Fire Emergency Response
Firefighters often use aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) to extinguish fires, especially fires that involve petroleum or other flammable liquids. AFFFs that contain fluorinated surfactants have been shown to be the most effective agents to fight hydrocarbon-fuel fires in military, industrial and municipal settings. They have been used since the 1960s. However, the surfactants have been shown to be an environmental threat, contaminating ground water and creating hazards to human health. What ma...
The Ethisphere Institute recognized 3M for ethics and integrity in business conduct and compliance for the seventh straight year. 3M is one of only eight industrial companies worldwide to be honored this year. Ethics And Values Recognizing that corporate integrity, character and transparency impact the public trust of companies, the Ethisphere Institute defines and advances standards of ethical business practices through data-driven insights. “For more than a century, we have built a fo...
The Northern Ireland Fire Industry Conference will take place on Thursday 23rd April at the Titanic Centre in Belfast, a monument to Belfast's maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city's Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built. In today’s competitive and ever-changing industry, it is now more important than ever to keep up to date with the latest industry developments, which is why this conference serves as an opportunity to all fire indus...
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFRS) is changing how it responds to Automatic Fire Alarm signals to reduce its response to unnecessary false alarms. From the 1st April 2020, the new procedure will be introduced and will mean the automatic response to some alarms will be removed. This change follows the implementation of the Service Plan (2019-2022) to ensure that the AF&RS is better able to match resource to risk and ensure public safety. In 2018/19 alone, AF&RS attended over 5,700 cal...
The Homes for Heroes Foundation has donated $5,000 to the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund in order to assist volunteer firefighters and EMS providers impacted by a disaster. This is the second donation the Foundation has made to the Support Fund; in December, they contributed $7,500 to help volunteer responders in need. Joanne Hilliard presented NVFC staff with a $7,500 donation from Homes for Heroes for the NVFC Volunteer Firefighter Support Fu...
Centurion Fire & Security Ltd, a commercial security and fire system provider, has been selected as one of the first companies to test and roll-out the world’s most advanced fire system technology. The major deal is announced as the firm approaches a milestone year, in which revenues are expected to grow by 25%. Just six UK organizations have been hand-picked to help bring the C-Tec CAST fire system to market. Designed to pre-empt changes in industry-standards, the addressable 'distri...
Streamlight, Inc., a provider of high-performance lighting, launched the Waypoint 300, a rechargeable high lumen, pistol grip spotlight with enhanced down-range lighting capability. Featuring 270,000 candela, a 1,039-meter beam distance, and 1,000 lumens on high, the Waypoint 300’s powerful long-range targeting beam is portable and runs for 3.75 to 87 hours on high, medium, low, respectively. handheld mobile searchlight "The Waypoint 300 not only features extreme brightness, but also includes a beam that reaches over 1,000 meters," said Streamlight Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Michael F. Dineen. "It can be used as either a handheld mobile searchlight, or, with its integrated stand, as a hands-free scene light to illuminate a scene. It's the ideal spotlight for boating, camping and other outdoor pursuits, as well as for first responder and law enforcement applications." The rugged Waypoint 300 features an unbreakable polycarbonate lens and is O-ring sealed" The Waypoint 300 uses power LED technology and a deep-dish parabolic reflector for long-range targeting with optimum peripheral illumination. On the medium setting, the light offers 550 lumens, 135,000 candela, and a 735-meter beam distance. On low, the light provides 35 lumens and 10,000 candela, with a beam distance of 200 meters. The new light uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery that fully charges in four hours. A convenient LED charging indicator provides charging status. unbreakable polycarbonate lens The rugged Waypoint 300 features an unbreakable polycarbonate lens and is O-ring sealed. With a trigger-style switch for momentary or click on/off operation, the light boasts a cushioned handle grip that eliminates user hand fatigue. The light includes an adjustable, high-strength wrist lanyard, and features an integrated stand for hands-free lighting. The lightweight Waypoint 300 weighs 1.52 pounds and measures 6.75 inches long by 7.14 inches high. It features an IPX8-rated design for waterproof operation to two meters, and is impact-resistant to one meter.
