Fire Emergency Response
Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutio...
Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has taken part in a series of multi-agency training exercises to tests its chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear response. The three training sessions, which fell under CBRNe, were designed to test how emergency services from across the region responded to incidents such as chemical spills and contamination. Training exercises These scenarios involved staff from Avon and Somerset Police, South Western Ambulance Service, Devon & Somerset Fire...
When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program fo...
LION Protects, globally renowned manufacturer of first responder personal protectiveres equipment (PPE) in the United States will host a grand opening of their newest TotalCare facility located at 735 Park North Boulevard, Suite 114, Clarkston, GA 30021 on November 8, 2019 (from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm). TotalCare fire gear maintenance TotalCare represents LION’s high-quality fire gear maintenance services, including PPE repair & retrofitting, advanced cleaning, decontamination, biohazar...
Automatic fire suppression specialist, Fireward Ltd, has rolled out high-tech mobile workforce management software, BigChange tracker, providing real-time visibility to field operations within the business. The App-based software, JobWatch sees field-based engineers equipped with rugged tablets, replacing all need for physical paperwork, delivering a 5-in-1 business solution incorporating a CRM, job scheduling, tracking, invoicing and management reporting. Formed in 2009, Fireward is regarded a...
The Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, released Oct. 30, examines events of 14 June, 2017, when 71 people were killed in a high-rise building fire at Grenfell Tower, a residential tower block in North Kensington, London. The report finds London Fire Brigade’s planning and preparation for such a fire was “gravely inadequate.” The report reflects the first phase of the inquiry. Investigators will consider problems related to design, maintenance and renovation of Grenf...
G3 Systems of Portland, Dorset, UK are pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Thain as Business Development Manager – Fire Protection Services. This is a new role focussing on the further international expansion of G3 Systems’ aviation and industrial fire protection services business, with an emphasis on development across the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Chris joins G3 Systems having worked most recently in Business Development and Marketing for Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, where he oversaw the profitable growth of commercial training and Fire Protection Services. Formerly, Chris was the Marketing Director of global maritime supplies company Unitor AS, serving in Oslo, Norway and Long Beach, California, before returning to the UK to set up his own consultancy business. Structural and aviation fire and rescue services G3 Systems currently provide both structural and aviation fire and rescue services to both international national operating standards. Services include emergency dispatch and response, fire safety, fire inspection and investigation, equipment and vehicle maintenance, testing and compliance, firefighter training and CPD and Medical Crash Crew / Ambulance Services. G3 Systems provide site security services, emergency medical services and client training The organization is presently providing operational fire and rescue services at the four international airports in air bases in Afghanistan, covering both civil and military aviation and delivering cover for up to Category 10 aircraft on a 24/7 basis. In addition, G3 Systems provide site security services, emergency medical services and client training in emergency response procedures as well as through life logistics support via mobile Field Service Engineers and forward deployed engineers. Other deployments include the delivery of facilities and infrastructure projects in Kenya and the Falkland Islands. Fire Protection Services Business Paul Holt, Business Development Director for G3 Systems said “I warmly welcome Chris into the G3 Systems family. We are excited to begin building our Fire Protection Services business across the Middle East market and beyond and our mission is to support our clients with the safest and most professional Emergency Fire and Rescue Services available today.” He continued “G3 Systems are now speaking with Oil, Gas, Petrochemical and Energy infrastructure companies with high risk sites across the region to assess their Emergency Response plans and to consider how their on-site fire protection services could be both streamlined and improved”. G3 Systems are a group subsidiary of IAP Worldwide.
According to the Government, the key function for UKSAR services is to “ensure a coordinated response to emergencies in order to search for, rescue and recover those missing or in distress or potential distress on land, sea and shore line areas, including tidal and inland waters and to coordinate those actions”. Coordinated rescue operations The Police (including the National Police Air Service), Fire & Rescue Services (including Flood Rescue and Urban SAR units), Ambulances Services (including Air Ambulance) and HM Coastguard are responsible for leading any emergency rescue scenario, aided on occasions by the military, especially Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopters, and the RNLI and independent lifeboat services at sea. However, the frontline emergency services often rely on additional help from specialist volunteer organizations, who are called out through the police via the 999 system to assist the police, fire and ambulance services. Volunteer organizations aid in rescue operations The members of these SAR teams are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year These organizations include Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Scottish Mountain Rescue and Mountain Rescue Ireland. There are 48 mountain rescue teams divided into nine regions. These are complemented by the 36 Lowland Rescue teams in England, Northern Ireland and Jersey, while the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) is the representative body for the 15 volunteer underground rescue organizations. The members of these SAR teams are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They recover injured, sick or lost climbers and walkers and help search for missing children and vulnerable adults. They also help rescue farm livestock and other animals from inaccessible places. SAR units communication with rescue organizations To be effective in their mission, SAR units must be able to communicate with one another and with other rescue organizations, so they can coordinate their activities and ensure an efficient search and rescue operation. The communication network will often need to operate in difficult physical terrain with teams spread out over a wide area on mountains, in forests and across moorlands. It is therefore absolutely essential that these organizations have access to robust, reliable, always available communications. The technology must be able to operate efficiently over mountainous terrain where it can be tricky to maintain RF line of sight and in extreme weather conditions. Transmissions may also need to be encrypted especially when conducting searches of a sensitive nature, such as missing persons. National Airwave TETRA two-way radio network Many SAR organizations have, or are moving to digital solutions, including Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) The main emergency services use the national Airwave TETRA two-way radio network, which is currently being migrated to the 4G LTE Emergency Services Network. The volunteer SAR organizations have to fund their own radio networks, but they do have access to two-way radio channels licensed to UK Search and Rescue. SAR radio networks may be analogue or digital. With limited channels available, traditional analogue radio solutions do not make the most effective use of the available resources, so many SAR organizations have, or are moving to digital solutions, including Digital Mobile Radio (DMR). Two-slot TDMA technology used in Digital Mobile Radios Switching to DMR means SARs can immediately double the number of channels available, as the two-slot TDMA technology used in DMR provides two 6.25kHz channels for each single analogue 12.5kHz channel. DMR networks also provide a clearer, more consistent connection with better signal strength at the edge of the cell than analogue systems. Hytera DMR radios can interoperate with existing analogue radios to communicate with other SAR organizations Modern DMR solutions from Hytera also have the benefit of providing a future proof digital platform on which new applications can be added as they become available (or affordable) to the volunteer SAR organizations. However, Hytera DMR radios can also interoperate with existing analogue radios should there be a need to communicate with other SAR organizations still using analogue or