Dräger has launched a range of solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams as part of its Health for the Firefighter campaign. Dräger have worked in partnership with Harstra instruments, a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The launch follows a study undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which demonstrated a self-contai...
Apollo Fire Detectors, has launched a new market insight program to help them continue to deliver innovative fire safety products and high standards of customer service. The Apollo Advisor Network encourages customers, installers and partners to share their experiences within the industry and the challenges they face. Registration is online and captures background on their company and individual responsibilities. Exclusive training access After signing up, Advisors have access to exclusive tr...
Designed with facilities managers and nominated Responsible Persons in mind, the guide has been created to be a trusted source of safety and compliance information. It is free for any business to download and use to review their own fire doors. In 2019, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme found that 76% of fire doors inspected were condemned as not fit for purpose, with excessive gaps, damaged smoke seals and poorly adjusted door closers the top reasons for failings. Fire door safety The research...
Should firefighters and other first responders be exempt from requirements that they wear face masks to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? The City Council of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, seems to think so. They are proposing an amendment to exempt first responders from complying with the city’s face mask ordinance. Amendment to Exempt first responders from face mask rule Specifically, the proposed amendment states, “Exempted from the requirements of the ordinance r...
The organizers of Milipol Qatar, the international event for homeland security and civil defense, have announced force majeure has prompted the postponement of the event for six months to March 2021. Over recent weeks and months, they have been in constant discussions with key industry authorities and partners to stay abreast of the challenges in the face of disruption due to COVID-19. In the light of the latest developments of the health situation worldwide and especially in Qatar, as announce...
Eunomia has convened a consortium to explore the costs of, and potential measures to prevent, fires which are being started by Lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries in waste. Fires in waste electronics are estimated to be growing: the incidence of fires in waste company Veolia’s refuse trucks are up 37.5% since 2017, and these are thought to have been caused by Li-ion batteries. Major cause of waste fires Li-ion batteries are found in a variety of consumer IT and electronics products and are o...
New aerial ladders that are more responsive to drive, faster to set up and with greater rescue capabilities are soon to hit the streets of London as the Brigade continues to improve its ability to deal with high rise incidents. Twelve new 32 meter appliances known as turntable ladders are part of the aerial replacement project and have many improvements on the existing fleet, the biggest being that the ladder articulates, allowing for greater maneuverability. The articulating top section means that down London’s narrow streets the turntable ladder can now set up closer to the building than previous aerial appliances. thermal imaging camera The new engines will be highly visible on London’s streets with its bright yellow ladder, bumpers and fenders The reach obtained can also means that the machines can be placed further away and overcome obstacles which would have problematic previously. The new turntable ladders are swift and responsive to drive and can reach their top working height within a minute from the moment of arrival at an incident. Other features include a detachable thermal imaging camera, improved stretcher capabilities all of which will enhance the company’s operations at height. They will also improve the capabilities for lighting and observation of emergencies from above, giving incident commanders greater knowledge from the sky. Turntable ladders are used by the Brigade for a wide range of tasks such as aerial water towers to put water on buildings from height, rescues, high level lighting and as observation platforms. The new engines will be highly visible on London’s streets with its bright yellow ladder, bumpers and fenders. open air training It also has driver aides like pre-emptive braking and lane change technology. London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “Our new aerial ladders are more responsive, quicker to set up and improve our ability to fight fires and rescue people from height. Our determination to get these working on London’s streets despite the challenges COVID-19 has given us shows our commitment to improve our response, especially at high rise incidents.” Training has been able to start on the new turntable ladders due to the hard work of Brigade staff and in close liaison with the Fire Brigades Union to make sure it can be done safely during the pandemic. The courses were completely revamped to make sure safe procedures are in place including the wearing of masks during driver training, increased open air training and regular sanitation of delegates hands and the machines. aerial ladder platform The Brigade will soon have three 64 meter ladders and they will be the tallest in the country Internal training venues were found quickly to make sure staff didn’t need to travel long distances and the risk to those involved could be reduced. Firefighters have also been incredibly flexible, attending courses at short notice to make sure the vehicles become operational as soon as possible. The Brigade’s training provider Babcock have made additional machines for training available so that multiple venues can be used, allowing for increased training while maintaining social distancing. In addition to these new 32 meter turntable ladders, the Brigade will soon have three 64 meter ladders and they will be the tallest in the country. Following tests and operational training the appliances are expected to be in service in the New Year. London Fire Brigade currently uses two main types of aerial appliance: the aerial ladder platform and the turntable ladder. present operational fleet The present operational fleet consists of four turntable ladders and seven aerial ladder platforms, plus four others used as reserve appliances for training. When the replacement project is completed the Brigade will only use turntable ladders. The new M32L-AS Ladders are manufactured by Magirus in Germany and as a first for LFB, are mounted on a Scania Lowline 360hp chassis.
