Fire Safety Planning
Milipol Qatar 2020, the Middle East’s international event for Homeland Security and Civil Defense which returns to Doha this October, will feature a powerful three-day seminar program in which decision makers and security experts will outline major strategies for a safer post-COVID-19 world amongst other main foresights. The program will run alongside the 13th Milipol Qatar at the Doha International Exhibition and Convention Center from October 26-28. biometrics, Cybersecurity And C...
Fireco has released its newest innovation, Germgard, a smart sanitizer combined with digital signage. Germgard has been designed to promote awareness of the importance of hand sanitization to all building users. With the outbreak of COVID-19, good hygiene practice has become more important than ever before. Fireco has already helped many customers improve their infection control with their hold-open devices, which can reduce the need to touch door handles. However, they wanted to help their cus...
Kochek Company, LLC has announced its new alliance with AWG Fittings GmbH. The two companies have partnered to provide Kochek loose equipment dealers with the superior performance and reliability, for which AWG valves are known throughout the industry. AWG valves for Kochek dealers As Kochek's primary supplier of several sizes of gate, ball, intake, hydrassist, manifold, siamese, and pressure relief valves, AWG plays an important role in Kochek's efforts to ensure the continued satisfact...
Bristol Uniforms’ new stock styles for structural PPE are proving popular with fire and rescue services around the world, with orders received from Malaysia to Germany to Saudi Arabia, and many customers already putting their new kit through its paces. Bristol uniform stock styles Launched at the end of last year, the three stock styles (XFlex, Ergotech Action CEN and Ergotech Action NFPA) are particularly suited to international customers since they adhere to a variety of international...
6 part webinar series on firefighter cancer risk reduction. Join the VCOS and NVFC for a 6 part webinar series, where one will explore some of the most important information one needs to know when it comes to firefighter cancer risk reduction. The webinar will also discuss the importance of early detection and what to do when a firefighter has cancer. February 18: Exposure DocumentationExplore and learn about apps available for documentation that one can implement in one’s department. Th...
Renowned UK residential property management and letting company, BRNS Group has partnered with Amthal Fire & Security to deliver on fire safety maintenance for its extensive London development portfolio. BRNS Group provides a full, integrated service of management and letting in property, from acquisition and refurbishment, through letting and management. It has entrusted 20 plus luxury developments through the Capital and Greater London. Partnership with Amthal Fire & Security Workin...
Download the new TFT SHO-FLOW® app as this dual function application can be used with or without a SHO-FLOW Bluetooth® flow meter. As a stand-alone water flow calculator, many of these functions can be performed using established fire flow formulas. Water flow education videos The app also includes our H2knOw water flow education videos and recommendations for target fire flows when using water or foam. Head over to the APP store or Google Play to download. When used with a SHO-FLOW, get pinpoint accuracy and determine actual flow rates for fire hose lines, nozzles, as well as calculate true Pump Discharge Pressures (PDP), Nozzle Reaction, and Hose Friction, and perform a NFPA 1962 nozzle flow test.
Following a decision of its Board, Euralarm has welcomed its newest member, Vanderbilt. The company will join the Security Section of Euralarm. The Security Section represents the intrusion, access and video sector and is key stakeholder in organizations such as CertAlarm, CEN-CENELEC, IEC and the European Commission. Euralarm’s Security Section Together with a diverse number of stakeholders in Europe, the Security Section collaborates on finding solutions to meet present and future challenges for security in a digitised world. The section meetings gather experts presenting on actual topics such as the standardization landscape on video surveillance. The Security Section liaises towards key standardization groups in the security field and closely follows technological developments to guide regulation and standardization. Concerning standards, the section continues informing members of changes and advocacy activities at both national and EU level. Access to wide network of associations and companies Vanderbilt will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies Being a member of Euralarm, Vanderbilt will benefit from Euralarm’s representation towards European institutions and standardization organizations. This includes the monitoring of legislative and standardization issues relevant to the industry. Vanderbilt will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors, which form Euralarm’s members. The new membership will create opportunities for both sides, as it also strengthens the association. Advocate of open platforms and integrations Vanderbilt is a global provider of high-performance security systems across access control and intrusion detection. It is recognized for its future-proof, innovative, and easy-to-use portfolio that contains award-winning products such as access control solutions, ACT365 and ACT Enterprise, along with intrusion detection solutions, SPC and SPC Connect. An advocate of open platforms and integrations, Vanderbilt understands the issues customers face and provides multiple solutions that are designed to meet these needs. Vanderbilt is an ACRE brand. Expertise on European markets Companies joining Euralarm get a unique insight into what is happening in European markets and the opportunities that they might offer. They not only tap into the political expertise and understanding of the EU policy but can also make personal connections with technical and political experts and potential business partners. Being a member of Euralarm enables companies and associations to gain expertise on standardization. Members have their voice heard in Brussels and can support and direct standardization and legislative processes.