if mixed fleets are being used. Digital Mobile Radio network As an example of the kind of solution DMR provides, Derbyshire-based Hytera dealer Zycomm delivered a DMR network to the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organization (PDMRO) covering most of the Peak District. Zycomm set up a managed VPN (virtual private network) over the Internet to connect seven repeaters together over IP links with a master base station sited at their offices. Mountain rescue staff can communicate using simplex, half-duplex and direct mode. The GPS location application in the radio is a key feature as it allows rescue coordinators to see where each team member is located on a single screen, enabling them to track and direct their movements more efficiently. This can be particularly useful at night or in poor visibility conditions and means searchers do not have to try and communicate their position verbally over the radio. Importance of radio communications in rescue operations Hytera also provides full recording services, which can be used later to review operations and for training purposes Alternatively, radio communications may be provided by an incident control vehicle fitted with a DMR mobile radio, on-board repeater and retractable external antenna mast. SAR teams will know their local area’s topography and will site themselves in locations so that radio messages can be passed on from areas where the signal cannot reach the SAR controller directly. Another alternative is to carry a Hytera RD965 man-portable outdoor repeater. SAR teams can also be assigned different talk group channels to avoid too many transmissions getting in the way of relevant communications for particular search parties. However, as is often the case, if a single open channel is being used so that everyone can hear what is going on, then pre-agreed voice protocols can be used to manage communications. Hytera also provides full recording services, which can be used later to review operations and for training purposes. Hytera noise cancelling technology The radio terminals need to be lightweight and rugged, as well as shock-proof, dust, dirt and moisture resistant, and be able to operate in extreme temperatures. Hytera offers a range of DMR hand-portables with high MIL-STD 810G shock and drop resistance certification and high IP-ratings against dust and water ingress. Hytera noise cancelling technology helps deliver clear audio, which can be vital in noisy outdoor environments. Radios with visual display windows can also receive photos of missing persons and the like As well as the GPS-location feature for tracking, Hytera DMR radios support text messaging, which can be very useful for the accurate transmission of information such as map coordinates, which might get mis-heard over the voice network. Radios with visual display windows can also receive photos of missing persons and the like. Hytera Digital Mobile Radios Depending on the particular handset, Hytera radios also support a wide range of safety features on top of the standard emergency button. These include Man Down and Lone Worker alerts, which will automatically send a location fix with the alarm should a rescue worker suffer a fall or get into trouble and be unable to respond verbally when requested. Most, if not all, UKSAR organizations are entirely dependent on voluntary donations to support their work, so budgets for communication equipment can be limited. However, Hytera’s large portfolio of mobile and hand portable radios, accessories, applications and different repeater options will ensure a quality, reliable solution can be found to suit all budgets.
From the 16th October 2019 we will be able to request North Yorkshire Police’s drones to assist us at incident scenes. Thermal imaging drones North Yorkshire Police have been using drones since 2018 to assist with searches, examining crime scenes and at road traffic collisions. The drones use thermal imaging technology and are able to take photographs and videos. They were used earlier this year to assist us at a large fire in a workshop in Northallerton. Group Manager Mark Naylor from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said, “Working in partnership with North Yorkshire Police shows our commitment to collaboration through maximizing opportunities in the interest of community safety and protecting our staff. This new joint working will positively contribute to both organization’s priorities including caring about the vulnerable.” Rescues and fire extinguishing tasks “We will now be able to request drones at incident where people require rescue and at fires where we will be able to get a bird’s-eye view of fire spread, which will help our staff and also help protect members of our community.” Enabling the Fire Service to use our drones means that they can benefit from this resource in quick time" Temporary Police Sergeant Elaine Malcolm from North Yorkshire Police’s Partnership Hub, said, “We have seen many different ways drones can assist officers across the county, however we believe that drones can play a vital role in the work of all emergency services, not just the police.” Use of drones in fire response incidents He adds, “Often, significant incidents involving the police also involve partners such as the Fire Service, for example serious road collisions and large scale fires. Enabling the Fire Service to use our drones means that they can benefit from this resource in quick time, but also demonstrates our commitment to a partnership approach in the way we work. Further stating, “A partnership approach can only mean that things will be done faster and more robust, resulting in better service and swifter justice for victims and vulnerable members of our communities.”
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced that it has introduced the new Pierce Ultra Highrise Pumper (UHRP) at China Fire 2019 (Booth E2-9), in Beijing on October 16. Pierce Ultra Highrise Pumper China’s continued urbanization and economic growth, including the development of buildings reaching extraordinary heights, have led to a critical need for advanced fire protection throughout many provinces. With its first high-rise test UL certified, Pierce’s new UHRP includes momentous features including the ability to pump fire suppression agents up to 420 meters (1,378 feet) in height. Pierce’s UHRP includes momentous features like the ability to pump fire suppression agents up to 420 m In 2019, 60-percent of the world’s “super-tall” buildings currently under construction will be completed in China. Now with over 110 buildings exceeding 350 meters (1,148 feet) in height, China boasts a significant number of the world’s tallest buildings dispersed throughout various geographic areas including Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and more. High-quality fire apparatus “Pierce continues to build momentum on a global scale while being recognized as a company that produces high-quality fire apparatus with superior features and performance,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. He adds, “The introduction of the new Pierce Ultra Highrise Pumper is one example of our team’s commitment to developing the most innovative apparatus to support the lifesaving work of dedicated men and women in the fire service across the world.” Arrow XT chassis and Waterous CMU/CGV fire pump This pumper is deployed to provide water for fighting fire at ultra highrise buildings" The UHRP is manufactured at Pierce’s production facilities in the United States and built on Pierce’s custom Arrow XT chassis with Cummins ISX engine (550 horsepower) and Three-stage Waterous CMU/CGV fire pump (1500 GPM). Pierce’s in-country customer support team remains ready in China to provide world-class after-sales service and parts support across the country. On September 28, 2019, the Oshkosh China team and Guangxi Fire Rescue Corps jointly completed a successful UHRP test at the 403-meter-tall China Resources Building in Nanning, China. Building fire safety “Fire fighting in highrise buildings is a worldwide challenge,” said Kebin Liao, deputy chief of staff at the headquarters of the Guangxi Fire Rescue Corps. “This pumper is deployed to provide water for fighting fire at ultra highrise buildings in the event the built-in firefighting system fails. The water reached 384 meters (1,259 feet), the 85th floor through a line of high-pressure hoses with total length of 1.2 km (3,950 feet). This test was UL certified and the pumper could have sent the water to a higher floor if the construction was complete”.