Bosch Building Technologies introduces Avenar, a new generation of fire alarm panels and a milestone in enhancing the fire safety of buildings. The new panel series supports the transformation of building technologies driven by the Internet of Things (IoT). Fully backwards compatible with current fire alarm system components, the new Avenar panel 2000 and 8000 series presents significant improvements in terms of scalability, integration, and processing power. It offers a new level of safety, control and efficiency to security managers and building operators. smart building technologies “We’re building upon our leadership in fire alarm systems that are trusted in applications across the globe to position Avenar as a major step into the future of connected and smart building technologies,” said Kristof Vandenberghe, Product Manager for Fire and Evacuation Systems at Bosch Building Technologies. Avenar panel 2000 replaces the Fire Panel 1200 Series as the key solution for smaller projects Based on extensive customer feedback, this latest generation of fire alarm panels continues the Bosch legacy of innovation in fire safety systems. The new Avenar panel 2000 replaces the Fire Panel 1200 Series from Bosch as the key solution for smaller projects. It supports up to four loops instead of the previous two, thereby extending the applications from small projects to medium projects with up to 512 detectors and call points. fire alarm panel kit The new Avenar 2000 panels can connect to a panel network, allowing customers to distribute the intelligence of the fire system in the building while saving cabling costs. Furthermore, the new Avenar panel 2000 simplifies the planning and purchasing process for system integrators, as it comes as a complete fire alarm panel kit, expandable in modular fashion. For larger-scale installations, the Avenar panel 8000, the successor of the Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series, allows for up to 32 loops and a total of up to 4096 detectors and call points per panel. Both panels support the current generation of fire detectors based on Local Security Network (LSNi) connections, as well as call stations and other critical system components. Modular Fire Panel Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series enhances network efficiency and utilizes the backward compatibility The new panels can be installed alongside existing network architectures such as the Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series from Bosch. The possibility to build one common network around Avenar panel 2000 and 8000 as well as Avenar keypad 8000 and Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series enhances network efficiency and utilizes the backward compatibility. It also limits costs for extensions and retrofits to a minimum. Modular system built for scalability and connectivity Both panels support an Ethernet architecture with fast 100Mbit connectivity. Four external Ethernet ports are available to link Bosch fire panels and Bosch voice alarm systems on a network, connect to building management systems or other safety systems and also enable remote services for cloud-based control and maintenance. Fully controllable via graphic user interface (GUI) directly on fire panel As a technical novelty, the eMatrix graphic user interface (GUI) offers full control via a 7-inch screen. The intuitive interface provides a clear status overview of connected fire protection equipment and evacuation zones. eMatrix also controls voice alarm, door control as well as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning). It enables safety managers to optimize protection by monitoring automatically triggered evacuations and offers the possibility to interfere manually when required. Seamless integration of voice alarm via Smart Safety Link from Bosch Right out of the box, Avenar fire alarm panels integrate with voice alarm solutions from Bosch. This integration supports advanced functionality such as guided evacuation by building zones, allowing operators a high level of situational intelligence and optimized response times. Additionally, the solution significantly reduces installation time and costs by minimizing cabling requirements. simple firmware update “The computing power and connectivity of these new panels provide a foundation for the next generation of smart building and IoT solutions. It’s exciting to think that new features will become available seamlessly via a simple firmware update as we innovate the future of fire safety,” said Kristof Vandenberghe from Bosch Building Technologies. The new Avenar panels are available in all EN-54 markets.
Retention has long been a challenge for many volunteer and combination fire and EMS departments, yet little research has been done on the subject. volunteer fire service retention Thanks to support from a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has conducted a study to identify institutional drivers that cause volunteers to leave, the differing perceptions between leadership, current volunteers and former volunteers and what can be done to positively impact retention. The research was conducted in three phases over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020 The research was conducted in three phases over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020. The first phase included interviews with current and former volunteers as well as department leadership. SAFER work group feedback This was followed by a synthesis session and feedback from the NVFC’s SAFER work group, which consists of representative from several national fire and emergency service organizations. The final phase was a quantitative survey of over 1,000 current and former volunteers as well as current department leadership. “We know that many volunteer fire departments struggle with retaining volunteers, but much of our knowledge about why volunteers leave is based on anecdotal evidence,” said NVFC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Lee, who oversees the organization’s SAFER grant. Improving volunteer retention rate Sarah adds, “With this research, we now have data to back up the hypotheses. We also have a better idea of what areas to focus on to help departments overcome the challenges and improve their retention rates.” Some of the key findings from the quantitative research include the following: There is a disconnect between why former volunteers say they left a fire department versus what current leadership thinks are the reasons why volunteers leave. Current volunteers who have considered leaving but did not said their main reason for staying was their desire to give back to the community and help people. When asked what could have a positive impact on volunteer retention, both current and former volunteers cited mentorship programs, giving out awards/honors to members when they reach service milestones, conducting stay interviews with volunteers who have lapsed attendance and conducting exit interviews, when a volunteer leaves the department, as among their top choices. The majority of department leadership (74%) said their department either had a general sense of retention but no specific way of measuring it or no clear definition of retention at all. NVFC’s ‘Make Me A Firefighter’ campaign The NVFC will use the data from this research to develop tools and resources designed to help departments better understand and meet the retention challenges they face. The research was conducted as part of the NVFC’s ‘Make Me A Firefighter’ campaign, a SAFER-funded program that helps volunteer and combination fire departments recruit and retain volunteers. The campaign includes a department portal filled with free tools and resources to help departments increase their staffing and a public site where prospective volunteers can find a local fire service opportunity.
DripDrop ORS (DripDrop Hydration), a globally renowned rehydration therapy company, announced partnering with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to provide the nation’s volunteer firefighters with dehydration relief. DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution The company pledged to donate 100,000 sticks of DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) this summer to assist volunteer firefighters during extreme heat, wildfire season, and the COVID-19 pandemic. When this donation was met within two days of the campaign’s launch, DripDrop increased the amount by an additional 100,000 sticks. “The speed with which the initial donation amount was reached proves how needed rehydration therapy is in volunteer fire departments across the U.S.,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman, Steve Hirsch. Rehydrating firefighters working in extreme conditions Firefighters work and train in extreme conditions, losing a significant amount of water" Steve adds, “Firefighters work and train in extreme conditions, losing a significant amount of water. The generous donation of 200,000 sticks of DripDrop ORS will help make sure these firefighters receive the relief they need so they don’t suffer the negative consequences of dehydration.” “No one is immune to dehydration and the effects it can have on our bodies, particularly those who work in extreme conditions like firefighters,” said Eduardo Dolhun, Managing Director and Founder of DripDrop ORS. Eduardo adds, “We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS to help them stay healthy and maintain proper hydration levels.” DripDrop – NVFC partnership The partnership between DripDrop and the NVFC coincided with the expansion of DripDrop’s popular ORS lineup to now include an 80-count, multi-flavor box of berry, lemon, watermelon, and orange flavors. This product is the latest in DripDrop’s arsenal aimed at combating dehydration, a condition affecting up to 75 percent of the U.S. population at any given time. DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes, making it both the ideal rehydration therapy for the general population and a mission-critical tool for firefighters and other public safety and emergency workers.