MSA Safety Incorporated, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up again to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway This annual program began in 2012 and has provided 507 sets of turnout gear to 108 departments to date. In 2020, another 13 departments will each receive four new sets of turnout gear and four new helmets to help enhance the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. The first two recipients of MSA’s and DuPont’s 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Haynesville (ME) Volunteer Fire Department and Washington Borough (NJ) Fire Department. Haynesville Volunteer Fire Department The Haynesville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) protects 41 square miles in rural northern Maine The Haynesville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) protects 41 square miles in rural northern Maine. Even though they have eight active members, seven sets of their turnout gear are more than 10 years old. All of HFVD’s existing gear is secondhand, and they are unable to purchase new gear due to budget constraints, as their annual expenditures outpace the small amount of funding the town provides. Despite these challenges, the members of the HFVD are committed to protecting their community and continually strive to improve their operations, such as by taking additional training classes to further their skills. “I cannot put into words how much this means to our department,” said Assistant Chief Thomas Farr, adding “This is going to make a big difference for those of us that are interior certified.” Washington Borough Fire Department The Washington Borough Fire Department (WBFD) is a rural, all-volunteer department that relies on tax revenue from the town as well as fundraising from the community they serve to support their operations. WBFD has been trying to slowly replace their outdated turnout gear, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have had to cancel several planned fundraisers. Support they receive from the town will also likely be impacted due to a decrease in tax revenue. Turnout gear for firefighters WBFD has 30 active members, yet they only have five sets of turnout gear that are less than 10 years old. Despite this, they continue to serve their town of 6,500 residents and respond to an average of 300 calls per year. “Being awarded gear through [MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway] will allow us to keep our members as safe as possible in the harsh environments we are exposed to,” said Assistant Chief Josh DeVoe.
NürnbergMesse GmbH and FeuerTrutz Network have jointly decided not to hold FeuerTrutz 2020 as a physical event at the usual venue in Nuremberg. Instead, parts of the trade fair and parallel Fire Protection Congress will take place in virtual form. FeuerTrutz 2020 goes digital This decision to go digital with FeuerTrutz 2020 event was ultimately based on the results of an exhibitor survey, which revealed considerable reservations about an on-site event due to the unpredictable developments of the coronavirus pandemic. We very much regret not being able to welcome the fire protection sector in person this year" “We very much regret not being able to welcome the fire protection sector in person this year,” said Petra Wolf, member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse GmbH, in a joint statement with Günter Ruhe, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director at FeuerTrutz Network and Stephan Schalm, Managing Director of FeuerTrutz Network. Interactive digital trade fair and congress concept The joint statement released by NürnbergMesse GmbH and FeuerTrutz Network added, “We would like to specifically thank all participating industry representatives for the numerous candid and constructive discussions we have had with them in recent weeks that helped us make this difficult decision.” The statement further reads, “The interest in an alternative digital format underscores the importance of FeuerTrutz as an important industry platform for establishing and expanding business relationships. Our focus now is on finalizing and implementing an interactive digital trade fair and congress concept.” The next regular edition of FeuerTrutz trade fair is scheduled to take place at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg (Messezentrum Nuremberg), in Nuremberg, Germany on the 23rd and 24th June, 2021. FeuerTrutz Network enjoys great popularity as an industry platform for all those involved in fire protection, while NürnbergMesse has established and proven expertise in the security field.