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will be encouraging people to consider a new career when it opens applications for new Control Staff this month. Aspiring Firefighter Control will be able to start the application process from early October 21st as the service looks for the brightest and best to take part in a training school in February 2020. The successful candidates will provide a vital service to the community by dealing with 999 calls ranging from house fires to serious road traffic collisions to cliff rescues. Control Staff Manage & Coordinate All Resources Control staff mobilize resources, identify exact locations of incidents and provide safety advice to callers, such as people who might be trapped inside a burning building, and then continue to reassure callers until the moment firefighters arrive on the scene. They are also trained in dealing with other incidents, including chemical, radiological and biological Control staff manage & coordinate all resources and incidents within AF&RS and liaise with other services and agencies. They are also trained in dealing with other incidents, including chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear incidents. Under the campaign slogan ‘Yes You Can’, AF&RS will be accepting applications from residents across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. During the campaign, the service will be encouraging applications from groups currently under-represented within its workforce, particularly women and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Accurate Communication Andy Willcocks, Head of Fire Control and Communications, said: “Working with Avon Fire and Rescue Service in Control is both challenging and highly rewarding. Our staff live and breathe our values in everything they do and we always strive to be the best we can be. “Staff have to be a voice of calm for those in the moment of need, while also being able to maintain oversight of the service's resources and accurate communication between firefighters on the ground and across the service. “This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join a fantastic organization and begin a wonderful career. As well as being there for people in need, Firefighter Control are a crucial part of the fire service family, ensuring we have cover across the service and that trucks are on the run and available when needed.” Range Of Experience And Life Skills The service is looking for applicants who have a range of experience and life skills Becoming a Firefighter Control with AF&RS generates a significant level of interest and the service is not seeking one type of person as the role requires many varied skills. The service is looking for applicants who have a range of experience and life skills which they can bring to the role. Applications will be open from 21st October until the 11th November and applicants must hold a full UK driving licence and be over 18 when training school commence on the 17th February 2020. Beginning with the application form, hopeful applicants should have a strong ability to work in a team, have strong communication skills, ability to remain calm under pressure, be a good problem solver and also have good attention to detail. There will also be a series of tests including memory recall, typing, numeracy and practical. Develop And Grow Andy added: “For those wishing to apply, please do think about your application before you submit. We live our values every day and are looking for those who encapsulate and live them as well. “We will be providing updates and blogs on our Yes You Can website throughout the recruitment process so please do have a look as this could help you in the process. “There really is no other place to work like Avon Fire & Rescue – it’s challenging and demanding but we are a family and you’ll always be supported to develop and grow within the organization.”
Hazard Note 65 covers research that is providing insights and data nationally to help to develop new recruitment and retention strategies for SES volunteers. Findings show that volunteers deeply value their connection to their unit, derive meaning from both positive and negative emotional experiences, and sometimes have vague expectations about emergency services volunteering. Findings Of The Research Managing the expectations of volunteers is not a simple task; some volunteers have too few expectations, and others too many. Both of these scenarios can lead to volunteers having a negative experience and influence their turnover intentions. Based on the findings of the research, agencies can inform organizational practices in volunteer recruitment, retention and wellbeing.
The effective provision and management of on-site fire safety, prevention, response and protection is a core responsibility of operators of hazardous high-risk critical infrastructure and industrial manufacturing facilities around the world. Such services are typically found at airports, refineries and petrochemical plants, power stations and nuclear facilities, mines, manufacturing sites and port facilities. Driven by legislative requirements and international fire safety standards, many organizations are required to maintain and operate an on-site Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) or for airports, an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Service in order to meet their compliance requirements. Legislative Compliance Failure to fully comply can expose these organizations to the risk of serious financial liability in the event of an incident, Failure to fully comply can expose these organizations to the risk of serious financial liabilityas insurers demand that risk is minimised and mitigated before they will provide cover for the site and its operations. Notwithstanding the availability of local or municipal resources to respond in the event of an emergency or serious incident, the RFFS and ARFF provision available to commercial organizations generally falls into two main options; an employed service or an outsourced service. The Decision To outsource While many organizations choose to invest in their own Fire and Rescue Service, which includes the provision of a Fire Station(s), personnel, vehicles and equipment, others have turned to outsourced service providers to enable them to meet their operational and compliance needs. So what are the factors that influence a decision to outsource and how do organizations choose between the two options? Managing risk and improving resilience The requirement and resources for an on-site fire and rescue service will be determined chiefly by the type of activity that the organization is involved in at each site or facility, the assessment of the risks associated with the processes or activities that occur on-site and the impact that any emergency incident may have on the business, its employees and on the surrounding communities. Ultimately, the motivation for investment in an on-site fire and rescue resource is rooted in the avoidance of loss, which can be both organizational, reputational and/or personal in nature and in a need to ensure the on-going stability, security and resilience of the facility and processes in question. But rather like when an insurance policy is purchased, one sincerely hopes that the Fire and Rescue Service will never need to be called upon to be utilized in a real-life emergency. A decision to outsource may be driven by purely financial motives as organizations seek to reduce costs and enhance shareholder value or by strategic and tactical factors as the business seeks to re-engineer or re-focus itself. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers Recruiting, training, resourcing, and supporting an employed on-site fire and rescue service is an expensive indirect operational cost for the business, consuming cash resources that could possibly be better invested elsewhere. The day to day management of an employed Fire, Rescue and Safety service can also sap the organization of time and energy that, while imperative to the safe, legal and ultimately the profitable operation of the facility, is not actually a core function of the business itself. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers. This releases internal resources that can be put to more effective use for other purposes, leading to greater efficiency and competitiveness. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business processes while delegating essential but non-core processes to external specialist providers The question to be asked is, could an outsourced service provider deliver the required functions, tasks and compliance, maintain and improve site safety, respond effectively to any emergency incidents and add value to the organization at a more cost-effective rate than directly employing the on-site team? When properly executed, outsourcing the on-site Fire and Rescue Service can have a defining impact on the company’s revenue recognition and can deliver significant savings through lower operational and labour costs. Specialist knowledge, skills and expertise Organizations cannot realistically be experts in every business function, process and discipline, it is simply far too expensive. By utilizing outsourced service providers, companies can leverage a global knowledge base and resource centre, accessing world class capabilities, skills and expertise that they may have been precluded from previously. Managed FRS service providers often have access to a wider, more highly skilled and diverse talent pool than the client themselves and will already have in place the requisite interview and selection processes designed to select only the strongest, most appropriately qualified and experienced staff. Shared experiences coupled with specialist skills, learning and best working practices