Fire Safety Policies
The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Home Safety Week runs from 30th September to the 6th October 2019. The campaign is encouraging households to check smoke alarms are right for their homes needs and will provide them with an early warning in the event of a fire. Most homes have smoke alarms installed (95%) but in nearly 20% of accidental house fires in the UK alarm failed to activate. The most common reasons were the smoke failed to reach the detector was because batteries were eit...
To mark the start of Fire Door Safety Week 2019, Abloy UK has launched an infographic that uncovers recent statistics around fire door safety and highlights the risks around non-compliance. As well as explaining how fire can spread fast, Abloy also makes recommendations on how to make premises safe from fire, and discusses fire door regulations and responsibility – as well as the penalties for non-compliance. Pat Jefferies, Commercial Director of Abloy UK, comments: “Fire Door Safet...
Lindner Interiors Ltd has achieved the esteemed FIRAS certification for the design, supply and install of fire rated glazing and steel doors. A self-sought approval process, it is a testament to the company’s commitment to fire safety. FIRAS certification The FIRAS certification is a third party scheme for installers that has been instrumental in improving the installation and maintenance standards of both passive and active fire protection products and systems. Recognizing the importanc...
As the condition of aging bridges, roadways, transportation resources, and grids across the U.S. has increasingly become the focus of discussion, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued Renovations Needs of the U.S. Fire Service, a new report on the fire service’s aging infrastructure. Two key findings within the report show that more than 21,000 firehouses across the country are beyond 40 years of age with total replacement costs estimated to be in the $70-$100 billion...
Kentec, a manufacturer of life-critical control systems, has launched the XT+, a new multi-area releasing control unit designed to be easily interfaced with Kentec’s UL864 single and dual loop fire safety products. It features intelligent functionality to make it simple to install, configure and use, and manages the activation of gas suppression systems and all associated releasing monitoring and control circuits. The interface with the fire detection system is via a simple RS485 communica...
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce that the next NVFC Training Summit will take place June 26-27, 2020, in Orlando, FL. Pre-register here to save your spot and get updates as event information becomes available. NVFC Training Summit 2020 Launched in 2014, the Training Summit provides an opportunity for first responders from across the country to participate in valuable classroom training as well as exchange ideas and best practices with their peers. The NVFC&rsq...
Manholes on-board ships or in industrial or offshore plants are generally only used from time to time. The manholes are closed most of the time and are only opened when there is a need for maintenance or other activities to be performed on the installation. Gaskets are used to ensure the steel sealing plates reliably seal off the manhole. The NOFIRNO gaskets supplied by Beele Engineering for these types of systems were recently subjected to one of the most severe fire tests possible. Tested To Investigate Fire-Resistance The fire test was carried out for two manholes in a non-insulated bulkhead sealed with 10-mm thick steel plates and NOFIRNO gaskets. The fire test was designed to investigate the fire-resistance of the gasket in accordance with the FTP Code 2010. The outside diameter of the gaskets is 365 mm, while the inside diameter is 275 mm. Openings for mounting the cover plate with bolts are located at 12 equally spaced places. The gasket complies with the FTP Code 2010 and the fire rating was established at 60 minutes A-0 Although the cover plate and the bulkhead became red-hot during the fire test and furthermore deformed due to the heat, the 5 mm thick gasket continued to fully perform its function. As such, the gasket complies with the FTP Code 2010 and the fire rating was established at 60 minutes A-0. High-Quality Rubber The Beele Engineering NOFIRNO gaskets stand out due to their exceptional profile and high-quality rubber. Combined with BEBOLTITE bolts they ensure that with a low tightening force of 6 Nm a maximum seal of up to 6 - 15 bar is created. Once tightened, the gaskets provide a durable seal. That means that the regular tightening of bolts has become superfluous. Due to the NOFIRNO rubber's high restorative capacity, the gaskets can be reused after the flange has been unscrewed and then is tightened down again.
