UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) released a report detailing a deflagration incident at a 2.16 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (ESS) facility in Surprise, Arizona. The report provides a detailed technical account of the explosion and fire service response, along with recommendations on how to improve codes, standards, and emergency response training to better protect first responders, maintenance personnel and nearby communities. "The ability to study lithium-ion battery-related fires on this scale with first-person accounts from the responding firefighters is critically important to protecting the lives of first responders in similar situations," said Steve Kerber, Vice President of Research at UL FSRI. "We're dealing with new technology, which brings about new fire-related hazards. We have an opportunity to learn from this incident and improve future outcomes by sharing resources and enhancing training and safety protocols." hazardous materials training This report is a first-of-its-kind research effort from UL FSRI to capture the experience of surviving firefighters to better understand a potentially devastating situation. Four career firefighters with specialized hazardous materials (hazmat) training were severely injured in the explosion. They recounted their experience to help inform the report, the investigation team's understanding of how the fire and gases behaved, and subsequent recommendations for ESS safety training. We're incredibly grateful for Peoria and Surprise Fire-Medical teams and Arizona Public Service" "Typically, these kinds of events are examined when a fatality occurs," Kerber continued. "But with this report, we're trying to make sure the firefighter experiences are taken into account, providing valuable context to the findings so that they can be channeled into actionable insights for other fire service personnel to prevent future close calls and potential fatalities. We're incredibly grateful for Peoria and Surprise Fire-Medical teams and Arizona Public Service for providing information to support learning from this incident." fire service training Lithium-ion battery ESS facilities have proliferated in recent years, presenting new challenges for the fire protection community. Sourcing the experiences of the firefighters, the UL FSRI report recommends new standards and codes for ESS sites, research programs, and curricula. Recommendations include fire service training with an emphasis on ESS safety, remotely accessible gas monitoring systems, explosion prevention protection, and full-scale testing research to understand the most effective and safest tactics for fire service response to lithium-ion battery ESS incidents.
The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2019 annual conference in Edmonton, Alberta June 8-14. More than 110 Metro chiefs from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the conference and elected the Association’s 2019-2020 officers and board members. The officers are: Chief Mike Duyck, president; Tualatin Valley, Oregon Fire & Rescue District Chief John Lane, vice president; Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba Chief Don Lombardi, secretary; West Metro, Colorado Fire Protection District Chief Robert Rocha, treasurer; Corpus Christi, Texas Fire Department The new board members Chief Eric Tade, board member; Denver, Colorado Fire Department Chief (retired) William Bryson, re-elected as the senior board member for a second year; Miami and Miami-Dade, Florida Fire and Rescue Departments Chief Edward “Loy” Senter, Jr., alternate board member, Chesterfield County, Virginia, Fire & EMS Chief (retired) Otto Drozd III, immediate past president, Orange County, Florida Fire and Rescue Department Chief Mark Light, IAFC Executive Director and CEO issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members. The Metro Chiefs 2019 Metro awards and honors: Chief Kevin McGee of the Prince William County (VA) Fire DepartmentFire Chief of the Year Chief (retired) Mary Beth Michos, former Deputy Executive Director/Chief of Operations of the IAFC and former Chief of the Prince William County (VA) Fire DepartmentReceived the Lifetime Achievement Award Steve Kerber, Vice President of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Received the President’s Award of Distinction Lori Moore-Merrell, President and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute and longtime assistant to the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Honorary Member of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association.Moore-Merrell is only the fourth person in the Association’s 54-year history to receive this honor. The previous three recipients being George D. Miller and James M. Shannon, both former NFPA Presidents and Chief Ernest Mitchell, a former USFA Administrator Fire safety dignitaries in attendance An education program focused on two major themes: Data/Technology and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) USFA Administrator G. Keith Bryant, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley, IAFC President and Chair of the Board Dan Eggleston, IAFC CEO and Executive Director Mark Light, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs President and conference host, Ken Block, CFO Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the UK, CFO Peter Holland, the United Kingdom’s Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety, Netherlands Fire Service President Stephan Wevers, Australasian Fire Authorities Council CEO Stuart Ellis, and the Mexican Association of Fire Chiefs President Adolfo Miguel Duque Benavente were just a few of the many dignitaries in attendance representing partner associations. Presentations on EMS and Data/Technology A comprehensive education program focused on two major themes: Data/Technology and Emergency Medical Service (EMS). EMS presentations addressed Past, Present and Future Issues, Whole Blood Transfusions, and Community Paramedicine. Several interesting Data/Technology topics were presented, such as an update on NFORS/FireCares; there is an App for That, Data Helps Me Sleep at Night, and more. A motion was adopted authorizing the Metro president to sign a MoU with the Next Generation 911 Alliance Numerous other presentations addressed a wide-range of topics including Generational Differences in the Fire Service, Terrorism Incidents, the latest in Fire Research and Science from the Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, as well as updates on topics such as, Wildland Fires and FirstNet’s Public Safety Network, which included panel discussions. Next Generation 911 Alliance During the business sessions, a motion was adopted authorizing the Metro president to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Next Generation 911 Alliance to advocate for Congressional funding of NG911. Motions were also adopted to provide financial support to the Canadian and United States Fallen Fire Fighters Associations, and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Metro President Otto Drozd III and Comandante Adolfo Miguel Duque Benavente, Presidente, Asociación Méxicana De Jefes De Bomberos, signed a partnership agreement between the two associations. Large metropolitan fire departments Fire Chiefs Special thanks was sent to Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block and entire team and the Metro loyal sponsors who went beyond in making this conference the outstanding event it was. The 2020 Metro conference will be hosted by Chief Darryl Jones of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bureau of Fire. The conference is scheduled for June 6-10. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.