Modules, also known as interfaces, are powerful devices designed to connect fire detection systems with other fire safety devices and/ or third-party equipment. For example, if there is a fire in a factory, user may wish to release magnetic locks on fire doors, send signals to access controls and automatically shut down plant machinery, all of which can be done through the capabilities of a module. The problem is, with so many modules available, how to know which one is ideal for a particular set up? Each manufacturer offers slightly different interfaces/modules, however, below is a list of Hochiki modules for a wide range of applications. The list offers a basic guide to help understand when and where a user can use each of the modules, however, full technical information and accessories can be found on the official Hochiki website. Powered Output Module Typically, a CHQ-POM module can also be used to interface equipment such as Hochiki’s IFD-E flame detector Hochiki’s CHQ-POM module is designed to supply 24 VDC at various, user-selectable current levels, from 2 to 32 mA (in increments of 2mA). This means that, by using a CHQ-POM, users can not only interface with conventional equipment, but can also power it. Typically, a CHQ-POM module can also be used to interface equipment such as Hochiki’s IFD-E flame detector or even the LDM-519-LP linear heat controller. Single Input Module Hochiki’s CHQ-SIM module has been designed to allow a single monitored input to be connected to the ESP loop. For example, the module offers a cost-effective way of interfacing and monitoring a conventional fire alarm panel. Single Output Module Hochiki’s CHQ-SOM module allows a single relay output to be connected to the ESP loop. The unit incorporates a volt-free relay contact that can be configured as normally open or normally closed, therefore, allowing users to program outputs such as, breaking the DC supply to Maglocks or sending a signal to a lift controller. Dual Input Module The CHQ-DIM2 (SCI) module is similar to the single input module, but with 2 independent inputs for connecting volt free contacts. The CHQ-DIM2 module is, therefore, a cost-effective solution if the user wants to receive inputs from two pieces of third-party equipment, for example, receiving input from a sprinkler flow switch and a door contact in the same area. Dual Relay Module The CHQ-DRC2 (SCI) module is similar to the single output module, but with two general purpose outputs that can be controlled separately. As the product name suggests, it also has an integrated short circuit isolator. The CHQ-DRC2 (SCI) module is, therefore, ideal for interfacing the fire system with two pieces of third-party equipment, for example, breaking the DC supply to both a door magnet and an access control system. 4 Inputs and 4 Outputs The CHQ-PCM (SCI) module is that little bit more flexible, allowing users to sub address up to 4 inputs and 4 outputs The CHQ-PCM (SCI) module is that little bit more flexible, allowing users to sub address up to 4 inputs and 4 outputs. The 4 inputs are provided for local fire and fault monitoring, and these are fully monitored for open and short circuit, which if required, can be enabled or disabled in pairs, using a two-way DIL switch. Again, the outputs can be used to interface with any third-party equipment, including dampers, air-conditioning units, roller shutters or plant equipment, etc. Single Zone Monitor Hochiki’s CHQ-SZM2 (SCI) module is a single zone monitor, allowing users to interface up to 6 conventional devices with an addressable system. As the name suggests, it treats the 6 conventional devices as a single zone. This is ideal for shopping centers that require an addressable system throughout the main center, but also need to interface with conventional devices in each store. Each store would be seen as a separate zone, allowing the main center to identify which store had the fire or fault. Dual Zone Monitor The CHQ-DZM (SCI) module is a more powerful version of the CHQ-SZM2 (SCI) module. It has two zones and each can accommodate up to 30 devices (60 in total). As users may expect, a unit as powerful as this does will require an external PSU unit, however, it is really useful if they have an existing conventional system, and require more intelligent monitoring. This module is especially useful for users who don’t quite have the budget to upgrade to a full addressable system. Mains Relay Controller The CHQ-MRC2 (SCI) controller module has a single relay contact rated at 250Vdc at 5A or 48 Vdc at 2A The CHQ-MRC2 (SCI) controller module has a single relay contact rated at 250Vdc at 5A or 48 Vdc at 2A (resistive load only in both instances), which gives users the flexibility to interface directly with mains powered equipment, for example, to shut down plant equipment or to break the supply to a gas solenoid. Dual Sounder Controller Hochiki’s CHQ-DSC2 (SCI) controller module is designed specifically to provide two conventional sounder outputs rated at 1A. Furthermore, each can be controlled separately and has full fault monitoring. However, it is important to note that the CHQ-DSC2 (SCI) module does require a 24v power supply. Intrinsically Safe Compatible Sounder Module When installing intrinsically safe sounders in a hazardous location or difficult area, the CHQ-ISM module must sit between the CHQ-DSC2 (SCI) module and the barrier. The modules are designed to interface with the addressable ESP system, while the barrier is designed to reduce the current. It is important to remember for users that both the barrier and the modules must sit in the safe area, not the hazardous area.
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announced it is offering payment relief options to its customers affected by Hurricanes Laura and Isaias, as well as those impacted by the wildfires in California and the derecho which struck the Midwest earlier in August 2020. This broad outreach includes any Toyota Financial Services (TFS) or Lexus Financial Services (LFS) customer in the designated disaster areas. Toyota Financial Services cares about the safety and well-being of its customers, and wants to help those impacted by these natural disasters. Impacted lease and finance customers residing in the affected areas may be eligible to take advantage of several payment relief options, some of which include: Extensions and lease deferred payments Redirecting billing statements Arranging phone or online payments Customers who would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact TFS or LFS.
Like professional athletes, learning how to stay composed under pressure is key to performing your best in any situation. Whether it’s a dynamic incident you are commanding at work, an important staff or city council meeting, dealing with a difficult person or situations in your personal life, how you cope with pressure is one way you separate yourself from the pack. Learning how to stay composed under pressure is key to performing your best in any situation. We cannot allow our emotions to go through the roof every time we encounter stress or difficult situations. Situational Awareness can also be practiced as a "personal tool" when feeling stressed. Why is it some people thrive under the pressure? They go deeper in “the zone” while others get distracted and have a meltdown. How you interpret and deal with the pressure is what helps you succeed. Dealing with pressure Learning how to stay composed under pressure is key to performing your best in any situation Is your interpretation of pressure a challenge or a threat? Pressure comes from external sources, other's expectations, or your own expectations to perform well. They also come from our formative years and how we watched our parents handle them. You can view pressure situations in two ways: as a challenge that instills motivation or as a threat that instills anxiety. Here are a few techniques for staying composed when you start to feel the heat: Tap the Brakes Anxiety speeds up your behavior. When you feel tense, try to slow down. Be more deliberate without overanalyzing the situation. When you hurry you are prone to accidents. Breathe Deep Deep breathing is an excellent technique to reduce muscular tension and focus on something positive. Use abdominal breathing (breathe deeply through your abdominal cavity or stomach) to reduce tension. Be the Incident Commander (IC) of your emotions Anxiety increases when your self-talk is negative and self-defeating. An example of negative self-talk is, “I’m a choker, I can never perform well when I need to”, which increases anxiety and decreases self-confidence. Notice when your self-talk becomes negative and learn to switch your inner voice to positive self-talk. You are the IC, so give yourself some words of encouragement. Deep breathing is an excellent technique to reduce muscular tension and focus on something positive Change Your Tactics and Strategy Anxiety or feelings or threat make you focus internally on your pounding heart, rapid breathing, and sweaty palms, which further increases anxiety. Offensive strategy. This internal focus is not a good type of focus for execution. Defensive Strategy. Great execution flows from being focused externally on the environment and reacting to the situation. Shift your attention externally to what is in front of you. Focus on the process of execution instead of the fear of failing. Use it to Your Advantage The excitement or fear you experience when under pressure can help you if you interpret it as a friend and not a threat. Always remember, nothing lasts forever... You are the incident commander!
Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in fires in England, according to UK Home Office statistics. And while around three million fire doors are installed in the UK every year, a lack of understanding during operation, maintenance and management of fire doors is still apparent. In this article, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, will address this issue. Importance of fire doors Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire door hardware remains a significant area of concern. In May 2018, an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by dame Judith Hackitt, have been published. The review highlighted a range of issues, but the message stood clear, the UK’s current approach to fire safety in buildings is not functioning as intended and a new, holistic approach to fire safety is required. Review of fire inspections In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors. However, there is no legal requirement for them to complete any recommended upgrades or repairs, or to prove that they have done so. This represents a major problem, as doors that do not perform to the required standard could compromise a building’s safety and put occupants at risk. Ultimately, this could lead to liability being assigned back to the building owner or facilities manager. Need to maintain fire safety standards Fire safety is only properly maintained if standards and checks are carried out throughout the lifecycle of the product and building. This is best addressed through regular inspection, maintenance and the replacement of products when required. A review by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed the most common fire door faults, ranging from missing fire or smoke seals, to unsuitable hinges and damage to the door leaf itself. Any one of these issues can render a fire door useless and can seriously impede a door’s capability to protect people from harm. Door leaf and frame maintenance Fire door hardware is often not afforded the attention it requires and is left mismanaged throughout its service life. So what needs to be done to ensure fire door hardware is working as expected? Naturally, the door leaf should not be damaged, warped or twisted, and it is vital to ensure the fire door closes correctly around all parts of the frame, with no distortion between the stiles, top and frame. Gaps between the door and leaf must not be greater than those specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet, typically around 3 to 4mm all the way round. Importance of door closers A door closer ensures a fire door returns to its fully closed position and the door seals correctly in the door frame A door closer ensures a fire door always returns to its fully closed position and makes sure that the door seals correctly in the door frame, when not in use. There are three steps to ensuring these components are working correctly. First, open the door fully and check that it closes without dragging across the floor. Next, open it to approximately 5-10 degrees and again check that it fully closes, engaging any latch or seal. Finally, check the door closing speed is approximately five seconds from a 90 degree angle, ensuring the door does not slam shut. Intumescent fire and smoke seals Fire and smoke seals should be in good condition, fit the full length of the door and be secure in the groove. If seals are badly fitted, damaged or painted, then they must be replaced with exactly the same size and intumescent material that was originally specified. If the smoke seals have to be replaced, then they should be fitted in one continuous length, if possible. To ensure hinges are in good condition, check for visible wear, dark marks or stains around the hinge knuckle that could indicate wear and impending failure. Hinges must be strong enough to carry the door mass, plus robust enough to work efficiently no matter the level of usage. The hinges should be firmly screwed into the door and frame, ensuring that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing at any time. Intumescent pads should also be used with hinges, as these are required for the door to get its appropriate fire rating. Locks and lever handles To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use Wiping any metal dust deposits off the handles will help ensure that the latch-bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the keep during use. To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use. If it does not, the lever may, at best, need adjusting or lubricating. At worst, it may need replacing, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, ensure the lock case is protected by intumescent material. Maintaining record of fire door inspection No matter the component, a record of inspection and maintenance should be kept for all door hardware. Furthermore, those responsible for ensuring the fire safety of a site should encourage others to report any issues with any of the door components. Faults should be fixed as soon as possible, using the correct and fire-rated components. To check the compatibility of components, always consult the fire certificate data sheet or contact the manufacturer.
Every day, across the globe, emergency services teams come to people’s aid no matter the situation to ensure their safety. Whether it’s during a natural disaster, or at a significant event, the emergency services are on hand to face any challenge that comes their way. When supporting this crucial workforce, it is essential that they have robust and reliable connectivity. Technology is becoming a vital aspect of public safety and security worldwide, and this trend is only likely to grow. For these new devices to work effectively, full-scale coverage must be in place, and when it comes to people’s safety, there is no room for error. The need for redundancy and high bandwidth Two of the paramount tools at emergency services disposal are video surveillance and communication devices. Constant visibility and communication are often essential to protecting people and saving lives. The benefits range from providing first responders with a clear picture and understanding of the situation they are about to encounter; to providing greater safety during public events by enabling officers to control crowds and manage traffic effectively. Enhancing visibility and sharing information is particularly crucial during fires to guide firefighters and vehicles through flames and smoke, and to allow the central command center to organize resources effectively. Technology is becoming a vital aspect of public safety and security worldwide, and this trend is only likely to grow Despite any potential challenges ensuring network connectivity may create, public safety organizations cannot compromise when it comes to optimizing security. For IP video surveillance and cellphone broadband connectivity to operate effectively, they require redundancy and high bandwidth. Without these connectivity attributes, devices become useless; for example, there are municipalities where as much as 50 percent of the camera network is offline because of poor product choices and inferior network design and installation. Equally, poor quality networking can be just as limiting as it can lead to public safety organizations being unable to receive real-time data. All areas must also have adequate bandwidth to access data, such as on-scene video, aerial imagery, maps, and images, and many existing public safety networks do not have that capacity. Supporting security and safety robotics Robots and drones have seen a considerable increase in popularity this year, with 60 million such machines being deployed according to ABI Research. They offer a wealth of potential to emergency services teams, whether on land, air, or sea. For example, water rescue robots can go where humans cannot, earthquake and fire robots can search through otherwise non-navigable areas, and drones can survey vast regions. However, for these wireless devices to work effectively, they rely on many features. They need low power consumption so as not to heavily burden the onboard power source of the robotic device