also enable the outsourced service provider to add value and resilience to and further reduce risk within the client’s operation. Shared responsibilities and liabilities Although all organizations must maintain a duty of care to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, delegating fire and rescue service responsibilities to external providers can release companies of the day to day functions that are difficult to manage and control, while still realizing their benefits and upholding compliance. Outsourced FRS service providers generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise As specialists in their field, outsourced FRS service providers generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise than perhaps a fully employed on-site team might be. This is because the incentive to deliver a high level of service and to maintain their professional reputation while remaining profitable is potentially stronger for the outsourced provider. A further consideration if, unfortunately something does go wrong, may be that the responsibility and possible consequential contractual liability might well rest in whole or in part with the service provider, rather than the contracting client themselves. what are the potential negatives? Violations of confidentiality and intellectual property are of increasing concern to companies. This is particularly true for clients that outsource to providers from countries that may not have the same type or standards of confidentiality laws that prevail in their home jurisdiction. One way to mitigate this issue is to have strong confidentiality clauses contained within all commercial contractual documentation and employee contracts, and to make security of data and information a key performance indicator within any outsource contract. Outsourcing may in some cases result in job eliminations or employees leaving for other personal reasons, which in turn can have a negative effect on morale, loyalty and productivity among the personnel who remain. Human Resources In FRS In most cases for Fire and Rescue Service outsourcing, human resource levels are already stipulated based on the site or facility risk profile and therefore it is more likely that existing employees will simply be transferred to a new contract of employment with the new service provider, albeit perhaps on slightly different terms. There are also often hidden costs that, if not managed correctly, can quickly negate many of the anticipated savings Although most companies see an immediate benefit to the bottom line when outsourcing, there are also often hidden costs that, if not managed correctly, can quickly negate many of the anticipated savings. It should not be underestimated that, as in any period of change, increased ancillary costs such as travel and related expenses can accrue as employees travel back and forth for training and other meetings, particularly during the mobilization phase of the new contract. Making your mind up The decision to outsource the Fire and Rescue Service for a high-risk site or facility should never be made lightly. A thorough and detailed examination of the associated costs and benefits must be investigated before a go/no go decision is reached. However, if a decision to outsource is positive, then careful selection of your partner organization, taking account of both the hard and soft delivery factors for each facility, is of critical importance.
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
The biggest causes of false fire alarms are older technology and systems that are improperly designed and/or not maintained. Modern technology, proper design and regular maintenance can minimize false alarms. Systems over 15 to 20 years old do not have the technical means to handle deceptive phenomena. Proper planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance should be provided by firms certified for such work as defined in the European Standard EN 16763 Services for fire alarm and security systems. Preventing false alarms False alarms and counterstrategies must be taken seriously by the planner from the beginning of the planning process in the fire protection plan. The prevention of false alarms is also the responsibility of the operators and site managers. There is still a lot of optimization potential. These are some of the observations from the Euralarm False Alarm Study (2019), which looks at the situation in Germany, Austria (Vorarlberg), Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. To further the reduction of false fire alarms even more, better data is needed to outline and support any measures defined.To further the reduction of false fire alarms, better data is needed to outline and support any measures defined The study also shows that, in some regions, approximately 30% of the false alarms are caused by 5% of the sites. “We have to optimize the planning and application processes,” says Dr. Sebastian Festag, who headed up the research. Euralarm “False Fire Alarms” task group The Euralarm “False Fire Alarms” task group completed a three-year study in 2018 that aimed to identify the actual state of the false alarm issue of fire detection and alarm systems (FDAS), their conditions, main causes and measurements to reduce them. The result of the work is the False Alarm Study (2019), which was the follow-up to a pre-study that led to an observation of the questionable quality and availability of data. The lack of common data and terminologies – as seen in the first study – makes further analysis and the development of prevention strategies difficult. Reducing the incidence of false alarms requires an understanding of the phenomenon and the conditions (terms, data, transmission paths, standards and calculations). Differences and similarities among countries could be used to derive measures to influence the issue and its ratio, but the circumstances between countries are too varied to truly compare. Systems over 15 to 20 years old do not have the technical means to handle deceptive phenomena Comparisons between countries are not possible In the countries that were visited, the Fire Services collected the data. “An observation here is that comparisons between countries is not possible; hence gaining a better understanding through this process today has limits,” says Lance Rütimann, Chairman of the Euralarm Fire Section and member of the Task Group. In the context of fire safety engineering, a false alarm is a fire alarm with no conditions that motivates a fire interventionThe study differentiates between a “real” fire alarm and a false fire alarm. “Real” means that there is a fire alarm with a fire or other conditions that requires an intervention, either by someone in the building or the fire services. “False” alarms are defined as events in which experts establish that there is no real hazard existing. In the context of fire safety engineering, a false alarm is a fire alarm with no conditions that motivates a fire intervention (the alarm is not classified as a real fire alarm; a fire intervention is unjustified). False Alarm Study Lists Counterstrategies One chapter of the False Alarm Study lists an overview of counterstrategies. There are many well-known measures (e.g. two-detector dependency), and technical progress provides new opportunities (e. g. multisensory-detectors) Founded in 1970, Euralarm is an organization representing over 5000 companies within the fire safety and security industry valued at 67 billion Euros. The organization provides leadership and expertise for industry, market, policy makers and standards bodies. Euralarm members make society safer and secure through systems and services for fire detection and extinguishing, intrusion detection, access control, video monitoring, alarm transmission and alarm receiving centers. Euralarm members are national associations and individual companies from across Europe. Not all can be avoided People get annoyed by false fire alarms, which pull them out of what they are doing and force them to evacuate a building. However, it is a misconception that all false fire alarms can be avoided. A fire detection and fire alarm system is constantly monitoring and evaluating the environment in a building. Sometimes what might be perceived as a false fire alarm is in fact an event that was caught in a very early stage. Clearly it is better to be safe than sorry, and to move people to a safe area whilst intervention forces are in action.It is a misconception that all false fire alarms can be avoided False alarms should not be seen as purely negative. A lot can be learned from false alarms; for example, in dealing with vulnerabilities in the technical and organizational alerting process. In general, the number of false alarms is falling, while the number of installed systems is rising, demonstrating that technology works and that false alarm reduction strategies are effective. The number of false fire alarms had declined in all countries in the last years/decades due to optimized technologies. The industry is focusing on the remaining false alarms, some of which are systems that are outdated, no longer meeting site conditions and/or are not professionally maintained.