FireArrest has announced that it has official launched a new passive fire protection software application. This new innovative passive fire protection app, available to download on Android and iPhone devices, is set to take the fire safety industry by storm. FireArrest App Not only is this passive fire protection app intuitive, but it’s modern design and competitive price point make it the perfect solution for anyone looking to ensure that their premises are compliant with all fire safety measures and regulations. The FireArrest App allows site managers, surveyors and onsite teams to communicate across multiple fire safety projects. The app has been designed alongside fire stopping professionals, specifically for use in the fire protection sector, with the aim of offering a solution that is modern, easy-to-use, intuitive, wide-ranging and all at a competitive price. Modern, intuitive and easy-to-use application The full array of features allows fire professionals to work simultaneously on a project effectively and collaboratively The full array of features allows fire professionals to work simultaneously on a project effectively and collaboratively, while also providing a complete audit trail of any work that has been completed to ensure compliance every step of the way. Managing Director at FireArrest, Mark Shaw, said, “I’m delighted we have been able to roll this technology out. We’ve worked incredibly hard to create a product that is simple, affordable and effective.” Covering the entire passive fire protection project He continues, “We are able to cover every stage of your passive fire protection project, from the first survey to completion. The app is full of tools and features which give users the opportunity to report and complete work efficiently.” To coincide with the launch, FireArrest has also unveiled a brand-new website. Mark said, “We’ve opted for a modern and sleek design, to correspond with our brand values, and we’re really pleased with the results.” To mark the app launch, FireArrest is offering an exceptional launch price, with the first six-months at half price for anyone who signs up.
Further to Advanced's previous coronavirus communication, they wanted to update on the current position. Throughout this time, the company remains focused on two key aspects: the health and welfare of the company’s staff and the ability to continue to support the customers and maintain supply. normal levels of customer service Staff who are able to work from home are doing so wherever possible. Customers can continue to reach the usual Advanced contacts by phone and email. Advanced’s IT infrastructure is working well and is able to support the increased demand, so are maintaining normal levels of customer service. Advanced has encouraged all the staff members who fall into any of the UK Government’s ‘at increased risk’ groups to either work from home or protect themselves, the staff and the NHS; by adopting social distancing and remain away from the workplace. For those who need to remain on site, including production operators, the company has put in place a range of precautionary measures, following the Government’s ‘social distancing’ guidance, in order to ensure their wellbeing and reduce the chance of infection in the workplace. supply chains While staff absence remains relatively low at this time, the company are seeing some impact on the output and lead times as a result of a reduction in operators combined with increased demand. Advanced continues to have good stock levels of many components. However, the company is beginning to see some minor disruption to supply and logistics in some areas. The company wants to reassure customers that despite this, Advanced is still in a good position to fulfill existing orders and are working extremely hard to maintain quality levels, business continuity and on-time delivery of products. minimizing COVID-19 impact As circumstances relating to the coronavirus outbreak are constantly changing, the company continues to closely follow the latest UK Government guidance. Advanced is also working collaboratively with colleagues across Halma – the FTSE 100 company of which Advanced is part - to implement best practice in minimizing the impact of the situation on customer’s business and the company’s. Whilst the company is currently able to operate relatively normally; the rapidly changing situation means that the company is considering many options dependent on local and global factors and how things may play out over time. The company is committed to keeping the customers updated with any change to the position as new information comes to light. Advanced would like to thank the customers for their continued support and loyalty during these unprecedented times.
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.
During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to protect the supply chain of food, including supermarkets and convenience stores in cities around the world. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually, including supermarkets and convenience stores, according to a report published by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Structure fires in mercantile properties were responsible for the loss of 12 lives and more than $600 million indirect property damages, and this doesn’t account for the cost of business interruption and the effect on the reputation of the store. Many stores haven’t been able to recover after a fire. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average, which in hindsight is considerably higher than investing in a fire detection system. The most common causes of fire in supermarkets It’s important to look at the data from two different perspectives. The first is the number of fires by cause, and the other is to quantify the property loss by cause. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average Fires caused by cooking equipment , including stores with kitchens and warming and portable equipment, account for 21% of incidences, but only for just 7% of total property damage and four civilian deaths (firefighter and first responder deaths are registered on a different report). On the other hand, electrical distribution and lighting equipment malfunctions and defective wiring account for 15% of the total of fires in a given year, but caused $165 million in property loss, or 27% of the total recorded on the report. It is also important to mention that intentional fires are the third cause reported, accounting for 11% of the total fire incidences and 20% of the property loss highlighted in the report. Occupation, materials and risks The kind of store poses a significant variety of risks associated to the type of occupation, the number of occupants and the materials stored and available in the shopping areas. It’s possible to find combustible materials of diverse nature and propagation speed. Cardboard and paper wrapping can be found in all store areas, including book and magazine stands. Cleaning products, oils and fatty products might have a high propagation speed. All of this, surrounded by different kind of plastics, immensely increase the level of risk. Overall, combustible liquids caused 41% of the civilian deaths recorded during the report In my firefighting years I’ve responded to several fires in food supermarkets and distribution centers, and saw tuna cans (canned with oil) exploding and spreading flames to the surrounding areas. Regarding occupation, it is known that supermarkets and groceries stores are places with high levels of occupation, especially during working hours. But one interesting fact that the report found is that fires occurring between 9pm and 5am can cause, on average, $73,800 in property damage. The NFPA estimates that 21% of human life losses happened between 12am and 3am. This highlights the importance of installing and maintaining an automatic fire detection system. Installing fire detection And Protecting Your Store With the variety of materials and the risk level that can be found in this kind of environment, it’s necessary to take a holistic approach. Fire protection should be designed while considering several angles, from passive protection in all interior and exterior structures and cladding to active protection with sprinkler and clean agent systems, proper ventilation and smoke control and automatic fire detection and evacuation systems. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually Several detection technologies need to work in parallel, depending on the type of products stored, the environment and the expected level of occupation on the protected area. Store height and ventilation need to be taken into consideration and also the kind of lighting in some cases. Depending on the ceiling height, the shopping floor could be protected with beam smoke detectors. If the ceiling is below six meters, or the store shelves obstruct the beam, it’s possible to use spot type smoke detectors. The same approach can be taken for warehousing and storage areas, but here I would recommend multi-criteria detectors, with heat and smoke detection combined. localized protection As I’ve mentioned before, cooking areas have an increased level of risk, which calls for localized protection. Here, I would recommend multi-criteria (smoke/heat) detectors for areas where food is heated and served, and smoke/heat/Carbon monoxide detectors on cooking areas to avoid nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. It’s important to mention that until this year it was possible to install heat detection in cooking areas, but the UL 268 7th edition that comes into effect in 2021 will require cooking areas to be protected with smoke detection, and smoke detectors have to be able to reject nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. Smaller supermarkets and convenience stores usually have vertical freezers or horizontal open freezers. Here, electrical and mechanical failures can ignite fires, which is why it is important to protect the rear side of the freezers. I would recommend point-type smoke detectors, as photoelectric smoke detectors tend to perform better on smoldering fires. The report mentions that air conditioning equipment and electrical equipment can be sources of ignition as well. To protect A/C rooms and electrical rooms I would recommend combined smoke/heat detectors, or maybe even smoke/heat/CO to assure better detection and avoid unwanted alarms in these business critical areas. There is a type of photoelectric smoke detector that uses two different LED sources inside the smoke chamber. This technology, called Dual-Ray, allows the smoke detector to identify the particles inside the chamber by size. The detector knows if it is sensing dust or steam, and can even differentiate between cooking or cigarette smoke from actual smoke from a smoldering fire. Bosch Building Technologies first introduced dual Ray technology in 2015. protecting the food supply chain During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to protect the food supply chain and avoid the social and economic impact of fires in food stores, especially in impoverished areas. Supermarkets and convenience stores present a variety of challenges regarding fire protection, which calls for a holistic approach where passive and active protection are equally important. To achieve this target, one key element is automatic fire detection. Smoke and heat sensing technologies must be combined, and one size-fits-all approach is not enough. Detection and effective evacuation are critical to protect lives and minimize property loss.
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.
Tracking firefighters’ exposure to smoke and cancer-causing materials is important when it comes to assessing liability claims, workers compensation, and coverage for occupational health claims. In a broader sense, tracking exposure to carcinogens provides important data for research to evaluate exactly how these materials affect the health and safety of firefighters. Tracking and documenting exposure data for firefighters is easier than ever using the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) Exposure Tracker App, developed by the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) as part of the NFORS Analytics Data System. The NFORS Mobile App, available in app stores, works on the iOS and Android platforms. The app helps firefighters, paramedics and officers create a personal and secure Career Diary, capable of logging both physical and mental exposures along with the incident details, in a private, encrypted, and secure online environment. The app enables firefighters to track their health exposure, on the go, prompted by questions that include the nature of an incident, the presence of smoke, fire and flames, soot, and other information, including the extent of on-scene decontamination and gear cleaning. simplifying documentation of exposure at fire scenes The app helps firefighters, paramedics and officers create a personal and secure Career Diary, capable of logging both physical and mental exposures It simplifies documentation of exposure at fire scenes after an incident response, and then maintains the information if verification for occupational cancer claims is needed later. Data is shared in the app indefinitely, and exposures are documented throughout a firefighting career. Every firefighter can even take his or her personal exposure database into retirement so that data are available if needed to document a cancer claim after they leave the job. The app was developed through a collaboration of the International Associations of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Urban Institute, and other fire service experts. The NFORS Exposure Tracker was funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program and the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation. The Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool (AMRRP) is providing the app to its members as a way to remove documentation hurdles fire service members face when seeking health coverage for occupational health claims. “With the app, member firefighters will be able to better assemble their exposure data for evaluation during any claim evaluation process,” says AMRRP President Rudy Rodriguez. The challenges of firefighter occupational cancer claims With the app, member firefighters will be able to better assemble their exposure data for evaluation during any claim evaluation process For municipal risk pools, there are two challenges when it comes to firefighter occupational cancer claims. One is the undue burden of out-of-pocket costs for the firefighter when a claim is denied; and another is firefighter documentation of exposures to support the claim. AMRRP is providing member firefighters access to the firefighter Exposure Tracking App for their phones. After AMRRP is notified of a claim, the primary focus of the claim evaluation process will be reviewing records. Each first responder submits his or her data, including medical information, any previously maintained documentation about the types of incidents in which the first responder had been involved, and the exposure data compiled and stored on the NFORS Firefighter Exposure Tracking App. The importance of preparedness “The hope is that this data is never used, but if the need arises, each firefighter will be better prepared,” says Brian Jefferies, President of Arizona Professional Firefighters and a cancer survivor. The International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) procures, assembles, analyzes and reports information from fire, rescue and law enforcement data. IPSDI provides live dashboards for local public safety agencies to ensure usable information about their operations.