Make discreet emergency calls at the touch of a button – reliable emergency communication is at your fingertips with the PB-3 Panic Button from Viking Electronics. “This is what people have been asking for – it’s quick, it’s discrete, it’s reliable. People know they can trust the PB-3 when it counts.” – Greg Yocom, Engineering Manager, Viking Electronics. Place discreet emergency phone calls The PB-3 panic button is designed to mount under a desk or countertop and place discreet emergency phone calls when activated. A built-in auto dialer will roll through up to 5 phone numbers and 2 central station numbers until the call is answered. After answering, a prerecorded location announcement is delivered to the called party and one-way audio is sent from the PB-3 for silent monitoring. The called party can engage in two-way communication after the call is connected by pressing touch tone “#”. The PB-3 is phone line powered, touch tone programmed and connects to an analog station port, PABX extension, CO line, or FXS port on a VoIP ATA.
During FIA’s Northern Ireland week, the FIA is excited to be bringing the Fire Industry Manufacturers (FIM) Expo, Northern Ireland Fire Industry Conference (NIFIC) and FIA’s renowned training to Northern Ireland. The events, designed in line with the FIA’s principal objectives, will cover the most pressing subjects in the fire industry, regardless of what your business focuses. The FIM Expo features many of the UK's fire detection and alarm manufacturers and focuses on showcasing the latest products and developments in this sector of the industry. It is an excellent opportunity to get hands-on product demonstrations, have in-depth technical discussions, and compare products between manufacturers – all while in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere of a local expo. The NI Fire Industry Conference is a full day conference, dedicated to fire industry professionals. innovation in fire safety During the conference industry leading experts will share their knowledge on the key topics which affects the fire industry world: seminars on BS 5839, legislation changes ‘post’ Hackitt, innovation in fire safety and many more. FIA is also taking FIA’s popular training to Belfast to ensure that the Northern Ireland fire sector can benefit from being trained to the highest possible standards. The FIA’s new Fundamentals Qualification helps the industry become more competent in line with the recommendations of the Hackitt report by giving the industry a core understanding of BS 5839-1. The FIA will also be providing training on servicing and maintaining portable extinguishers. For those who have already passed that course, the FIA is delivering a Refresher course which allows technicians to keep their skills and knowledge up to date – as per the recommendations of BS 5306.
Rosenbauer International AG has completely taken over its former sales partner Brandus GmbH based in Andrian, Bolzano. The company is now operating under its new name Rosenbauer Italia s.r.l. This takeover marks the Group’s recognition of the increasing importance of the Italian firefighting market, as it establishes its own sales and service subsidiary for South Tyrol in the first phase of its plan. The coverage of all Rosenbauer products and services will then be expanded from this location across Italy further down the line. Rosenbauer Italia has 10 employees. The trusted team led by Managing Director Stefan Hofer will continue to provide customer service. In the future, Rosenbauer Italia will have direct access to the Rosenbauer Group’s competence centers, making it even better equipped to meet the needs of Italian customers.
New replacement rescue boats for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service will enable firefighters to respond quicker to water incidents. Equipped with the latest technology, the new boats have a more powerful engine and inflate in under a minute compared to the three to four minutes the old boats took. This means that crews can get the boats off the rescue vehicle, into the water and reach the casualty in a significantly faster time. Group Commander Jamie Johnson, who heads the department responsible for bringing new equipment into the Service, said: “People often know that we deal with fires and road traffic accidents but don’t always appreciate that we carry out water rescues too.” upgrade older equipment Over the last 10 years we’ve attended 179 water related incidents and rescued 162 people from water. Our boat crews undertake a three day rigorous training course to ensure they are skilled in water rescue techniques for different in-water situations. This could be to rescue people who have fallen in, got into trouble whilst swimming or people whose cars have ended up in water." Crews will be out on the local waterways over the next few weeks familiarizing themselves with the new equipment "Every second counts when it comes to water rescues where someone’s life is in danger. That’s why it’s important that we regularly review our equipment and upgrade older equipment to ensure our crews have the most up to date technology to enable them to put their skills into action as quickly as possible.” water safety education Two of the new boats will be put on the rescue vehicles in Peterborough and Cambridge. The third will be used for training, which will ensure the other two boats are always available. Crews will be out on the local waterways over the next few weeks familiarizing themselves with the new equipment and carrying out training exercises to practice using them. Once all crews are trained, the new boats will replace the current ones. Station Commander Kevin Andrews added: "As well as responding to emergencies in water, the fire service proactively undertakes water safety education. For a number of years, crews have been delivering water safety presentations in schools to encourage students to take extra care when they are in and around the county’s waterways and to consider the risks."