During FDIC 2019, TenCate Protective Fabrics will showcase TurnOut Gear that has seen multiple exposures. Concern over higher rates of occupation cancer among firefighters prompts additional efforts in decontamination and cleaning of turnout gear to reduce particulate accumulation. But will turnout gear stand up to more washing and drying along with the hard work firefighters do. TurnOut Gear TenCate Protective Fabrics wanted to find out and now firefighters at FDIC International 2019 will be able to see for themselves. The Georgia Fire Academy in Forsyth, GA, took three sets of turnouts featuring outer shells and thermal liners from TenCate Protective Fabrics. Each went through grueling fire evolutions and multiple extraction cleaning. TenCate sent sets of its outer shell offerings, paired with a variety of thermal liners and moisture barriers, for a wear test TenCate sent sets of its three outer shell offerings, paired with a variety of thermal liners and moisture barriers, for a wear test at the academy. Enhanced comfort and protection “The instructors — and a few students — at the Georgia Fire Academy liked the comfort of the gear and the protection offered, “ said Bart McCool, End User Marketing Manager for TenCate. “Most didn’t want to give up the gear, but we needed it for further evaluation.” The three that will be on display at booth #2109 in Hall D at the Indianapolis Convention Center, including these sets: - Kombat Flex, an outer shell powered by PBI fiber, which saw *500* fire evolutions and *51* wash/dry cycles. - Agility, an outer shell featuring DuPont Kevlar, which experienced *379* fire evolutions and *50* wash/dry cycles. - Pioneer, an outer shell featuring a DuPont Nomex blend, which went through *140* fire entries and 35 wash/dry cycles. FDIC International 2019 “Firefighters at FDIC be seeing plenty brand-new, sparkling-clean gear, “ McCool said. “We wanted to show them what it looks and feels like after it’s been around the block a few times. It makes it easier to see what they can expect from the gear.” TenCate Protective Fabrics will be displaying its turnout gear at the TenCate Fire Station booth #2109 at FDIC.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is the first fire service in the UK to achieve the ISO 45001 accreditation with a 100 percent pass rate. ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System is the world’s first International Standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). It was introduced in 2018 and replaces the previous British Standard of OHSAS 18001 in the organization. Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has been working closely with staff and partners to ensure health and safety management systems are in place to aid employee well-being in the organization. The transformation to the ISO 45001 means that the organization is internationally recognized in an elite category of businesses. Increases safety and reduces workplace risks ISO 45001 provides a framework to increase safety, reduce workplace risks and enhance health and well-being at workISO 45001 provides a framework to increase safety, reduce workplace risks and enhance health and well-being at work, enabling an organization to continually improve its OH&S performance. It is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, industry or nature of business. The Service has already met the generic management system approach of other international standards such as: ISO 14001 - effective environmental management system ISO 27001 - information security management system ISO 22301 – business continuity management system To change to ISO 45001, the Service has continued to provide a structured and organized framework for OH&S that relies on evidence based data to ensure that there is reinforced leadership to proactively improve OH&S performance, and that legal and regulatory requirements are met. Delivering high OH&S standards has enhanced the reputation of the service among businesses and organizations by meeting the needs and expectations of CFRS’s workforce, local communities and partner agencies. Creation of a positive work culture Staff from across the Service can feel their needs and safety are being taken into account and that a positive corporate culture is created. The benefits of being accredited to ISO 45001 include increased confidence in all aspects of OH&S and that a specialist auditor validating policies, procedures, processes and continual improvements on an annual basis. Competencies against every role in the organization are recorded and every system and piece of equipment has training delivered. Achieving the ISO 45001 standard at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is something we should all be proud of" Area commander Chris Parker said: “Achieving the ISO 45001 standard at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is something we should all be proud of. Migrating to this new international standard shows our commitment to our employees, partners and the public that we take occupational health and safety seriously. We aim to prevent hazards and promote a positive working culture in the service. Setting the benchmark for OH&S “The new management system could not be implemented in depth without the support of staff across Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service. Without their corroboration, it wouldn’t have been embedded in the organization to the degree it has been to make accreditation successful. “By transitioning to this new standard, it shows that we can set the benchmark for Occupational Health and Safety across all services in the UK.” The health and safety team have ensured that proactive measures are implemented so that consistency of OH&S standards are met across the organization. This is the main reason how the organization has received their new standard as internal operations have changed from detection mode to prevention. This means that the fire service has transitioned to a new standard that continues provide a framework to manage risks and opportunities to help prevent work-related injury and ill health to workers.