and, perhaps, a high level of encryption so information cannot be stolen or hacked. There are also benefits to security and safety as robotic devices can communicate with one another peer-to-peer. Directly mounting radios to robots and drones, fosters dynamic self-learning, data sharing, and more wireless paths in the event one or more of the devices in an area do not have a link to fixed infrastructure. Water rescue robots can go where humans cannot, earthquake and fire robots can search through otherwise non-navigable areas, and drones can survey vast regions The main component that security and safety robotics require is redundant and resilient connections. If the connection is lost, the connected device will go into “safe” mode and stop. Creating a high capacity network that supports mobile devices in complex and fast-moving environments is not a simple task. In many cases, it requires a network that supports many wireless connections and allows for many paths in and out, so that if a link is lost, another path is available for data transmission and reception. This type of network is the best way to ensure that police, firefighters, and emergency units can access and send large amounts of data from wherever they are and in real-time making a massive difference to the efficiency of the emergency services. An example of this is Rajant’s private Kinetic Mesh® network, a wireless network ensuring no single point of failure. It offers reliable, intelligent, and secure wireless broadband connectivity that survives and thrives in evolving and mobility-driven environments. It forms a “living” mesh network that can move with and adapt to the evolving communication requirements of public safety organizations. Technology in action Back in October 2019, the heat from the sun, combined with winds gusting through the foothills of El Capitán Canyon in California, sparked a bush fire in the overly dry, desert hills. Despite four hundred and twenty acres being burnt, firefighters used their experience and skills combined with newfound digital technology to ensure that no structures were damaged, and there were no reported injuries. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Cal Fire, the U.S Forest Service, and other agencies were immediately dispatched to contain the fire. More than 200 firefighters were needed to combat the fire and reinforce containment lines with helicopters and drones in the air and bulldozers on the ground. To operate this equipment, mesh radio nodes, bonded cellular, and satellite technologies were used to link the communication gap in locations where signals are often dropped. Rajant BreadCrumb® nodes were mounted to the fire-breaking, 30-ton bulldozers manned by trained firefighters to uproot vegetation and eliminate the materials that would further spread the fire. Robots and drones have seen a considerable increase in popularity this year, with 60 million such machines being deployed The reliable connectivity allowed the bulldozers to not only easily communicate with each other and the base, but also to send video footage and data to the tactical truck and central command post over cellular and SAT networks. This situational awareness data transfer allowed for greater efficiency, as well as increased safety for the public and the firefighters. Reliability when you need it most Reliable connectivity solutions are being embraced across the emergency services due to the innumerable benefits they bring to ensuring the safety of the public. For police, firefighters, and emergency units, dependable connectivity allows for rapid, real-time response, and the use of technology can save lives in ways that wouldn’t have seemed possible a decade ago. Planned and unplanned events can benefit from the new technology being introduced, and emergency services need to make sure they have the network capabilities to support them. For environments that are challenging and hostile, this requires a network available on-demand, which can withstand the demands of harsh conditions and mobility while maintaining a level of redundancy and high bandwidth that allows for accessing and sending large amounts of data from any location.
The biggest risk of property damage and injury from wildfires comes at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which is defined as areas where structures and the built environment begin to intermingle with wildland vegetation. More and more such areas are being created as humans move near wildland areas to take advantage of their natural beauty and privacy. As a result, fire departments are fighting more fires along the interface, and there is a greater need for citizens living in these areas to be aware of the dangers of wildfires and to be prepared. ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents that live in areas at risk of wildland fires. A program of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ offers the tools and resources for fire departments to provide more understanding of the risk of wildland fires and the actions residents should take to reduce the risk. The program seeks to help residents to be ‘Ready’ with preparedness understanding, ‘Set’ with situational awareness when fire threatens and to ‘Go’, that is, to leave early when a fire starts. Enhancing situational awareness via notification systems The ‘Ready’ tenet focuses on establishing understanding of the wildland fire threat and how it can be mitigated. The ‘Set’ tenet focuses on heightening situational awareness through notification systems and warnings (such as Red Flag Warnings). The ‘Go’ tenet calls on residents to leave early and emphasizes that waiting until the last moment can increase danger and impede response. However, the RSG! program does not supersede state and local practices regarding how and when people evacuate an area. In the end, evacuation is a local issue. Wildland fire education efforts The RSG! program is complementary to and collaborates with Firewise USA and other existing wildland fire education efforts, including Living with Fire, Take Responsibility, FireSmart, Fire Safe Councils, Project Wildfire, and others. RSG! materials include ‘Your Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide’, a national video, PowerPoint presentation template, press releases, media article templates and local meeting handouts. The RSG! program materials can be adapted to local needs. Many states and localities have customized the materials by adding local department and agency logos, landscape pictures, and text about past fires. Wildland-urban interface (WUI) The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is not so much a place as a set of conditions that are conducive to spread of wildfire The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is not so much a place as a set of conditions that are conducive to spread of wildfire. Conditions include the type and distribution of vegetation, proximity of vegetation to other structures, climate and weather patterns, fire history, topography and access. Embers from wildfires can be carried by the wind more than a mile away. They are the leading cause of home fires resulting from nearby wildfires. Embers fall or are wind-driven into receptive fuels and structures, often going undetected. As the fire front passes, embers may ignite fires that spread from home to home in a neighborhood. Wildland fire programs Through the International Association of Fire Chiefs' wildland fire programs, the organization raises awareness of wildland fire risks by educating members, residents, landowners and managers, local officials and planners. The IAFC provides resources and information that support local departments’ outreach efforts and serve as a voice for local government on a national level.