The new Haz. Loc. D2xB1LD3 LED beacon from E2S Warning Signals generates an effective candela rating of 82.1 cd under UL1971 test conditions, making it the brightest UL1971 compliant visual emergency signalling device from any manufacturer suitable for use as part of a public mode fire alarm installation for hazardous areas. Haz. Loc. D2xB1LD3 LED beacon The NFPA 72 compliant 20ms high intensity pulse generates light output equivalent in perception to a traditional strobe, but with ultra-low current consumption (150mA) and low in-rush. The array of high output LEDs are installed to optimize visibility in any direction. The D2xB1LD3 contains a supervisory diode and duplicated pluggable terminals that not only simplify installation, but also enable a four-wire connection. Multiple units will auto-synchronize when powered from the same source Multiple units will auto-synchronize when powered from the same source, removing the need for additional synchronization modules and reducing power supply requirements. Globally approved to UL, cUL and ULC for Class I Div 2, Class II Div 2, Class I Zone 2/22 as well as IECEx and ATEX certified for Zone 2 and 22 hazardous area applications. Seamless integration with D2xS1 alarm horn sounder For complete audio-visual warning signalling, the D2xB1LD3 can be combined with a D2xS1 alarm horn sounder with an audible output up to 116 dB(A), 64 embedded alarm tones and 4 remotely selectable stages/channels to create the D2xC2LD3 combination signal. The alarm tone will also auto-synchronize on multi-unit systems where powered from the same source. The beacon can be linked internally to the alarm horn to minimize cabling requirements and reduce installation time. All members of the D2x family are housed in marine grade aluminium enclosures with an ingress protection rating of IP66, NEMA Type 4 and 4X, providing protection in the harshest of environments.
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 institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From Kindergartens to Colleges Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognizes outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education. Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customized solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customized solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.
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.
The U.K. government is looking to apply the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire by strengthening the regulatory system for building safety, including regulations for high-rise buildings. By changing the industry culture to increase accountability and responsibility, proposed measures seek to ensure residents are safe in their homes. The new measures – Building Safety and Fire Safety Bills – expand on a pledge to “[bring forward] new measures to … improve building safety,” which was included in the Queen’s Speech to both houses of Parliament on Dec. 19, 2019. Bringing In New Fire Safety Measures When Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his plans for government with his new majority, he included mention of housing issues. To ensure residents are safe in their homes, the government will bring forward measures to implement the most urgent recommendations from the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. They will also publish a draft Building Safety Bill to implement the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations. The new measures will draw from all 53 of the recommendations of the independent review of building safety, and in some cases, go beyond those recommendations. For example, the government seeks to give residents a stronger voice and strengthen enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance. To ensure residents are safe in their homes, the government will bring forward measures to implement the most urgent recommendationsDame Judith Hackitt’s review found that the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose in relation to high-rise and complex buildings. A new system to oversee the whole built environment will involve local enforcement agencies and national regulators working together to ensure better safety of all buildings. New Regulations, Guidance And Improvements An enhanced regime for high-rise residential buildings will apply to more than 11,000 high-rise buildings, increasing to almost 15,000 buildings within 10 years. Some £600 million of funding has been made available to replace the unsafe cladding in the social and private sectorsPreviously, the government has implemented a range of improvements that did not require legislation, including identification of more than 400 high-rise buildings that use unsafe Aluminium Compositie Material (ACM) cladding, like that used on the Grenfell Tower. They have worked with local authorities and fire and rescue authorities to ensure appropriate interim safety measures are in place. Some £600 million of funding has been made available to replace the unsafe cladding in the social and private sectors. New regulations and guidance ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 meters containing flats, as well as new hospitals, resident care premises, dormitories and student accommodations. Learning From Mistakes The Fire Safety Bill has been brought forward to “deliver meaningful change to ensure an appalling tragedy like Grenfell can never happen again.” In addition to addressing the elements of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, the Fire Safety Bill seeks to clarify the scope of the Fire Safety Order to include external walls of buildings, including cladding, and fire doors for domestic premises of multiple occupancy. It would also strengthen the relevant enforcement powers to hold building owners and managers to account. A transitional period will allow building owners and managers and Fire and Rescue Services to put in place the infrastructure for these changes.