Bristol Uniforms will be unveiling a new provision for Fire & Rescue Services (FRSs) at this year’s Emergency Services Show, to specifically help with the swift and safe cleaning and decontamination of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). A global renowned designer and manufacturer of PPE for the emergency services, Bristol Uniforms will be supplying specialist decontamination machines to Fire & Rescue Services for use on-site at fire stations, as well as enhancing its managed services offering by installing the machines within its in-house UK Service Centers. Solo Rescue Decon Washer The Solo Rescue Decon Washer cleans SCBA in a self-contained, sealed compartment which minimizes manual contact with contaminated material. Developed in collaboration with the Swedish Rescue Services, it successfully removes residues of combustion gases, soot particles and toxins in just a few minutes, and fits in a compact space of less than 1 sq. m. Ian Mitchell, Joint Managing Director at Bristol Uniforms, comments, “While most Fire and Rescue Services in the UK now opt for managed services contracts for cleaning uniforms, many don’t send their SCBA for professional cleaning as there are not always sets to spare and equipment has to stay on site.” The Solo Rescue machines offer a quick and easy way for FRSs to clean their SCBA on site" Solo Rescue Machines He adds, “As a result, breathing apparatus is often cleaned by hand, which is a lengthy process and can expose the firefighter undertaking the cleaning to further risk of contamination. The Solo Rescue machines offer a quick and easy way for FRSs to clean their SCBA on site, or for those that prefer, we can now undertake this cleaning quickly and efficiently for them as part of a managed services program at one of our UK in-house service centers.” The durable stainless-steel machines have a swift cleaning cycle, meaning that up to 14 sets of SCBA can be decontaminated in just one hour, considerably improving the speed and efficiency of the cleaning process. The Solo Rescue Machines are also simple to operate, with minimal servicing required. SCBA decontamination procedure Because the Solo Rescue cleaning process has been laboratory tested for the removal of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), FRSs will have the benefit of a robust SCBA decontamination procedure. As the approved distributor, a Solo Rescue machine will be on display for visitors to view at the Bristol Uniforms stand A70 at the Emergency Services Show 2019. Ian Mitchell continues, “At Bristol Uniforms we are committed to providing our customers with robust PPE cleaning and maintenance services. These new machines will provide fire crews with an additional solution, to help clean SCBA quickly, efficiently and thoroughly.”
The Senior Director of Dyeing and Finishing Technology at TenCate Protective Fabrics, Bert Truesdale, will be delivering a keynote address at the 30th annual FLAME Conference in San Antonio, Texas, this May 19th through the 22nd. The FLAME Conference focuses on new advances in flame retardancy of polymeric materials. The conference is sponsored by BCC Research, a company that provides market research for clients looking to study new business opportunities. FR coatings science Over the course of three days, the conference sessions will span the diverse field of FR coatings science, technology, design and manufacturing. The FLAME Conference is designed to keep professionals up-to-date on the latest industry and scientific advancements. A graduate of the Citadel, Bert Truesdale has been with TenCate Protective Fabrics for the past twenty years Mr. Truesdale will address the gathering on May 20th at 10:45 AM. His session will feature a discussion about processing inherently FR polymers. A graduate of the Citadel, Bert Truesdale has been with TenCate Protective Fabrics for the past twenty years and has held various roles in product development and innovation. Protective fabrics expert Bert recently finished his tenure as President of the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) — a position which he has held for the past year. He was promoted to Senior Director of Dyeing and Finishing Technology due to his vast experience in the field and his long tenure with TenCate Protective Fabrics. TenCate Protective Fabrics has been at the cutting edge of technical textile technology for over 90 years with first-to-market inherently FR solutions. As a pioneering, innovative company, TenCate is proud to have stand-out scientists like Bert Truesdale recognized as thought leaders in the industry. TenCate Protective Fabrics is committed to supporting ongoing research and continuing advancements in the field of flame resistant materials.