Federal grants are a critical financial component of fire departments and the fulfillment of their mission to protect their communities. The Firefighters Support Alliance is an initiative to help voters understand the local economic impact that fire departments have on their communities; it is part of the Firefighters & EMS Fund, a national political organization. Federal programs such as Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants are crucial to emergency preparedness. AFG grants seek to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and State Fire Training Academies. The funding helps to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability and support community resilience. Increasing the number of trained firefighters SAFER grants provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help them increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. Although often overlooked, the economics of firefighting – including what funding and resources are available to fire departments – is a significant aspect of making sure firefighters can effectively and safely do their jobs and protect their communities. Visitors to the web site can manipulate the map to show specific data by region or state, and the map itself is color-coded Part of the awareness initiative is an interactive map that tracks and breaks down data related to the economic impact of firefighters. Data includes the number of fire departments, firefighters and grant dollars in relation to each metric. For example, the state of New York's 2,297 departments received an average of $7512.10 per department, and $200.37 average grant dollars per firefighter. Map for the economic impact of firefighters Visitors to the web site can manipulate the map to show specific data by region or state, and the map itself is color-coded to provide easy understanding of the density of each state. “The data speaks for itself; the fire protection industry is a huge part of the American economy and disturbances to such a wide reaching and essential industry will be felt by all,” says Executive Director Nile Porter. “Rich or poor, we all rely on fire and EMS capabilities in one capacity or another.” The Firefighter’s Support Alliance is the direct grassroots public policy and political engagement arm of the Firefighters and EMS Fund. The project was formed to directly engage the public and voters about issues and solutions that impact America’s heroes. Improving the health and wellness of firefighters The alliance will accomplish this by supporting and sponsoring digital marketing and mass media campaigns using targeted messaging and shining a light on issues that provide grassroots-direct issue, political and public awareness. The Firefighter’s Support Alliance comes on the heels of the organization’s in-depth research from 2018-2019 that revealed a deepening health and wellness crisis among firefighters.
Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implements the EIDL program to support private entities reeling from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government agency has deemed that entities (such as volunteer fire departments) are ineligible for assistance if they receive more than one-third of their revenue from legal gaming, which the Internal Revenue Service interprets to include bingo games and raffles. “While this determination may not have been intended to preclude volunteer fire departments from receiving this critical assistance, many of the most acutely impacted private non-profit fire departments are unable to request the assistance that they desperately need,” according to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Financial funding for private non-profit fire departments In a letter, the IAFC has urged the SBA to adjust the EIDL assistance program in order to provide greater financial assistance to private non-profit fire departments. In effect, the association of fire chiefs is asking the agency to exempt volunteer fire departments, recognized under Section 501(C) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), from the limit on legal gaming revenue. “The unprecedented economic downturn and stay-at-home orders have decimated the ability of these agencies to meet their fundraising needs,” said the letter, adding “The IAFC urges the [SBA] to waive this requirement and support private nonprofit fire departments in their work to answer calls for emergency service.” Over-reliance on volunteer personnel According to the USFA, 70% of U.S. fire departments rely solely on volunteer personnel to respond to emergencies According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 70% of U.S. fire departments rely solely on volunteer personnel to respond to emergencies. Located in rural communities with limited tax bases, these agencies rely upon community support to sustain their operations. The EIDL program is a mechanism to support private entities staggering from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late April 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published an interim rule to waive the cap on legal gaming revenues for public entities seeking assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. However, this change does not impact fire departments that utilize volunteers and own their property outright. Economic Injury Disaster Loan facility “The IAFC fears that these private non-profit fire departments may be unable to maintain their emergency response operations if a similar exemption is not also made for the EIDL program,” the letter further adds. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and organizations in all U.S. States, Washington D.C., and overseas US territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to US$ 10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
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.”