Around 2,700 firefighters are working to stamp out the wildfires in Australia that have engulfed 24,000 square miles (about 15 million acres) and killed at least 28 people since the fire season began last July. About 3,000 homes have been destroyed since September, and hundreds more could be at imminent risk. More than 100 U.S. firefighters are among those at work in Australia. They include 59 from California who are assisting the Victoria Rural Fire Service, the largest in the Australian state. Deploying Firefighters The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), Boise, Idaho, is coordinating the deployment of firefighters from the United States, also including 37 in New South Wales. The NIFC is sending firefighters to Australia for the first time since 2010 The NIFC is sending firefighters to Australia for the first time since 2010 as part of an agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior and Emergency Management Australia. In August 2018, Australia and New Zealand sent 140 firefighters to the United States for 30 days. Persistent heat and drought have exacerbated the wildfires, and there have been fires in every Australian state, although New South Wales has been hardest hit. Strong winds have spread smoke and fire rapidly and led to fatalities. A volunteer firefighter died in New South Wales after his truck rolled over in high winds; he is one of several volunteer firefighters who have lost their lives. The Extent of the Fires Whole towns have been engulfed in flames Big cities like Melbourne and Sydney have been affected; large fires have damaged homes in the outer suburbs and smoke has destroyed air quality in urban areas. Whole towns have been engulfed in flames. Rain has helped to ease conditions in recent weeks, but emergency services personnel say it would take 8 inches of rain over a brief period of time to quell the flames. There are 130 fires burning in the state of Victoria alone. Rather than help the situation, light rain can complicate implementation of tactical and strategic back-burns and other methods of bringing the blazes under control. Recovery is also a challenge as responders work to provide essential supplies and power, clear local roads and give support to the newly homeless. Helicopters have dropped supplies to towns at risk. The Australian Defence Force is assisting firefighters, including army personnel, air force aircraft and navy cruisers used for firefighting, evacuation, cleanup and search-and-rescue. The military has been involved in clearing roads closed by fallen trees, burying dead farm animals, and providing fodder for surviving livestock. Large Infernos and Smaller Blazes The 15 million acres impacted by the Australian bush fires are an area about the size of West Virginia, and about seven times the size of California’s 2018 fires. (Another report estimates 28 million acres have been affected – 16 times the amount of land destroyed during California’s worst fire season.) Some are smaller blazes; others are large infernos that occupy acres of land and have been burning for months. Dry lightning started some of the fires, but at least 24 people have been charged with deliberately starting brush fires. At least 24 people have been charged with deliberately starting brush fires Conservatively speaking, more than half a billion animals have been impacted, with millions likely dead. They include birds, reptiles and mammals. More than a third of koalas in New South Wales may have been killed; a third of their habitat is destroyed. Conservation groups fear the disaster could lead to local extinctions and threaten the survival of some species. Previously the largest wildfire disaster in Australia was the Black Saturday fires that killed 173 people in 2009, the deadliest bush fire disaster on record. Bush fires are not unusual (or usually deadly) in Australia. However, this year, thick brush, hotter temperatures and low humidity have aggravated the situation. One Fire Management Officer said the reception of U.S. firefighters in Australia “felt really good” and the mutual respect between the two nations’ firefighter teams was palpable.