Firefighters have issued a summer heat safety plea following several incidents cornfields, grass and crop fires in Kent that have been linked to the hot and dry weather the county is currently experiencing. Countering wildfire incidents Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) deals frequently with rural fires, but during periods of hot and dry weather, incidents on grassland have the potential to become much bigger wildfires. Last year (2018), KFRS responded to almost 700 grassfires, and so far, this year the service has already attended over 400 fires on grassland areas. On Tuesday 23 July just before 5pm, KFRS was called to the scene of a large undergrowth fire on the Lydd Ranges. 100 firefighters and 20 fire engines were sent to the scene, along with a variety of other specialist vehicles to tackle the blaze. Fogspike, Hose reel jets & beaters Crews worked through the night to prevent the fire from spreading. Also, on 23 July, firefighters were called to cornfield fires in both Dartford and Charing. The previous day (Monday 22 July) around 25 firefighters were sent to the scene of a crop fire in Challock. Crews used a fogspike, hose reel jets and multiple beaters to extinguish the blaze. Leanne McMahon, Group Manager for Community Safety, said: “With extremely high temperatures predicted for this week, we would like to remind everyone in the community to take extra precautions in order to keep safe and help us prevent further fires that can often occur during a heatwave." For those who smoke, remember it only takes one cigarette to start a wildfire" Fire safety advisory Leanne adds, “For those who smoke, remember it only takes one cigarette to start a wildfire – so please ensure you always fully extinguish smoking materials before safely disposing of them. We also advise you to not have campfires in the countryside and to take any litter or rubbish with you, as reflective cans and glass can easily start a grassfire in the sun.” “If you do discover a fire, move to a safe place and call the fire service on 999 immediately, providing as much detail as you can, including the size of fire, the exact location (including road or property name) and terrain. Never attempt to tackle the fire yourself, as fires can be extremely unpredictable and spread incredibly fast in this heat.” Avoiding fire pits and braziers KFRS is also urging the public to take extra care when using barbecues, fire pits, braziers and chimineas, and to ensure health and wellbeing is a priority in the hot, dry weather. Leanne further stated, “It’s only natural to also want to be outside, enjoying a barbecue with friends, but it’s so important to take real care and manage them carefully. Keep them away from trees, buildings, sheds and shrubs, and always keep a large bucket of water on-hand in case of an emergency.” Use recognized fire-lighters Use only recognized fire-lighters or starter fuel for barbecues, braziers, fire pits, and never leave them unattended" “Use only recognized fire-lighters or starter fuel for barbecues, braziers, fire pits or chimineas, and never leave them unattended. Once you’ve finished with it – ensure it has completely cooled and never put the ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin, since this could easily start a fire. Finally, while many of us can enjoy the summer heat, for some it can leave them extremely vulnerable. "Remember to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, wear plenty of sunscreen, keep out of the sun between 11:00 and 15:00 and look after those most at risk, such as older people and small children. If you are worried about an older person in the heat, have young children or are pregnant, then let us keep you safe with a free Safe and Well home visit. If you would like to refer someone for a visit, please get in touch here or call our team on 0800 923 7000.”