The U.S. Army in Germany recently added eight Scania structural pumper P410 B4x4HZ trucks with Rosenbauer-body and Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmissions to its fire fleet. The vehicles, featuring the new CP 31 Crew Cab, are powered by a 302 kW (410 hp) diesel engine combined with an Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmission. They will be stationed at different locations across Germany. The U.S. Army has procured this vehicle configuration for the last 10 years, partly because of the advantages of a standardized fleet for staff training and vehicle maintenance, but also due to its positive experience with Allison transmissions over the past three decades. Operate water pump via the Power Take-Off “So far, the transmissions have fulfilled all requirements of the U.S. Army with regards to performance, operation and maintenance,” said Sigurd Mack, Fire Protection Specialist at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s European Headquarters in Sembach near Kaiserslautern. “This also applies to the integrated hydraulic retarder and the Power Take-Off with the pump and roll function. It enables us to maneuver the vehicle safely and, at the same time, operate the water pump via the Power Take-Off - which is indispensable for efficient firefighting. For our operations and emergency responses good acceleration, easy handling and robustness are essential.” According to the American NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1901 (Standard for Fire Apparatus) directive for firefighting vehicles, fully automatic transmissions are mandatory for heavy firefighting vehicles. In its solicitation, the U.S. Army does not only specify fully automatic transmissions, it also identifies bespoke emergency vehicle transmission software. “A fully automatic transmission will only properly benefit the driver during operation if the shift pattern is tuned to the vehicle and the transmission works together effectively with the driver. It has to meet the specific mission for emergency response,” said Mack. Improved acceleration and higher average speed Allison fully automatic transmissions differ from other technologies. Among other factors, they have specially developed shift calibration programs for the fire and rescue application. When combined with continuous powershifting, this results in improved acceleration, higher average speed and faster response times. The transmissions shift smoothly at precisely the right moment, allowing the driver to concentrate fully" The fully automatic Allison transmission with its patented torque converter and Continuous Power Technology™ multiplies engine torque during vehicle start-up and acceleration. Gear changes are made without interruption, resulting in the smooth transfer of power to the drive wheels and maximum efficiency between engine and transmission. “The transmissions shift smoothly at precisely the right moment, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on the road, which contributes significantly to accident prevention,” said Mack. “In addition, to have competent and highly skilled service technicians, as well as spare parts service locally available greatly limits down time and contributes to our readiness,” said Mack. “The transmission manufacturer infrastructure has also supported our goals so far in this regard.” Reliability and durability in extremely difficult conditions The oldest Allison transmissions in the fire brigade of the U.S. Army in Germany have clocked up over 30 years of service Allison fully automatic transmissions have demonstrated their outstanding reliability and durability under extremely difficult conditions and are consequently used by numerous fire brigade fleets worldwide. There are currently about 70 Allison fully automated vehicles in the fire truck fleet of the U.S. Army in Germany. The oldest Allison transmissions in the fire brigade of the U.S. Army in Germany have clocked up over 30 years of service. In 2007, the drivetrain components from 12 older Amertek 2500L trucks were removed and installed into 12 overhauled firefighting trucks, so called “glider kits.” The Detroit diesel engines and Allison HT 750 DRD transmissions of the Amertek 2500L trucks, which at that time were already around 25 years old, were fitted to a new HME 1871 SFO chassis with a body made by Hensel. Glider kits used for multi-purpose vehicles for firefighting “In the USA, general vehicle overhaul is a recognized procedure for vehicle maintenance and service life extension. The engines and transmissions, especially in fire trucks, are still in relatively good working condition and have proven to be very reliable, even after a long period of time. This contributed to the decision for a service life extension,” said Mack. Compared to a new purchase, the “glider kits” helped to save approx. 80,000 - 100,000 USD per vehicle without compromising the functionality. The “glider kits” are used as multi-purpose vehicles for firefighting and for providing technical assistance.