Drones can help save lives by delivering rescue equipment to the site of a medical emergency minutes faster than the arrival of emergency personnel. A recent trial of the technology in Ontario, Canada, demonstrated its value while expanding the capabilities to longer distances at even faster times. Automated external defibrillators The trial in the county of Renfrew used 4G LTE cellular connectivity to enable beyond-visual-line-of-site (BVLOS) drones to deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of a cardiac arrest patient. The drones arrived more than 7 minutes before paramedic vehicles in each test flight. The trial in the county of Renfrew used 4G LTE cellular connectivity to enable BVLOS drones The American Heart Association estimates that more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside hospitals every year; some 70% occur in homes. Drones can deliver AEDs to private, residential and rural locations where static AEDs are almost never used. They can deliver to balconies or upper levels in high rise buildings. Drones equipped with cameras can help 911 dispatchers assess a victim’s condition and support bystander CPR and AED application. Multiple studies have shown that AEDs can significantly increase chances of survival. LTE-connected drones The trial in Ontario adds new elements to the scenario, including a greatly expanded range of flight. The LTE-connected drones can fly to locations in a 10-mile operating radius. The project is among the first to be granted permission for a BVLOS flight, which could expand the reach of emergency services. The project offers the potential to deliver life-saving AEDs to patients up to 80 miles away. The Ontario trial demonstrates a marked improvement: A study in Sweden previously demonstrated a median response time of more than 16 minutes. The trial also suggests the possibility of obtaining permission to fly rescue drones beyond the operator line-of-sight in the United States. The LTE-connected drones can fly to locations in a 10-mile operating radius Emergency responders “Given the large area and varied terrain that the county encompasses, it is often difficult to get paramedics to patients in a timely fashion,” explained County of Renfrew Paramedic Chief Michael Nolan. “We have been successfully using drones to support our emergency responders for several years, but until now, the operators have had line-of-sight of the situation. We will now have further reach than ever.” For the Ontario trial, InDro Robotics supplied unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Cradlepoint provided the NetCloud Service, including an on-board IoT router that enables LTE connectivity to control data and video between the vehicle and its pilot, using signals traveling over an LTE advanced cellular network. Ericsson provided 4G LTE equipment with carrier aggregation, cellular network design support, and drone research. Artificial Intelligence The drone flew over cellular to remote take-off points selected by GPS The drone flew over cellular to remote take-off points selected by GPS and landed successfully to deliver an AED to onsite researchers, who used the device to deliver required shocks to a mannequin. The drones could share images and video with operators and employ artificial intelligence to manage collision avoidance and other key functions. Looking ahead to additional deployment of drones to deliver AEDs and other equipment, the U.S. Fire Administration lists several implementation challenges: Where should drone launch sites be located? Where they can cover an entire region or where they are needed the most? How time-consuming and costly will drone maintenance be? How will recharge time or swap-out of AEDs factor into a system deployment? How long should the drone remain on the scene? Will drones be able to operate in poor weather such as icing, turbulence and extreme cold? Drone-delivered AEDs The County of Renfrew trial suggests new options for the technology. “What’s particularly innovative and exciting about this trial is the potential of drone-delivered AEDs to have a transformative impact on emergency care for patients suffering cardiac arrest,” said Nolan.
After the World Trade Center attack, First Responders had difficulty communicating quickly and comprehensively. Other crises and emergency events such as the Sandy Hook School shootings, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Parkland School shootings and many more have continued to validate the desperate need for interoperable communication among First Responders. First Responders, first line of defense In emergency situations, First Responders are the first line of defense for safety and rescue missions. They depend on digital and connected technologies to facilitate life-saving assistance, manage crisis situations, and to bring order to chaos. There is a lack of infrastructure for communications media (radio, video, mobile communications, sensory information, telephony, data files and chat) throughout disconnected silos in both vertical and horizontal environments. Universally, national interoperable communications solutions for emergency response have remained elusive, despite significant investments and determined efforts by many. The company supplies secured communications technologies that deliver speed, flexibility Providing a solution for interoperable communications is Agile, Bethesda, Md., formerly known as Agile Interoperable Solutions. The company supplies secured communications technologies that deliver speed, flexibility and a range of 4G, 5G and LTE coverage. Agile’s line of incident command products support both land and marine applications and do not require hardware changes or full replacement with each new generation. CORE system integration platform Each Agile technology is an extension of its flagship product, CORE (Common Operating Radio Engine). CORE integrates Landline, Cellular, Radio, Wi-Fi and Satellite communications in a portable, ruggedized enclosure supporting incident response and command and control functions. CORE provides interoperability and unified incident command for secure communications among multiple and disparate parties, agencies, vehicles and IoT-enabled devices under harsh conditions. In conjunction with CORE’s interoperable capabilities, Agile’s remote management and virtual SIM technologies provide flexibility and economies of both SIM utilization and hardware maintenance. The management server allows in-field units to be supported, updated, and reconfigured remotely. Virtualization allows SIMS to be loaded onto Agile’s cellular gateways from a central SIM library as needed to change or add cell carriers or a number of active LTE connections. Agile’s technologies provide voice, SMS, MMS, IMS and data over 4G, 5G and LTE up to gigabit coverage. Public and infrastructure safety First Responders should be first in line to this technology because their job is to save lives" “First Responders should be first in line to this technology because their job is to save lives,” says Vernon Guillermo, Agile’s Co-Chief Executive Officer/COO. “Emergencies are unpredictable, and the nature of risk dictates that one does not know who one needs to coordinate with, where that person is or what form of communications and information will be required to mitigate or manage the issues that arise.” First Responder workforces face the most demanding and often dangerous work environments, performing jobs that are critical to public safety and protecting infrastructure, delivering patients to hospitals, fighting fires, operating mass transit vehicles and maintaining the power grid. “These mission-critical workers cannot afford to be disconnected from dispatchers and operations – even for a few minutes. Agile’s technology, CORE, provides the solution for First Responders to achieve secured interoperable communications”, says Shehryar Wahid, Agile Co-Chief Executive Officer/CTO. Bridging communication gaps “During times when immediate and coordinated communication is tantamount, Agile can provide the bridge to close communications gaps and help keep First Responders connected and assist them in their efforts to save lives”, says Wahid. Agile’s technologies are being deployed by a major Southern Florida municipality’s First Responders and firefighters and are on the verge of being deployed by other governmental and non-governmental entities. The 9-11 Commission discovered that a lack of interoperable communications between fire and police was a serious problem that hampered evacuations and contributed to the deaths of personnel after the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) defines “interoperability” as follows, “The ability of emergency responders to communicate among jurisdictions, disciplines, and levels of government, using a variety of frequency bands, as needed and as authorized.” CORE integrates landline, cellular, radio, WiFi and satellite communications Secured interoperable communications tools Wahid says Agile’s technologies help address this challenge by offering secure interoperable communications tools. Additionally, emergency environments are not static events; new primary, secondary and tertiary effects can emerge rapidly. Therefore, communications are needed with those both in immediate proximity and considerably more remote. “The individuals who are tasked with running these communication systems can themselves be bandwidth-challenged, given the increasing complexity of technology they are required to master while facing increasingly tighter budgets,” Wahid adds. Funding and implementation of technology in general can be challenging. In addition to direct purchasing of Agile products, Agile offers leasing options to ensure affordability to those with challenging budgets. All Agile’s products are solid-state and ruggedized to withstand severe and extreme weather conditions. Agile is the crucial tool and solution First Responders need to help them save lives. “Agile just provides First Responders the desperately needed secured interoperable communications tools,” Wahid says. “There is a misconception that interoperable communications have already been achieved,” says Guillermo. “Unfortunately, with unpredictable emergencies that arise all over the world, First Responders are reminded with each event about the critical need for integrative communications under the most rigorous of circumstances. Agile’s mission is to bring the complete solution to First Responders globally.”