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
In order to recruit and retain, you must change your mindset to that of a business. While we continue to scratch our heads on how to recruit and retain members among the ranks of our departments, we might want to take a look at ourselves. Sometimes looking in the mirror is a hard thing to do, as it may give us a clear view of who and what we are as an organization. For years, the volunteer fire service has had to overcome many obstacles such as funding, a not-so-friendly environment or poor leadership, to name a few. They may even have had to re-create themselves. Business Mindset And Reputation Whether you are in a rural, suburban or urban area, what drives us? Is it pride? Is it fulfilling a need to belong? Ultimately, it is the end user, the customer – the resident, the taxpayer. In order to target new membership, we must be able to sell ourselves as a good, a service and a product. Business models have been around for years and, if followed, yield positive results We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful. Businesses that are successful have a great reputation. People want to work for them and they easily retain and recruit top talent. Business models have been around for years and, if followed, yield positive results. Building Community Of Employees Let’s take Google for an example, a company with more than 64,000 employees with growth to the tune of billions of dollars each year. When looking at Google’s performance, it raises the question: what is Google’s success secret? How can a company amass $9.7 billion in revenues mostly from advertising? How can they keep great help and recruit? The answer is its leadership being innovative, actively advertising, creating a unique and rewarding work environment as well as creating and executing their business model daily. A business that goes above and beyond by treating their employees great will in return get motivated and loyal employees. Google allows their employees flexibility to work on passion projects and tap into their creativity. Google also encourages its employees to become teachers and coach one another to help build a more creative, satisfied and intimate community of employees. One needs to make fire departments attractive to potential recruits, there are small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions are called “thin slices” Positive First Impressions In this day and age, we need to be ahead of the curve. People want to be informed and they want it now. They want a quality product and will shop around until they find it. They also want to be part of something big. They want to be recognized. Remember the statement, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, it was the tagline for a Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s. Are we continuing to make our fire department attractive to potential recruits? How do we expect to garner new membership if we don’t make that “first impression” a positive one? These small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions are called “thin slices.” Potential candidates for membership are constantly assessing us, slice by slice, as “recruiters". Business Model For Your Demographic We need to create a business model and execute it at all times Is the fire station in good shape? Is it clean and orderly? Is the organization structured? Is the leadership strong and decisive? Or are there cliques and groups that work against the common goal or the command? These are easily seen and quickly discovered by potential candidates. They are looking to see what we are offering them: why should I risk my life, my health, my safety – what’s in it for me? How do we take all of these “thin slices,” package them together and make them attractive for potential recruits? We need to create a business model and execute it at all times. In order to sell, we need to advertise. In order to advertise, we need the leaders of our departments, the innovators and recruiters, to all come together and develop a business plan that works. It should work for your demographic. It should pour information to the masses. It should build on a reputation that you are a place that you’d want to work for! We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful Utilizing Current Volunteer Membership We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful. So, what does this mean for “my fire department”? Simply put, it means that you need to rely on the staff you have in place; lean on them and their expertise. Your current membership may hold the keys to your success. Develop a mission statement that is creative and energetic Canvass your current membership for professionals who could be utilized. You may have trained CPAs, human resource professionals, CEOs of corporations, advertising and marketing experts or veterans already inside your organization. They may remain quiet as they are unsure that they are needed to assist. Ask for the help and utilize them! Learning From Shortcomings Do not hesitate to implement them into your business plans. Help them look at how to target demographics in your area. Remember that great leadership will work to identify an individual’s strongest points and work to utilize them for maximum effectiveness. When you create a plan, be sure that you set obtainable goals. Develop a mission statement that is creative and energetic. Don’t eat the elephant in one bite: set a timeline in your plan. Meet often with your team, as you will learn more from your shortcomings than from your successes.