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding the variety of technical capabilities deployed in the interest of public safety, and smart cities are leveraging IoT data to provide insights and improve operations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is promoting technology development through its Science and Technology Directorate’s SCITI (pronounced “city”) solutions lab. SCITI stands for Smart City and Internet of Things Innovation. SCITI innovations promote public safety in urban environments to expand capabilities of first responders, including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, and the associated commercial sector. The initiative focuses on integrating new and existing technologies to serve public safety needs, with emphasis on validation and go-to-market support through industry partners. A streamlined process is aimed at getting new capabilities commercialized and available to users. Supporting first responders The program seeks to provide new capabilities to support first responders and the associated commercial sector in three areas. They are: Autonomous navigation for indoor Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to support search and rescue missions in difficult environments. Intelligent building sensors to be mounted on fixed indoor building features, such as smoke detectors or exit signs. Sensors provide a mechanism to rapidly prioritize areas for search and rescue. A body-worn interoperable platform (“SmartHub”) that integrates personal network communications with third-party sensors to improve situational awareness. Collaborations for development The program has been instrumental in developing and commercializing a number of products DHS Science and Technology is leveraging a “commercial first” approach by working with technology innovation companies, government public safety officials, infrastructure owners and private sector investment partners to promote the design, development and operational testing and evaluation of suitability for commercial adoption. The program has been instrumental in developing and commercializing a number of products. Improving communication is one area of development. For example, Zello, Austin, Texas, provides a push-to-talk smartphone app that is a low-cost, reliable and secure alternative to traditional radios. Wireless System Solutions, Morrisville, North Carolina, has developed end-to-end multi-standard/band wireless network solutions that provide connectivity from the macro cellular network to the end-point gateway and/or sensor. Emergency situational awareness To provide situational awareness in an emergency, Known Quantity Sensors Inc., Atlanta, offers an IoT edge sensor platform To provide situational awareness in an emergency, Known Quantity Sensors Inc., Atlanta, offers an IoT edge sensor platform that uses AI-backed, image-based processing to quantify and locate human occupancy. CommandWear Systems, Vancouver, British Columbia, provides a simple, secure, mobile situational awareness platform that runs on existing smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops and desktop PC. The system enables users to prepare for events and incidents in advance, know where personnel and assets are, communicate with them securely, and then review and analyze a mission after the fact. Other solutions promote teamwork and collaboration. Mutualink, Wallingford, Connecticut, connect voice, video and information sources so any agency can talk to and share information with partners on-demand, providing instant emergency collaboration, situational awareness and coordination. Coolfire Solutions, St. Louis, Missouri, provides collaboration software that synchronizes data, content and communications to enable people to work together more effectively. Artificial intelligence Providing automation to operate in an emergency, Airgility, College Park, Maryland, provides multi-mission unmanned aerial vehicles that can conduct search and rescue operations or protect the nation’s borders, including onboard artificial intelligence. Thirteen companies in all were selected in the first phase of the program, and additional companies were added in Phase II. The SCITI solutions lab was created in collaboration with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, TechNexus in Chicago, and Smart City Works venture labs in Washington, D.C.
Ignited by a faulty electric transmission line in November 2018, the Camp Fire burned for 17 days in Butte County, near the city of Paradise, Calif. When the blaze was finally contained, it had burned more than 150,000 acres, destroyed 18,000 buildings and taken 86 lives. The question is if the fire could have been predicted and if the damage could have been minimized through greater understanding of risk factors. Also if there is a scientific way to reduce the risk of fires, analogous to advances already made in the areas of earthquake risk assessment and disaster resilience. Those are some of the questions facing new research being undertaken by scientists at several institutions and financed through a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s LEAP-HI program. LEAP-HI is “Leading Engineering for America’s Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure.” Diverse Team of researchers The new initiative will bring together a diverse team that includes atmospheric scientists, civil engineers, information systems and technology, fire ecology, weather systems, structural and fire engineering, and computer vision and machine learning. The vision of the research is “a computational platform for multi-level wildfire risk assessment.” The researchers seek to redefine wildfire risk monitoring and management to provide a platform that can be used by wildfire managers, emergency responders and utility companies to plan for, respond to, and mitigate the risk of wildfires. Hopefully, the research can lower the probability the world would suffer from another wildfire of the magnitude of the Camp Fire. The new capabilities could help to offset the growing trend of wildfire danger: Over the last 20 years, on average, seven million acres of U.S. land have burned in wildfires annually. Fire risks at regional and community scales The new computational platform will make wildfire management processes more efficient The “interdisciplinary intervention” will build a digital platform to monitor the risk of wildfire “on a spectrum of spatial resolution and time.” The new computational platform will make wildfire management processes more efficient by providing actionable information to decision-makers. Data will include long-term to short-term pre-ignition fire risks at regional and community scales, and post-ignition fire behavior at near-real-time for situational awareness. Computational modeling will be used to interpret data assembled by the group of researchers applying a variety of expertise to the larger problem. The systematic framework will quantify the risk of wildfires to the wildland-urban-interface communities in terms of total probability of loss, which includes a combination of monetary damage and the change in the quality of life of people. The model will take into account characteristics such as the community, its structure and location; as well as the adjacent wildland, its topography, climate conditions, fuel type and moisture. Principal investigator Hamed Ebrahimian, Assistant Professor at the University of Las Vegas, Reno, Nevada, College of Engineering, will lead the research as the principal investigator. Moved by the tragedy of the Camp Fire, Ebrahimian is seeking a better way to understand fire risk. The project will also involve researchers from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Reno, Nevada; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); University at Buffalo (N.Y.); National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado (NCAR); and the University of Nevada, Reno, Colleges of Science and Business. Predicting the behavior of fire Tools used in the research will be integrating scientific knowledge across disciplines, data harnessing (collection, processing, fusion, and uncertainty quantification); computational modeling, stochastic simulation, and model-based inference (i.e., making predictions based on calculations). (Stochastic simulation addresses variables that can change randomly with individual probabilities.) Computations that help to predict how active fires will behave and propagate will be instrumental in helping ground-zero firefighting activities.