The holiday season is fraught with possible dangers from fire. Ranging from dried-out Christmas trees to overloaded electrical circuits, the dangers are high in a season when awareness may be at a low point. Fire departments are well positioned to communicate these dangers to citizens. Social media makes it easier than ever to spread “messages of good habits” when it comes to fire prevention in homes and businesses. A Look At The Statistics The dangers are high in a season when awareness may be at a low point According to the latest statistics, covering 2013-2017, fire departments respond to an average of 160 home fires each year that start with Christmas trees, according to NFPA Applied Research. Electrical distribution of lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires, and another 25% were caused by some type of heat source, such as a candle too close to the tree. Excluding Christmas trees, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 780 home structure fires per year that began with Christmas decorations (between 2013 and 2017, according to NFPA Applied Research). On average, 22 home candle fires are reported each day, with the two peak days for candle fires being Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. About 10 percent of fireworks fires occur between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3, with the peak on New Year’s Day. Help From The U.S. Fire Administration U.S. Fire Administration provides a series of holiday, candle and Christmas tree outreach materials to enable fire departments to increase awareness of holiday fires in their communities. A social media toolkit contains content that a department can easily share on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels. Content may be copied or customized to reach any audience. Messages from the U.S. Fire Administration that departments can share on social media platforms include: The top three days of the year for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Residents should only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable. Holiday lights should be checked each year for frayed wires or excessive wear. A limit of three strands of holiday lights should be linked. Burning candles should not be left unattended. Battery-operated flameless candles are a safer alternative. Christmas trees should be kept away from heat sources and room exits. Watering a Christmas tree daily keeps it from becoming dry and flammable. Care is required to ensure that the festivities of the season do not come at a cost of lost property and/or lives Care is required to ensure that the festivities of the season do not come at a cost of lost property and/or lives. Fire prevention can lessen the burden on firefighters during a season when spending time with family is at a premium. The sadness of a fire tragedy, especially during the holiday season, can be unbearable. The holiday season is also an appropriate time to acknowledge the hard work that departments and other fire professionals dedicate to preventing and fighting fires. We at TheBigRedGuide.com salute the work of the fire service and the fire industry to keep residents and businesses safe from fire and other emergencies, both during the holiday season and throughout the year. Happy holidays to all our readers, and we look forward to providing even more useful information on our site in 2020.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the first fire service in North America to purchase a pre-series vehicle based on the Concept Fire Truck (CFT). The electric fire truck from Rosenbauer will be delivered in the first quarter 2021 and put into practice as part of a comprehensive test operation. CFT Technology In addition to its driving characteristics and safety features, the truck made an impression with its ergonomics and high functionality during the initial demonstrations last December. A sworn workforce of around 3,500 makes the LAFD one of the largest fire services in the US. It operates a fleet of 1,300 vehicles and responded to approximately 500,000 emergency calls last year, including 4,100 structure fires. Pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours The LAFD and the City of Los Angeles are setting a clear example for sustainability and climate protection with the decision to use CFT technology. The purchase was made through Velocity Fire Equipment & Sales, which acts as a prime contractor and represents Rosenbauer Group in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Fully Electric Operation The pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours. This enables fully electric operation for roughly two hours and covers around 90% of all applications. A 200-kilowatt range extender is integrated for longer application times. The fire truck will be adjusted to meet the needs of the LAFD in terms of usage and loading, without limiting the flexible vehicle architecture in the process, and is designed to meet all standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,” says LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas. “The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise, harmful diesel emissions, and provide a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform. We are looking forward to evaluating in a real-world environment once it hits the streets of Hollywood next year.” Meets All The Safety Standards “The future fire truck is fundamentally different from the vehicles which are in service at the fire stations today. It is multi-functional, fully connected and its flexible interior can be used as a fully featured command center. Its floor can be lowered facilitating minimum boarding and working levels. Electric engines reduce noise and pollution. We will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards" “I am particularly delighted to receive the order from the Los Angeles Fire Department, which really is a fantastic vote of confidence,” says Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International. “Together, we will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards of the NFPA and can seamlessly be brought into real operation further down the line.” Municipal Firefighting Vehicles Rosenbauer’s Concept Fire Truck was first presented to the public in 2016. As a fire truck of the future, it anticipates major mega-trends such as climate change, demographic change and urbanization, as well as the challenges that these entail for fire departments. The use of electric drives enables a completely new kind of vehicle architecture that is 100% tailored to these future scenarios and sets new benchmarks in terms of functionality and ergonomics. The main application area for innovative CFT technology at the moment is municipal firefighting vehicles, but it will also be applied to other types of vehicles further down the line. Rosenbauer estimates that the number of vehicles with technology similar to CFT will rise to around 3,200 by 2030; up to 400 such vehicles could already be in service in Northern America by 2025.
