheel-drive system with rigid axles and coil springs gives a smooth ride even over rough ground.

With a firefighting system output of up to 10,000 l/min, the extinguishing agent payload can be depleted in less than 120 seconds. The vehicle’s water/foam turrets have a range of up to 100 m and during pump & roll operation, the turrets and self-protection devices can be activated during the response.

Depending upon the axle configuration, (4x4, 6x6, or 8x8), a PANTHER carries between 7,000 and 19,000 l of extinguishing agents to the emergency scene. Moreover, the diversity of the extinguishing agents on board, means that fire services can successfully deal with any fire, irrespective of whether this involves burning kerosene, aluminum, or composite materials, etc.

Everything for safety

PANTHER can be equipped with a 360-degree Birdseye view camera, which gives the operator an overhead view When responding to an alarm, the PANTHER crew is ideally protected in its crash-tested and ECE R29-3 certificated cabin. A high-strength X-frame also forms a safety cage around the occupants.  Optimum panorama vision is provided by generous glass areas in the cab and sufficient light is furnished by powerful halogen searchlights and scene lights, plus an integrated LED warning light system.

In addition, the PANTHER can be equipped with a 360-degree Birdseye view camera, which gives the operator an overhead view of the area around the vehicle, and a FLIR camera for infrared images in poor visibility. As options, an Electronic Stability Control system (ESC) is available for enhanced driving safety along with a tire pressure monitoring system.

The PANTHER also carries a type of black box, like that used in aircraft, which supplies a permanent flow of data about the vehicle that covers its speed, lateral, longitudinal, and vertical acceleration, the position of the accelerator pedal, the steering wheel angle, activation of the brake pedal, vehicle tilt and the operational duration and location.

Airport Battalion Atlanta

The Airport Battalion at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the seven units belonging to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. This is a professional fire service with around 1,100 employees, which has responsibility for the entire city area including the airport. The assignments of the Battalion not only include firefighting in the case of an aircraft accident, but also mobile and stationary fire protection in buildings and emergency medical services.

On the 1,922 ha airport site, it operates five firehouses consisting of Station 24 on the taxiway to the two northern runways (26R + 26L), Station 32 in the terminal area (without ARFF vehicles), Stations 33 and 40 for the two southern runways (27R + 27L) and Station 35 in the cargo zone.

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How Sustainable Is Fire Safety Equipment?
How Sustainable Is Fire Safety Equipment?

Fire prevention and fire safety have clear positive effects on the environment. However, it’s important for fire safety equipment to become as sustainable as possible to support this. This can include optimizations in the materials that are used, the design of products, or battery life, all of which can help to make fire safety equipment more sustainable. The priority for manufacturers in developing fire safety equipment is largely focused on safety, but in many cases, optimizations can be made that improve safety while also contributing to improved sustainability efforts. How Sustainable are Fire Extinguishers? The fire extinguisher is the most widely recognized piece of equipment in fire safety. Continued engineering progression has led to more sustainable fire extinguishers being developed. 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IoT’s Role In Fire Suppression
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Technological advances in recent decades have considerably improved fire alert systems. Fire sprinkler systems are now installed at a rate of 40 million units per year and now, 96% of buildings covered by sprinkler systems are potentially able to control fires without additional aid. The next step is predictive fire alarm maintenance, better fire detection, and more effective fire fighting. These capabilities rely on assessing massive amounts of data in realtime to enable predictive maintenance of fire safety equipment, faster fire detection, better operational decisions and better risk assessments. The Internet of Things will be critical for these capabilities. Designing smart buildings The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), sometimes called edge-computing, describes the connection of physical objects to the internet. It also describes the communication between regular, everyday objects online. 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Safeguarding History: Fire Protection For Heritage Buildings
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While heat and smoke are obviously detrimental, the water used to fight the fire can cause problems too, along with the impact of having a building exposed to the elements. Historic England’s research in 2019 indicates that there were over 1,000 incidents requiring Fire & Rescue attendance including: Listed buildings: Grade I listed buildings x 15, Grade II listed buildings x 47, Grade II listed buildings x 343. World Heritage Sites x 16. Conservation Areas and locally listed buildings x 554. Fire safety professionals If a fire did occur, being able to identify the source would limit devastating The problem is, heritage often comes hand-in-hand with ongoing refurbishment to keep the often aged structures in good condition so they do not fall into disrepair, and those extensive projects will always be wrought with challenges, particularly protecting against fire. 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To support heritage buildings, Ramtech has wireless solutions that can be deployed no matter the size, location or timeframe that the temporary fire safety system is required for, For instance, when Great Scotland Yard and London contractor Galliard Homes needed to protect a Grade II-listed former metropolitan police headquarters undergoing a transformation into a luxury five-star hotel, it was important to have a system that could span across the vast Edwardian building, which was being extended (boasting 92,000 sq. ft. over seven stories). To protect the iconic structure Ramtech deployed a system of over 30 WES alarm call points and dust proof detectors. A GSM base station with text message alerts was also used to monitor the building for fire out-of-hours. Extensive internal alternations More than 60 WES alarm units were deployed across the site, to move with the flow of the project Similarly, the restoration of Bolton Albert Hall completed by contractor Willmott Dixon required extensive internal alternations while the building was still occupied by Bolton City Council, so a system of more than five WES alarm call points and heat detectors were deployed in the refurbishment areas. For projects that span long periods of time, such as the £30m renovation at Nottingham Castle by G.F Tomlinson – which lasted three years – or the six-year conversion project at Donaldson’s – a Grade A listed former school in the center of Edinburgh – by City & Country, having a system that can be scaled up or down quickly without the need for time-consuming wired installation is a must. Needing immediate notifications In Edinburgh, more than 60 WES alarm units were deployed across the site, to move with the flow of the project. 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Heritage buildings are irreplaceable, like the lives of those working on site. To safeguard the future of heritage sites, fire safety must remain a priority. The fire protection industry can do its part to raise standards by promoting the innovations available to it. At Ramtech, we are dedicated and passionate about providing the best solution to protect them and our technology is designed to accomplish this. We believe that by harnessing wireless technology, the construction industry benefits - these systems can be completely tailored to meet the modern challenges of individual sites, while protecting their history for future generations to enjoy.

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