Set on the iconic shores of Italy’s Lake Garda, Campeggio del Garda is a popular campsite that attracts tourists from around the globe to its picturesque location. Hochiki Italia’s Totem solution was specified to protect the idyllic campsite and provide occupants with an ideal level of outdoor protection. Campeggio del Garda is located on the water’s edge of Lake Garda, one of Italy’s most picturesque lakes and holiday hotspots. The scenic location offers a range of bungalows and mobile homes, as well as camping and mobile home pitching areas, for visitors. Looking at the spot, it’s clear why this campsite has become a must-visit attraction for tourists. With on-site facilities such as a swimming pool, restaurant and sports courts, the 3,000 guests the site can accommodate are able to enjoy complete luxury during their stay. Updated emergency evacuation system Italian-based designers, Studio Albertini, were brought on board to specify a suitable range of life safety devices In need of an updated emergency evacuation system, Italian-based designers, Studio Albertini, were brought on board to specify a suitable range of life safety devices to protect the site’s guests and employees. Owner and lead contact for the project, Paolo Albertini said, “It was essential for Campeggio del Garda that the solution would be complex enough to deal with the scale of their facilities, but also waterproof to accommodate for outdoor protection. Understanding the high-level of expertise that would be required for such a project, we worked alongside life safety manufacturer, Hochiki Italia, to supply the best and safest solution possible. In this case, their unique Totem system was specified.” Studio Albertini and Hochiki Italia collaboration Studio Albertini and Hochiki Italia collaborated closely on the project to specify a life safety system that could be installed across the expansive accommodation facility. Mirko Corsini, Project Manager at Hochiki Italia, said “Due to the sheer size of the camping area, we decided to manage the system through two networked panels by using the master/slave function of the device.” Mirko Corsini adds, “Combining this intelligent system with the 31 Totem call points that were installed throughout the campsite, we were able to provide a fully integrated and accessible network that covered the entirety of the park. Each Totem is fully waterproof to allow for operation all year around and contains a CHQ -WSB2 sounder beacon, warning signs, multilingual fire safety instructions as well as a UNI ISO 7010 signal call point, as requested by the Ministerial Decree.” Hochiki’s Totem system installed Hochiki Italia’s Totem system is ideal for large scale projects, as was the case and requirement at Campeggio del Garda. Being able to work from multiple networked panels, the system can be divided into zones, in order to make the connection and detection more secure and reliable. This basically means that the system can be operated and monitored from a singular control panel that includes a digital display screen for complete visibility of the status of the various call points. From this panel, duty holders can test, activate and identify any incidents for around the clock safety while reducing operational costs for large premises. The Totem’s call points are placed evenly across the facility to make sure they are accessible for all guests and are within a reachable distance at all times. The call points can be activated by guests or members of staff and can act as a beacon to communicate with guests. Fully compliant solution Totem is fully compliant with Italy’s Ministerial Decree 28.02 2014 and Circ. Prot.n. 0011002 - 12/9/2014 Totem is fully compliant with Italy’s Ministerial Decree 28.02 2014 and Circ. Prot.n. 0011002 - 12/9/2014, in relation to the safety of guests in open air, tourist accommodation. The decree states that all existing accommodation facilities must adopt the appropriate method of fire detection and fighting in spaces of more than 400 people. A clear part of the guidance is that call points should be distributed within 80 meters of each other and well-lit, with multi-lingual fire instructions. At the same time, the alarm signal coming from any of the detectors or call points must determine the optical and acoustic fire alarm signal at a manned place during the hours of activity. Signal and call point functionalities The signal and call point functionalities of Hochiki Italia’s Totem system work perfectly in line these requirements, making them suitable for a range of outdoor environments. Commenting on the end result, Paolo Albertini said “We are elated with the installation and the level of life safety that we can now offer to the campsite’s guests. It was a seamless process and we were able to adapt the system to our exact needs and ensure that fire detection was not only present, but accessible to staff across the whole site. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hochiki Italia products to customers.”
C-TEC’s revolutionary CAST and Hush Pro fire alarm systems are safeguarding a charming cluster of commercial and residential properties in Llangollen, Wales. As a ‘mixed-use’ building housing both business units and domestic dwellings, a combination of commercial and residential fire systems was required. Allied Fire Alarms & Escapes Co. Ltd., a renowned Wrexham-based fire specialist company, installed one of C-TEC’s powerful CAST XFP addressable fire systems to protect the ground floor retail units and interfaced it to three of C-TEC’s new Hush Pro domestic fire systems to safeguard the residential dwellings on the first floor. Hush Pro domestic fire systems John Westerman, Director at Allied Fire Alarms & Escapes Co. Ltd. said, “Linking C-TEC’s CAST system to Hush Pro proved the ideal solution for this mixed-use building. Each domestic dwelling is fitted with a Hush Pro controller connected to a series of Hush Pro smoke detectors, base sounders and heat detectors, all interfaced via Hush Pro’s CAST Landlord Interfaces - to the CAST XFP communal/landlord system.” Specifically designed for flats, apartments and high-rise residential buildings, Hush Pro provides residents with easy-to-use detection, alarm, silencing and test facilities so they can test their own devices, be alerted to system faults and hush any false alarms at the Hush Button which is positioned at light-switch level for easy access. Fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults and operation faults" John stated, “We specified Hush Pro as it offers higher levels of fire protection over the Grade D unmonitored battery alarm systems typically used in domestic installations.” He adds, “As a fully-monitored BS 5839-6 Grade C system, Hush Pro reports open and short circuit faults and operation faults back to the CAST fire panel and even allows management and maintenance companies to remotely monitor the system. In the event of an emergency, Hush Pro relays information to the CAST panel to effectively notify building management.” Integration with CAST fire system John further said, “As an intelligent domestic detection system, Hush Pro certainly ticks all the boxes. We were very impressed by its operation and ease of integration with the CAST fire system, which was also simple and straightforward to set up. With regards to customer support, C-TEC is always very responsive and happy to help with any enquiries we have.” He adds, “We look forward to installing C-TEC’s products into our future contracts as they provide high-quality, intuitive and easy-to-install fire detection solutions that can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of any building.”