Large fires, ammunition finds, rescue operations, and searching for people: The scope of duties for the List Fire Department on the German island of Sylt is extremely broad. They are well prepared for these challenges with the new rescue firefighting group vehicle (HLF) 20 from Rosenbauer. Fire-Fighting Vehicles Almost 1,500 inhabitants live in List on Sylt, the northernmost municipality in Germany. Sand dunes, salt marshes, and the Wadden Sea characterize the unique environment on this island in the North Sea, which is especially famous for its wellness tourism. Its particular geographical location also poses special challenges for fire-fighting vehicles. The climate and the salt-laden air put more strain on the materials than in other regions. This makes it all the more important for Rosenbauer vehicles to use high-quality materials that are also manufactured with utmost precision. Numerous Rescue Operations In the optimally sorted equipment compartments there is space for additional hosesNot only is the climate itself a challenge for man and material, but also the various operations that the Fire Department of List on Sylt has to cope with. Last year they responded to 49 calls, including two major fires. The fire department was also called in when ammunition was found, as well as coping with numerous rescue operations, people searches, and smaller fire operations. The extensive equipment of the new HLF 20 mounted on a MAN chassis plays a decisive role in ensuring that it is optimally equipped for these different operations. The 2,000 liter water tank can be used to extinguish fires, and the vehicle is also equipped with a 180 liter foam compound tank. In the optimally sorted equipment compartments there is space for additional hoses, but also for the equipment required for rescue operations. The extendable LED light mast provides optimum illumination for night-time operations. Safety And Ease Of Use Before deciding to purchase the vehicle, they were able to put the HLF 20 through its paces. "It won us over right from the start. And not just us, but also the municipality representatives, who decide on the purchase," says Matthias Stahl from the List Fire Department on Sylt. The safety and ease of use of the new HLF 20 are of course also at an extremely high level Not just the equipment, but above all the outstanding manufacturing quality was a decisive argument. "The entire vehicle concept is very well thought out," says Matthias Stahl enthusiastically. The safety and ease of use of the new HLF 20 are of course also at an extremely high level. "You simply feel safe and comfortable on the way to operations or exercises", explains the Fire Chief of the List Fire Department. Tank Firefighting Vehicle The excellent cooperation between Rosenbauer and the List Fire Department during the procurement process and the very positive experience since the commissioning of the new HLF 20 have prompted the List Fire Department to choose Rosenbauer for the purchase of another new vehicle. The new tank firefighting vehicle (TLF) 4000 is due to arrive on the island of Sylt as early as spring. And it will increase the operational power and impact of the List Fire Department many times over.
Lake Assault Boats, globally renowned manufacturer of purpose-built and mission-specific patrol, rescue, and fireboats, will deliver the first of two 35-foot patrol vessels to the U.S. Army’s Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) base later this month. The second vessel will be delivered in March; both were purchased through a GSA schedule contract. MOTSU military terminal Located in Brunswick County, North Carolina, MOTSU is one of the world’s largest military distribution terminals in the world. “We are thrilled to place these powerful and versatile patrol boats into service at one of our armed forces’ most important shipping facilities in the country,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats vice president of operations. “It is especially gratifying to be selected by the U.S. Army and through our GSA schedule contract.” The identical crafts are 35 feet long (excluding engines and engine guards) with a 10-foot beam The identical crafts are 35 feet long (excluding engines and engine guards) with a 10-foot beam. The V-hull vessels are powered by triple 250-hp outboard motors capable of achieving a top speed of 45 knots. Each features a fully enclosed pilothouse with cuddy cabin and also has seating for ten persons. The hulls are protected by a polyurethane foam collar wrap, and each carry dual weapon mounts (one forward and one aft) able to accommodate up to .50 caliber machine guns. Lake Assault Boats patrol vessels The draft for each boat is no greater than 18-inches when the motors are trimmed up and 24-inches when trimmed down. “Despite the triple outboard configuration, and 750 combined horsepower, the vessels are able to maneuver in shallow water,” explained DuMars. Lake Assault Boats will provide eight hours of personalized training when the boats are delivered. MOTSU is the key ammunition shipping point on the Atlantic coast for United States armed forces worldwide. The base is located on the banks of the Cape Fear River and has, within its borders, Governors Creek, Fishing Creek, as well as several smaller bodies of water.