XPander is Apollo’s hybrid wireless range. It offers a comprehensive solution to many problems that present themselves when installing a fire detection system. It is quick to install and requires minimal cabling. In comparison to a wired system is often 75% quicker to install. XPander has many applications, its versatility key to deciding on which type of system fits best for a building. Ideal applications: Time-sensitive Projects Minimizing Disruption to Building Operations Temporary Structures (i.e. marquees) Annexes To Minimize Disturbance of Asbestos Materials To Preserve Building Fabric (e.g. in Heritage / List Buildings) A great example of a time-sensitive project where XPander excels is in schools. A school is generally occupied most of the time and therefore being able to install an entire fire system without jeopardizing safety is a tricky line to walk. So, a quick and compliant solution is needed. XPander can be used during a remodeling project, for an off-campus outbuilding, or even to protect a temporary structure like a graduation marquee. The physical interface is wired onto the loop as standard, but the detectors can be placed inside of these areas wirelessly during the event and then can be removed when the marquees are taken down. This is much faster than hard wiring each time. One can take comfort in the knowledge that students are kept safe in every scenario. Wireless solution Another challenge is making upgrades to a school system during summer holidays. One might only have a small window of opportunity to make the upgrades before the students return. Having to wire in a complete system just so that building work can be completed, only to remove all of that wiring hard work, is both costly and time-consuming. XPander allowed for an easier install where the project area was an Emergency Care Department" A wireless solution is ideal, it removes the need to delay construction, and shaves off time at the end of the project as there are no wires to remove. Just simply detach the detectors. Similar issues occur in the healthcare sector. A hospital, for instance, is almost never vacant and therefore extensive wiring work would cause uncomfortable disruption. XPander would eliminate these concerns and installing a compliant fire system would cause minimal disturbance. Ease of installation “XPander allowed for an easier install where the project area was an Emergency Care Department (inc A&E) where minimal intrusion on a live site was key. Wireless was the logical solution to bring these areas up to L1 standards with a new system.” - Apollo Customer Testimonial Temporary structures offer a unique challenge when trying to keep people safe from fire. COVID-19 Pods and temporary accommodation for medical staff / resources need to be protected without unwanted complications. XPander can be quickly added to the existing hospital fire system. An interface is placed on the loop, this device ‘manages’ all of the wireless devices fitted in the temporary structure. The devices even show up on the panel, as if it was wired into the loop. This secures the integrity of the existing system and makes sure that any necessary expansion is protected from fire. Cost-effective solution COVID-19 has caused unexpected slowdowns within the construction and fire industry communities. But as the restrictions lift there will be an influx of work. And having a quick and easy solution at the ready could mitigate any further frustrations. Additional businesses and venues will be opening from 4th July. That includes hotels, which opens up a lot of ‘away from home’ opportunities. Being prepared for this wave of new work with multiple solutions at the ready is essential. A wireless solution should be quick to hand, its fast installation invaluable when managing a high workload. Quick, easy and cost-effective.
Getac, a globally renowned rugged mobile computing manufacturer, has come to the aid of the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) with the donation of powerful rugged mobile devices, along with accompanying accessories from its partners. The new solutions replace the CBMRT’s original IT equipment, which was lost during a devastating fire at its base of operations in Merthyr Tydfil, and provide a significant technology upgrade in the process. Rugged mobile devices The Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) is a voluntary organization covering the Central Brecon Beacons, including South Wales’ highest mountain, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Corn Du, as well as the Ystradfellte waterfalls. Getac donated the ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and F110 fully rugged Windows tablets The CBMRT responds to over 120 incidents a year, with rescues often taking place in extremely challenging conditions. Many areas of the national park are also very remote, which can make effective coordination between rescue teams difficult without the right equipment. Getac donated the ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and F110 fully rugged Windows tablets, both of which feature a host of innovative technologies that greatly enhance the CBMRT's capabilities during time-sensitive operations. Integrated with Lumibond touchscreen technology Getac’s revolutionary Lumibond touchscreen technology means rescuers can view and operate the devices in all weather conditions, from bright sunlight to heavy rain, and even while wearing gloves. The powerful inbuilt 4G LTE connectivity also enables team members to remotely log-in to the SARCALL incident management platform from any location, where they can liaise with other rescue parties, coordinate searches and provide real-time updates. Vehicle docking stations Secure vehicle docking stations with compact and robust Zirkona mounting brackets were also donated by Gamber-Johnson, while Lind Electronics provided high-quality, rugged vehicle power adaptors that together meet the requirements of the most demanding and harsh environments. These have been used to create fully integrated solutions in both the front and rear of the CBMRT’s three new response vehicles, allowing the devices to be safely used when in transit, then detached and taken into the field once teams are at the scene of an incident. Getac tablets Mountain rescue can be hard on equipment, but Getac tablets and accompanying accessories perform flawlessly" “When we’re trying to locate a person in need of our help, the last thing we want to worry about is our devices,” said Penny Brockman, Team Leader, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team. Penny adds, “Mountain rescue can be very hard on equipment, but our Getac tablets and accompanying accessories perform flawlessly in even the toughest conditions, meaning we can stay focused on the task at hand, which is saving lives.” Technology in frontline emergency response “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in frontline emergency response and when the CBMRT lost all of its equipment in the fire, both we and our partners were more than happy to step in,” said Chris Bye, President, Getac UK Ltd. Chris adds, “With the new rugged solutions in place, rescue teams have everything they need to communicate and coordinate effectively in the field, giving the best possible chance of success.”