Selected for their performance, quality and ease of use, 96 intelligent addressable MxPro 5 fire alarm control panels and 34 custom AdSpecials panels will be installed at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, as part of a comprehensive upgrade. As a center of clinical excellence, Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, has over 5,500 staff providing district general hospital and specialist tertiary services to the local community and the wider population of the North West of England, so fire system reliability was a critical part of the specification. Manchester-based Grainger Fire & Security, responsible for the 18-month project, chose Advanced’s fire protection for its robustness, versatility and ease of installation in complex and critical sites. BMS integration The system changeover to Advanced will involve the installation of new network cable across a live hospital environment as well as BMS integration, and the introduction of a graphics package to provide visual representation of the fire system to end users. The 34 custom-engineered, 6-loop panels with 600 zonal LEDs included in the installation will be designed and manufactured by Advanced’s AdSpecials department. The network of Advanced panels will work with over 20,000 devices using Apollo and Hochiki protocol. In addition, a full design review of the hospital’s existing false alarm management strategy will take place to ensure that the new system is programmed to effectively reduce unwanted alarms. Fully interactive internet portal The upgrade to the system will also see the introduction of ipGateway, Advanced’s fully interactive internet portal Will Taylor, Service & Small Works Manager at Grainger Fire & Security, said: “As Wythenshawe is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, we needed a solution that offered superior programming and networking capabilities, ensuring the highest levels of protection across the site.” “As our preferred panel choice, we have recommended Advanced for a number of years. Its MxPro 5 panels are both easy to use and install and offer the features required to competently protect the hospital and its multiple buildings that each have individual cause and effect programming.” The upgrade to the system will also see the introduction of ipGateway, Advanced’s fully interactive internet portal that presents the user with a detailed description of the current status of the fire system. Reducing unnecessary service visits The ability to remotely interrogate the fire system is a valuable benefit for both the end user and Grainger Fire and Security, who will be able to pre-empt problems. Not only will this provide additional peace of mind for hospital users, it will also save time, money and inconvenience by reducing unnecessary service visits to site. Neil Parkin, Advanced’s Regional Sales Manager for the North, said: “The cause and effect programming capabilities of our panels provide tangible benefits to customers when protecting large-scale sites such as hospitals, university campuses or airport terminals.” “Once the system at Wythenshawe Hospital is up and running, features such as AlarmCalm, our built-in false alarm management and reduction software, will work to radically reduce the number of unwanted alarms and the impact they have on patients and staff. It’s a pleasure to be able to support Grainger Fire & Security on this project, and I have complete confidence that our products will provide the dependable solution required.” Multiprotocol fire system solution MxPro panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s multiprotocol fire system solution and was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers customers a choice of two-panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200 panels covering huge areas. MxPro’s ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range, make it customizable to almost any application. Life-saving technology Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company Halma PLC, protects all manner of prestigious and high profile sites across the globe, from London’s Shard and the Berkeley Hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Hagia Sophia historic site in Turkey. 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 provider in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see its products specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
A huge new Amazon fulfillment center on the outskirts of Bristol has installed Vimpex Smart+Guard tough polycarbonate hinged protective covers to protect the building’s alarm call points from accidental or malicious activation, which could trigger costly building evacuations resulting in lost production and missed logistical connections. Life and fire protection system Amazon’s new 500,000 sq. feet fulfillment center at Severn Beach is designed to ensure that more people in the Bristol region receive next-day deliveries. When it is fully operational in September the center will employ around 1,000 people and will be equipped with advanced robotics technology to help lift and move products around the plant. Fire detection specialists AFS (AFS Holdings), engaged to engineer and install a whole life protection system at the fulfillment center site, fitted Vimpex Smart+Guard covers to all the relevant manual call points across the site to protect the system from malicious activation. Smart+Guard protective cover Smart+Guard, manufactured in the UK by Vimpex, is a tough hinged protective cover Smart+Guard, manufactured in the UK by Vimpex, is a tough hinged protective cover that can be easily installed over a range of emergency switches and other devices to provide protection from vandalism, accidental damage or misuse that can cause unwanted alarms. Misuse of manual call points or pull stations resulting in false or nuisance alarms is a costly and troublesome interruption to business continuity. BS 5839 – The British Standard for Fire Alarm Installations recommends the use of manual call point covers in vulnerable areas to mitigate against false alarms. Vimpex Limited’s Managing Director, James Jones, commented, “When we acquired the SmartGuard range of products and merged production of the range into our operations, we knew there was massive scope for developing the business. This is evidenced by the growing list of high-profile end users now specifying the product for use in their facilities.” Fire alarm and detection systems specialist James adds, “The recent news that Amazon has installed the product into their newest fulfillment center in Bristol is testament to our great levels of customer service and our willingness to go that extra mile for our customers.” Vimpex is Europe’s renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of high quality fire evacuation and alarm system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. The company is also a specialist in the supply of technical rescue and PPE equipment for UK fire, rescue, police, military and emergency services teams.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, after Berlin, and home to approximately 1.8 million inhabitants, with its metropolitan region home to over five million. More than one million incoming calls must be handled by the control centers of fire services and police. The control room renewal project (in German Projekt ERneuerung LEitstellen - PERLE) will provide the two emergency services with a modern technical control room solution, in order to meet the organizations current and future requirements, as well as increase safety for citizens of and visitors to Hamburg. Increasing operator efficiency “We were impressed with the innovative solution concept that Frequentis had demonstrated to us, especially the multimedia functionality that will prepare us for the future needs of the emergency services, increasing the efficiency and operator convenience as well as public emergency contact,” said Eiko Hinrichs group leader of PERLE - firefighter and engineer for communication technology. “It gave us a great pleasure, to gain Frequentis as a very experienced and reliable partner for the implementation of our new communication system.“ 3020 LifeX™ is a future-oriented public safety communication and collaboration software designed to fulfill the demands of a next-generation control room (on-premises or hosted) that requires multimedia contact handling for telephony as well as radio for future cross-coupling of these technologies. Its sophisticated, modular architecture integrates a variety of systems with various protocols and can flexibly exchange or upgrade them without compromising ongoing operations. Efficient call handling and resource allocation The technology for Hamburg Fire and Police will be located in two central data centers and in two control centers, accommodating more than 220 workstations. The Frequentis communication system will integrate with the customer’s computer aided dispatch solution and the geographical information system, enabling geolocation and thus assisting operators with efficient call handling and resource allocation. “Receiving this contract during the COVID-19 lockdown period in Germany shows customers trust in Frequentis. We also commend customers who have future-orientated outlooks, considering not only the current needs of their service but also future changes and required functionality,” says Robert Nitsch, Frequentis Vice President Public Safety. “3020 LifeX™ focusses on increasing operator performance and harmonizing communication and collaboration without being bound to a physical location. We are pleased to be supporting the City of Hamburg’s police and fire services with this task and their future development strategy.”
In July 2020, the municipality of Planegg received three identical HLF 20 with extensive equipment. Within the municipality the vehicles will be distributed to two locations. Planegg has been a ZIEGLER customer for many years and continues to rely on ZIEGLER quality. The vehicles are part of procurement in accordance with Bavarian funding guidelines, together with a further HLF 20 for the municipality of Krailling. Thus the total order consists of four vehicles. The three HLF 20 are mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Atego chassis and have a wheelbase of 4,160 mm. The engine power is 220 kW (299 HP) and they are wrapped in the color RAL 3026 daylight red. The vehicles also offer some interesting optional extras, such as six breathing apparatuses, Z-Protec Airbag system and a 360° camera system.
Round table discussion
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?
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?