telent, a specialist in the effective operation of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA) are marking a milestone moment this year as their collaborative partnership enters its 19th year, with the contract now secured until 2024. Integrated Risk Management Plan Serving five metropolitan boroughs – Sefton, St Helens, Knowsley, Wirral and Liverpool – community safety and life-saving operations are top priorities for MFRA. Information Communication Technology (ICT) services are crucial to the day-to-day running of operations and must be developed, aligned and continually reviewed to ensure they can support the delivery of the Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which prepares for various incidents and is a statutory requirement of all fire services. Since 2001, telent has delivered a range of vital ICT services and introduced multiple innovations, including an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based service catalogue to ensure that Merseyside can easily alter the services it receives according to changing needs. ITIL-based service catalogue Our relationship with telent means we have a partner that we can rely on in the most demanding of circumstances" At the heart of the contract, telent runs a service desk for MFRA, handling more than 650 IT incidents per month, with 75% of issues fixed by telent remotely, bringing significant cost-savings to Merseyside. “Our relationship with telent means we have a partner that we can rely on in the most demanding of circumstances,” said Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer at MFRA. “As well as having a deep understanding of the blue light sector, telent brings a flexible approach to its service delivery which has proved invaluable to us as we work to keep up with the fast-paced technological changes across the business sphere. Ultimately we know we have a highly-trusted partner in telent and look forward to working with the team for years to come.” ICT life-cycle management services More recently, telent has made additions to the ICT Service Catalogue which include providing ICT life-cycle management services for National Resilience Fire Control (NRFC) and the introduction of MFRA ICT cloud-based services to deliver in-house apps on frontline appliances. The National Resilience is responsible for deploying and co-ordinating National Resilience equipment and supporting individual fire and rescue services to minimise the impact of major emergencies. “What comes with an ICT Service Catalogue is the ability to have a Service Level Agreement with clearly defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and I am pleased as telent continues to meet those KPIs,” said Ed Franklin, Head of Technology at MFRA. “The Service Catalogue also provides the flexibility to easily adopt new services as our requirements evolve or new technology solutions become available.” According to the Home Office, MFRA attends more primary fires per thousand population than any other fire and rescue service in the UK. It is committed to attending all life risk incidents within 10 minutes on 90% of occasions.