When Salford Reds made their debut in their newly opened rugby league Stadium last December, it was the beginning of a new era for the club and its fans. Behind the scenes, numerous contractors and officials had been planning and building towards the premier game in the brand new £16m City of Salford Stadium. The opening fixture marked the start of fire industry experts; Gent by Honeywell’s first commercial UK site to be installed with the company’s recently launched D1 rack based voice alarm and Public Address (PA) system. This was fitted alongside a Vigilon fire alarm solution in order to protect the Stadium, staff and fans. D1 Voice Alarm/Public Address system Tate worked in conjunction with Gent, selecting the company’s latest innovative D1 voice alarm/PA system Wigan-based safety and security specialists, Tate Security Technology Limited, one of Gent 24’s of Approved Systems Integrators, managed the installation, from the initial design stages right through to commissioning and completion. Tate worked in conjunction with Gent, selecting the company’s latest innovative D1 voice alarm/PA system as the most suitable solution for the Stadium. Steve Hutchinson, Sales and Development Director, Tate Security Technology, explains, “Discussions about this project began almost two years ago and we have worked closely with the major key partners and the main contractors, supply team on the project since then. We were brought in during the early planning stages to do the full detailed designs based on the Stadium’s construction drawings.” Turnstile entry counting systems Tate Security Technology Ltd has more than 30 years’ experience working in the UK stadia market. The company has worked closely in the early years of Stadia Safety with the government and the Football League Association and has pioneered new methods of crowd control, Turnstile entry counting systems and including exit gate release, which now forms part and parcel of every major Stadium in the country. Steve Hutchinson continues, “We chose the Gent system purely because of the quality of D1 voice alarm/PA and the fire alarm product. Gent has an extensive range of fully compliant equipment available to be installed in the market place and what better way to do that than within a brand new Stadium facility.” Vigilon voice alarm systems The main part of the project started at the end of August 2011 and was completed earlier this year following a series of successful ramp events, including the Salford Reds opening rugby league game in December. The Gent solution selected for the project was a fire alarm and D1 Public Address/Voice Alarm system that is fully compliant with the relevant standards for sports stadiums, and meets all of the requirements of EN54 parts 16 and 24. Gent’s Vigilon voice alarm systems were among the first to be certified with BRE, in line with the newly harmonized part 16 of EN54. Networked addressable control panels City of Salford Stadium system comprises four Vigilon networked addressable control panels, with nine detection loopsThe system in place at the City of Salford Stadium comprises four Vigilon networked addressable control panels, with nine detection loops in total. The D1 voice alarm/PA system, designed specifically for the venue, is a large rack based system comprising three 42u racks and a 19 zone voice alarm/PA system, providing a total power output of 13,000 watts to the loudspeakers throughout the Stadium. Steve Hutchinson explains how the system works, stating “The cause and effect strategy of the D1 voice alarm/PA system for the whole Stadium changes according to whether there is a match taking place. The system was programmed to meet both building control and the fire strategy to enable two different modes”. High quality communications system “One operates during the games to protect the Stadium and its supporters, providing a high quality communications system and the other can be used on a day to day basis, when there is only the club staff occupying the ground.” The Gent system has been programmed to enable both non-event mode, used on non-match days, and full event match day mode to provide individual zoned areas with phased announcements and evacuation procedures. There are three microphones in total: A fireman’s microphone in the control room; a 19 zone paging microphone in the match day control room; and a 19 zone paging microphone in the DJ room. Flexible, controllable stadium PA system The Stadium public announcement system is both flexible and controllable used solely for providing audible messaging to any one of the Stadium’s individual zones. On non-match days the multi zone desk microphone station in the Stadium’s reception area is used to page the ground and office staff. On match days, the D1 voice alarm/PA system gives input into the Stadium’s DJ for background music, scores and general crowd announcements. The control aspect means this can be overridden if there is a need to evacuate. The Stadium was initially built with a 12,000 capacity, with plans to extend to accommodate up to 20,000 over time. The site includes built-in offices, player facilities, hospitality boxes, concessions, community resources and two community outdoor sports pitches available for business and public hire. The main Stadium area has four covered stands for supporters. Detailed acoustic modeling Gent’s technical support team worked closely with Tate Security Technology to play a key part in the rack design Gent’s technical support team worked closely with Tate Security Technology and played a key part in the rack design, the acoustic modeling and the Stadium speaker mapping. Gent’s detailed acoustic modeling provided in-depth prediction and results in Sound Pressure Level (SPL) distribution and STI results. The whole arena had to be acoustically modeled to ensure it complied with the requirements of BS5839 part 8 2008 and reach the specific audibility levels. The requirements state that the results have to be at least five decibels above the Stadium’s ambient background noise and the Gent system delivers an SPL of 105 DB and STI results of 0.5-0.55. Gent technical support services Steve Hutchinson continues, “It is very difficult to predict the ambient noise levels in stadiums, as it’s often down to the individual design of each stand. The input from Gent’s technical support team was invaluable as their expert mapping enabled us to accurately predict the SPL distribution to give us equal sound as well as meet the minimum requirements across all four stands.” The Gent support services team was set up with the aim of providing expert support in acoustic design, as well as additional support for customers on any aspect of fire detection and alarm products. The team carries a vast amount of experience in the design and application engineering of FD&A and voice alarm/PA systems and can provide advice on everything from site survey and training, to general application guidance. Factory Acceptance Test Gent has recently created a new customer friendly D1 rack build area in the company’s extensive Leicester production facility to offer an expert rack build service with a dedicated Factory Acceptance Test area (FAT). The FAT area demonstrates how the rack is configured before it is sent to the site. All racks are built and programmed to a specification and the rack is shipped after it has been witness tested. Gent’s Kevin Cooper, support services manager, added, “We are delighted that our first commercial installation of the D1 voice alarm/PA system has been so well received by both Tate Security Technology Ltd and the City of Salford Stadium. Gent is one of only a small number of companies that has received the new certification for the voice alarm range last year and this, together with our highly experienced customer service team, has made us the winning choice for fire detection and voice alarm/PA systems. We are proud to be playing our part in protecting the Salford Reds supporters and staff.”
Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell and a GAFSIP team have delivered three fire engines and other equipment and uniform to the Gambian Fire Service. As part of the Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), the service has been helping to enhance the capabilities of the Gambian fire service for nearly 30 years by providing lifesaving equipment, capability and training. Fire engines and breathing apparatus Avon Fire & Rescue Service has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment In the latest donation, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has donated three fire engines along with breathing apparatus equipment and other equipment to firefighters in the region. CFO Mick Crennell also visited various stations on his visit to the region and held meetings with Gambia’s Chief about how to continue to enhance the relationship. While on his visit, Mick expressed and confirmed the Service's commitment to continue to support and grow the relationship for the mutual benefit of both services. Gambia and Avon Fire Services Mick said, “As a Fire Authority and a Service, we are honored and privileged to be able to have this partnership with the Gambian Fire and Rescue Service and we will continue to support its development. We have seen the level of support grow, and what’s more, we have seen the level of the professionalism of the fire service in the Gambia grow throughout our partnership“. He adds, “We have seen what a difference our equipment and training makes and the lives it has helped save. We are looking forward to the future because this partnership will only continue to get stronger and those in the region will be safer as a result. As an ambitious Service, not only will we help those in our own communities, but also help others where we can. Anyone in the fire service is part of the international family and we will do what we can to help.” Fire equipment and safety training We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country" CFO Mick Crennell was joined on the visit by Watch Manager and GAFSIP Trustee Paul Kirk, Firefighter Ben Coghlan, Firefighter Rob Morgan, Firefighter Pete Ballard and Watch Manager Steve McGreavy. The Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia Fire Rescue Service, Lamin Sanyang expressed gratitude on behalf of the service for the assistance stating that the partnership is strong and continues to grow. Lamin said, “We receive training manuals, practical training, and equipment. It is because of this partnership that we were able to get fully equipped fire engines as we cannot buy it ourselves. We are very proud of them. With this donation, we will operate as far as Wuli in the Upper River Region. We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country.” Fully equipped fire engines delivered The presentation ceremony took place at the State House in Banjul in the presence of the President of Gambia, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sharon Wardle, and other senior government officials, including the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambian Fire Service, Lamin Sanyang.
Panels from global fire systems provider, Advanced, have been selected to protect the US$ 18.8 billion Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, regarded to be the longest open-sea fixed link on earth. A network of 31 ExGo gas extinguishant control panels has been installed as part of the active fire protection for one of South East Asia’s most ambitious infrastructure projects to date. The Advanced network protects the artificial island gateway in Hong Kong that serves as an entry and exit point to the new 34-mile bridge-tunnel system, used by over a 10 million passengers in its first eight months. ExGo gas extinguishant control panels ExGo panels were selected to protect critical server rooms in more than 10 different buildings on the purpose-built island The ExGo panels were selected to protect critical server rooms in more than 10 different buildings on the purpose-built island, including police and fire stations as well as customs and different administrative buildings. Each gas extinguishant control panel is connected to at least one remote status indicator unit located at the protected area entryway. Each extinguishing system was designed, configured and commissioned by Peak Trade International Limited. Alan Wong, Sales Director at Peak Trade International Limited, said, “To protect such critical infrastructure, we knew we required a gas and suppression control system that was both cutting-edge in its capabilities and also highly reliable and adaptable for the future. ExGo panels have a proven track record in complex installations of this type and we had no hesitation in recommending them.” Advanced panels protecting transport and infrastructure Constructed using around 420,000 tons of steel - enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers - the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has been designed to last for the next 120 years, and is set to deliver significant economic advantages to the region. Thanh Tin, Regional Sales and Business Development Manager for Advanced, said “Advanced panels are trusted to protect transport and infrastructure projects around the globe. As the world’s longest sea crossing, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is a fantastic example of this.” Specially designed for sensitive and strategic assets He adds, “Equipment that offers the highest levels of protection and reliability is essential for providing complete peace of mind to the client, combined with the flexibility to easily expand and upgrade the system in future.” ExGo has been developed specifically for sensitive and strategic assets such as server rooms and data centers, control rooms, as well as historic and cultural attractions. It is suitable for almost all single-flooding area applications and includes a range of control options and devices. Integration with Axis EN fire system ExGo can be integrated into Advanced’s Axis EN fire system or any third-party alarm system It is approved to EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 as well as EN12094-1 and is among the first systems to combine these with EN12094 in a single solution. (EN12094-3 relates to the integrated manual release on the front of the panel). ExGo can be integrated into Advanced’s Axis EN fire system or any third-party alarm system. Intelligent fire systems and technology major Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 PLC Halma, has an impressive history of protecting critical transport and infrastructure sites across the globe, including the London Underground and the Istanbul Metro. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a globally renowned firm in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single-panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