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has had its Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into St Nicholas Church in Bristol. The system was supplied and commissioned by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. Grade II listed, St Nicholas Church was built in 1769, although the crypt dates back to medieval times. St. Nicholas has always played an important role in Bristol, whether it be for worship, providing shelter during WWII or, more recently, home to Bristol City Council tourist office and archive. The church was reopened in 2018 as a center for worship, mission and social engagement continuing this legacy of being a church “in the city, for the city”. Analog addressable fire detection system To protect this much-loved building, a Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system has been installed throughout, featuring 51 devices including point detectors and beam detectors, call points and high output sounder beacons. Coomber Fire and Security Systems is an independent fire and security installer in Somerset. It chose Nittan for this project based on the reliability and quality of its Evolution range combined with the increased loop voltage which allows for longer cable runs; “ideal in an old church of this size,” states Adam Pitman, Senior Fire Systems Engineer, Coomber Fire and Security Systems. Evolution is Nittan’s advanced, premium fire system. Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms, combining extremely reliable fire detection together with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its advanced, highly flexible protocol allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed and is not affected by the number of devices on the loop.
An Axis AX fire system from Advanced has been installed as part of large-scale renovations at one of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious healthcare facilities. The 2-loop and 4-loop, UL-listed Axis AX fire panels, and more than 500 devices, were supplied, installed and commissioned at the Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital by local Advanced partner, Firetech (Pvt.) Limited. Hospital fire safety system Located south of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, The District of Matara was gravely affected by the 2004 Tsunami. The Korea Sri Lanka Friendship Hospital was built at a cost of 1.27 billion rupees with the financial assistance from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to provide the residents of Matara District with increased access to crucial health care services. The 750 million rupee re-modelling, fully funded by KOICA and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with the Ministry of Health, saw the construction of a new Maternal and New-Born Heath Care ward complex and upgraded hospital facilities. This has provided a more modern and efficient service to the people of the District and in the Southern Province who rely on the hospital’s wards, operating theatres, intensive care unit (ICU), blood bank, pharmacy and neonatal ICU. 2-loop and 4-loop Axis AX fire panels UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design and ease of installation" Michael David, Business Development Manager at Firetech (Pvt) Limited, said “The UL 864-compliant Advanced system was selected to protect the hospital due to its robust design, ease of installation and configuration.” Michael adds, “As experts in fire safety, Advanced has always offered us a fast turnaround for spare parts, technical guidance and well-designed user interfaces ensuring on-site compatibility and ease of use for our engineers and end users.” Dependable fire safety solution Steve Carroll, General Manager at Advanced, said “Delivering a complete and dependable solution for effective notification and evacuation in a hospital setting is crucial to protecting patients who may be at greater risk in fire situations.” Steve adds, “Given its reliability, versatility and UL-listing, the Axis AX system was the obvious choice to recommend to Firetech and met all of the Sri Lanka Fire Department’s requirements.” UL 864-compliant Axis AX system Advanced’s Axis AX system offers enhanced power and performance in a user-friendly format, offering a vast range of configuration, control and interface option all with simple set-up and operation as well as Advanced’s legendary service and quality. The Axis AX system includes easily networked panels, audio panels and command centers, redundant controllers and a huge range of peripherals, devices and interfaces that make it ideal for almost any installation. Fire safety systems major Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 Company, Halma PLC, has an enviable history of protecting some of Asia’s most notable and prestigious buildings, including the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the University of Macau. 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.