Founded in France in June 2006, QIM specializes in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of quality automatic sprinkler systems. Created on the simple principle of providing quality products and service, QIM strives to ensure it offers the very best, most effective sprinkler protection systems for warehouses. Staying true to these principles, the company continues to see steady growth, with annual revenue reaching nearly £4 million in 2016. Tighter sprinkler regulations Focusing exclusively on warehouse projects, QIM works with some of the most respected construction companies in France. With French law requiring all warehouses larger than 6,000 m² in size requiring sprinkler protection, it is fair to say that QIM is used to large-scale projects. There is now a lot of choice, with many companies and products in the sprinkler world" Despite many changes in the industry, including tighter sprinkler regulations for warehouses, the company has continued to grow. When assessing what has changed in the industry in the last five years, Thomas Delahaye, engineer, at QIM, is clear while stating, “There is now a lot of choice, with many companies and products in the sprinkler world. Prices have also been steadily decreasing.” Tyco Factory Mutual (FM) pumps Despite continuing to grow, the company has never lost sight of its founding principle of providing quality products and service. Reflecting this, QIM’s CEO recently announced the company was seeking to maintain its current annual revenue rather than increase it. Whilst this may seem an odd aim for a company that has experienced such growth, Mr. Delahaye is in complete agreement with the policy, stating “This will allow us to choose our future projects and ensure we completely satisfy each customer.” Like most companies operating in the increasingly demanding construction industry, staying ahead of competition and keeping to tight schedules is vital - not just for their reputation but also their clients. Understanding this, QIM has, and continues to seek out, products and technologies that enable it to meet deadlines and stay ahead of the competition. This is why, Mr. Delahaye explains, the company continues to use Tyco products, “We have used Tyco products almost exclusively since our foundation. They continue to be our choice because of their prices and range of stock.” ESFR-25 sprinkler heads One recent project that the company is particularly proud of is a large warehouse recently completed in Amiens, northern France for an internationally-recognized global commerce company. Measuring 107,000 m2 in size, it is the company’s largest warehouse in the country. The scale and importance of the project meant installation was a huge undertaking; involving a staggering 10,000 Tyco model ESFR-25 sprinkler heads as well as 36 Tyco check valves and multiple Tyco Factory Mutual (FM) pumps. ESFR-25: Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) provides effective heavy sprinkler discharge at heights of up to 48ft (14.6m). Their benefits include Competitive prices Unique product range eliminates compromise The technical skills and know-how to ensure success Early Suppression Fast Response Benefits For this project, as with their others, there was no hesitation when it came to choosing which fire protection products to install, with Mr. Delahaye stating, “Tyco have the technical services and skills to answer our questions and solve problems, while their multiple locations mean getting Tyco products is quick and simple.”, stated Thomas Delahaye, Engineer, at QIM. In addition to the excellent reputation and uniqueness of Tyco products, Mr. Delahaye also highlighted another important aspect to the Tyco product range that is always a key consideration for businesses such as theirs own, which is the cost factor, “Tyco products are also very competitively priced compared to others,” added Mr. Delahaye.
An Advanced MxPro, multiprotocol fire system and Apollo detection has been installed to protect people and premises at the Magistrate's Court in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Representing a total upgrade of the previous fire protection to meet L1 requirements, the new intelligent fire system was installed by Network Security & Fire, based in Basingstoke. The original, single loop addressable fire system had been renewed at various points previously, but was no longer fit for purpose. The Estates team specified a new analogue addressable system with high sensitivity smoke detection in the custody suite, together with an automated Voice Alarm (VA) system. Out-of-hours installation The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point" There was no possibility of closing the building while the upgrade was made, so installation of the new fire equipment had to take place out of hours. This was not the only challenge on the project, as John Angell, Contract Manager, Network Fire & Security, explains, "In addition to limited access, we had to take into consideration the need to rewire the vast majority of the system. This was compounded by the design of the building, which features plasterboard ceilings, rather than suspended ceilings, and made access to voids for cable-laying quite difficult." "Within the courtrooms themselves, we also had to take into account the high ceiling heights. The roof void in each court has a central dome that rises two storeys at its highest point. This was not only an issue during installation but could have restricted access for essential maintenance. We were able to overcome this aspect by positioning the fire detectors around the coffer that surrounds the central roof dome." Advanced MxPro control panels Network Security & Fire recommended a fire system, configured around three networked Advanced MxPro control panels carries 260 Apollo Discovery devices, including optical smoke and heat detectors, loop-powered beacons, manual call points and interfaces. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert A modular voice alarm system is included, which comprises three master and five slave units. It is pre-programmed with a series of automated messages that are activated in the event of an alert, but there is also an option for manual intervention to broadcast bespoke messages using a microphone. Incident detection If an alarm is raised by devices within the courtroom areas, evacuation procedures are initiated in these zones and an alert is transmitted to the custody suite. Equally, should an incident be detected in the custody suite this area will be evacuated immediately and the court areas are put on stand-by. John Angell concludes, "Considering all the challenges regarding the 'live' site and other installation restrictions, this project went incredibly smoothly. We have been able to equip the Magistrate's Court with a modern fire detection system that is reliable, easy to use and flexible enough to meet current and future requirements."
Round table discussion
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?