The Secaucus Fire Department, located in Hudson County, New Jersey, placed a 28-foot Lake Assault Boats firefighting and rescue craft into service earlier this summer. The department’s firefighting and emergency response area includes a large portion of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers (and their 28 bridges) that empty into Newark Bay and the Hudson River. Firefighting and recue craft “We’re located in a somewhat landlocked part of the river system, so our new fireboat has to be versatile and self-sustaining in case of a major incident,” said Fire Chief Carl Leppin, a 22-year veteran of the department and chief since 2014. “With help from Lake Assault Boats, we were able to customize the design to meet our needs. And their response to requests, and overall excellent customer service, are very important to us.” The Secaucus Fire Department is a member of the New York and New Jersey Regional Fireboat Taskforce The Secaucus Fire Department is a member of the New York and New Jersey Regional Fireboat Taskforce, comprised of 12 fire departments, including FDNY and the U.S. Coast Guard. This is the first fireboat taskforce of its kind in the country, and its combined team protects over 50 miles of New Jersey shoreline containing transportation hubs, transfer facilities, manufacturing plants, and other critical infrastructure. Critical emergency response “We’re thrilled to have one of our craft serving with the Secaucus Fire Department on such a critically important waterway,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats vice president of operations. “This custom engineered vessel features fast response combined with capabilities to address a wide range of emergency scenarios.” The boat’s landing craft style hull sports a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door (with an integrated ladder for diver re-entry) and flat tread areas for ATV deployment. The boat also features a clear opening dive door, swimmer’s grab rails, a davit crane, and a floating stokes basket for faster patient retrieval from the water. It is powered by twin 350 hp outboards that enable the boat to reach 50 miles per hour in open water conditions. infrared FLIR video camera The full-width, fully enclosed pilothouse is located mid-ship with deck space both on the fore and shaft. The vessel is equipped with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRNE) positive pressure defense capabilities. The helm station carries controls for both fire pump and monitor controls, as well as two 12-inch touchscreens with GPS, Sonar with SideVu and DownVu, chart plotting, and a roof-mounted forward looking infrared (FLIR) video camera. The new craft has greatly improved our response capabilities in our protection area" The boat’s draft is just 28 inches when the motor is trimmed up and 32 inches when trimmed down, an important consideration for the department. “The department’s previous boat needed a full five feet of draft to safely maneuver, so our new boat can reach much closer to shore in low tide situations – and that’s a huge benefit. Our team loves the new craft,” Chief Leppin added. warning lights and fire pump For its firefighting operations, the boat is outfitted with a 1500 gpm fire pump powered by a dedicated 350 hp marinized V-8 engine. The craft features deck and bow mounted monitors, a foam system, and a five-inch large diameter hose discharge to support ground based firefighting operations. Other notable features include a full complement of LED floodlights, warning lights, scene lights, and remote-controlled spotlights. “We applied for a Federal FEMA Port Security Grant three years in a row, and this year we were approved,” added Chief Leppin. “We received help from the Mayor Gonnelli, the Town Council, Congressman Pascrel, and the U.S. Coast Guard throughout the grant process, and are grateful for their support. The new craft has greatly improved our response capabilities in our protection area.”
The UK’s largest fitness operator, PureGym has chosen Britannia’s P50 fire extinguisher to protect its 200-plus gyms and more than a million members. P50 fire extinguisher Fast-expanding PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract and can be maintained in-house by trained staff, in its new gyms, with a program to replace metal extinguishers in all its premises. PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract Eliminating the process of ‘organizing and chasing’ external servicing was the driving force behind the decision to swap metal extinguishers for the P50 as well as the major savings the investment would bring. PureGym’s head of risk Malcolm Shevlin discovered the P50 and its special features at a presentation by a fire and rescue service. The fact that fewer P50 units were needed to replace metal extinguishers was also a big appeal. Effective Fire safety “On average we are installing half the number of P50 extinguishers compared to the old metal ones in our new sites or existing sites going through renewals of extinguishers,” Mr Shevlin said. The installation of hundreds of units across England and Scotland is running alongside the program to fit P50s across Heathrow Airport’s terminals. Heathrow chose the fire extinguisher because it fitted with its sustainability strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. PureGym’s investment comes at a time when sales of P50 are growing at 45% already this year, with three shifts running at our Norfolk factory and further growth predicted. Emergency rescue vehicles P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances" Britannia Fire’s Sales Director Andy Spence said, “The P50’s innovation and technology is in line with what the modern world demands. It is a made in the UK product. PureGym highlighted the in-house maintenance as the most important factor. For Heathrow, it was sustainability to help its strategy to lower its carbon footprint.” “P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances. The P50s were chosen for emergency vehicles to keep vehicles on the road. Servicing means emergency vehicles have to be taken out of action. For our marine and offshore market, it is the P50’s lack of corrosion that is a real sales trigger, as well as the cutting the servicing offshore.” High-quality equipment PureGym was launched in 2009 and pioneered the model for affordable, flexible and high-quality fitness clubs in the UK. Most of its sites are open 24 hours a day and offer a full range of high-quality equipment without the need to commit to a 12-month contract.
A review of how a fire spread through a West Midlands hotel is being carried out by West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS). Firefighters arrived at the Holiday Inn near Walsall within 4 minutes of being mobilized. They immediately started to tackle what was already a significant fire, which soon consumed much of the building. West Midlands Hotel Fire 999 calls started to be received shortly before 4pm on Friday 2 August 2019, to the site near Junction 10 of the M6 motorway. WMFS were supported at the scene throughout the weekend by colleagues from several other agencies and the hotel management. Their fire investigators are satisfied that the fire started accidentally, in the hotel sauna area. Our Fire Control received a 999 call from the Holiday Inn at 3.54pm to a report of an electrical fire in the sauna" Gary Taylor, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said “Our Fire Control received a 999 call from the Holiday Inn at 3.54pm to a report of an electrical fire in the sauna. Two fire engines were mobilized within 42 seconds, as part of our pre-planned initial response to the site. The first crews arrived in less than four minutes.” breathing apparatus in fire incidents He adds, “Two teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus immediately entered the building to fight the fire. However, the fire had already entered the roof space. Shortly afterwards it spread to other parts of the building.” Further stating, “Fortunately, the premises were successfully evacuated and so our crews tackled the fire from outside. The roof had completely collapsed and we had real concerns about the stability of the remaining structure.” Fire engines and brigade response vehicles At its height there were around 50 WMFS personnel at the incident. Over the weekend a total of 19 fire engines, six brigade response vehicles, three aerial platforms and more than 100 personnel were there. ACFO’s Taylor added “The premises were not fitted with fire sprinklers but, previously, our fire safety officers had recommended they be retro-fitted in line with our Fire Authority’s position. Our fire investigators believe that the fire started accidentally, in the sauna room. However, we will be carrying out further investigations to try to pinpoint the precise cause. We will also be looking in detail into factors that might have contributed to the spread and scale of the fire”. Fire safety “This incident is a stark reminder to us all about the devastating impact a fire can have. It underlines the importance of businesses having up-to-date fire safety procedures, and of their staff, guests and visitors familiarizing themselves with escape routes as an absolute priority.”