Want to know an easy way to judge the quality of a fire department? Look at how much they train. Career, volunteer or combination, fire departments become successful through training. Yet all training is not equal. Focus too much on hands-on training (HOT) and you could be missing important legal and compliance updates. Lean heavily on web-based training and you may fail to identify shortcomings in skills proficiencies. Keep students confined to a classroom and you may lose their interest quickly. Not surprisingly, a balance of all three types of training is needed to produce competent, empowered firefighters. For this article, I was challenged to think about what’s missing from our current fire training programs. As I thought about the varied way we approach fire training, three issues jumped out at me. Base training on facts and statistics Take advantage of new technologies Incorporate policy into your training Your training program should also be strong in the types of calls you respond to most Base Training On Facts And Statistics If your department has a robust training program, outlined by a calendar of various topics and employing a mix of HOT, online and classroom training, you’re ahead of the curve. But even in departments with well-developed training programs, training is often based on preference or habit, not data. Think about the topics in your training program. Do you know why they’re included? Do they match your call make-up? Are they targeting specific skill shortcomings? (And yes, we all have them!)What’s missing from many fire department training programs is a detailed needs assessment What’s missing from many fire department training programs is a detailed needs assessment that in turn establishes a factual basis for the year’s training topics. The needs assessment should include: Surveying the members to determine the types of training they want or feel they need. Measuring firefighter proficiency on basic tasks, such as NFPA 1403 drills, NFPA 1710 drills and EMS patient assessment skills audits, to assess personnel by mandate or by industry best practice. This will identify skills deficiencies to address through training. Incorporating call volume statistics and details. A significant percentage of the calls fire departments respond to are EMS and vehicle extrication But I’d venture to guess the training programs of most departments don’t match those percentages. Yes, you need to train for the high-risk, low-frequency tasks. But your training program should also be strong in the types of calls you respond to most. Incorporating these “facts and stats” into your training program will help you keep it fresh, relevant and interesting. Firefighters can use their phones and tablets to access department training information and complete training assignments Take Advantage Of New Technologies There is something to be said for back-to-the-basics, keep-it-simple firefighter training. But it’s a mistake to ignore technological advances. From teaching safe apparatus backing procedures to practicing hoseline deployment and Vent/Enter/Isolate/Search (VEIS) tactics, instructors have more options than ever before. Some instructors regard simulators as second-rate to “the real thing.” Certainly, simulation and other forms of technology-driven instruction can’t replace the value of hands-on experience. But they can augment it in important ways. Driver simulators, for example, not only save money because apparatus don’t have to be taken out of service or sustain wear and tear; they also provide an environment where firefighters can learn without risk of injury. If sitting behind a computer isn’t your kind of thing, live-burn simulators, vehicle fire simulators and hazmat simulators are available—and they all significantly boost training efficiency.Technology will never replace hands-on instruction, but it can facilitate it But you don’t need fancy simulators to incorporate technology into your fire training program. Learning management systems (LMS) are another important tool that can increase training program efficiency. Although they’ve been around for a long time, LMS continue to improve. The ability to integrate with mobile devices is huge, allowing firefighters to use their phones and tablets to access department training information and complete training assignments. Leveraging this technology can allow you to more efficiently manage information, schedule training and free up valuable time needed for other important tasks. If you’ve attended some of the larger regional or national fire conferences recently, you may have had the opportunity to see audience response technology in action. By capturing the firefighters’ responses to questions in real-time, instructors can adjust the material to reflect students’ knowledge level. Audience response is also simply a great way to keep firefighters engaged. Technology will never replace hands-on instruction, but it can facilitate it. If you’re using training methods that haven’t changed in decades, something’s missing from your training program. Without incorporating policy into your training, you’re only giving your firefighters half the equation Incorporate Policy Into Your Training I saved the biggest and best for last. When I work with fire departments across the country, I repeatedly discover the failure to incorporate policy into training. Think about it: Training curricula are almost always designed around procedures—the how of doing something. But isn’t the why just as important? And that’s what policy is all about. Without incorporating policy into your training, you’re only giving your firefighters half the equation.Inevitably firefighters will encounter times when following the procedure isn’t possible Inevitably firefighters will encounter times when following the procedure isn’t possible. That’s when policy training kicks in—firefighters understand the fundamental objective, and they can think on their feet about how to achieve it. Training on policy also helps departments address the issues that so often get firefighters into trouble. How many of your firefighters really understand your department’s social media policy? What about the rules surrounding sick time usage? These are things that trip up firefighters time and time again. If you’re not training on policies, it’s unlikely firefighters remember them. How many of your firefighters really understand your department’s social media policy? In addition, normalization of deviance is a risk to every organization. When personnel fail to follow policies and no negative repercussions result, it can quickly establish a new normal. Policy-based training resets the “normal” and makes sure that members of the organization comply with the policy and not what they think the policy says.Most line-of-duty death reports cite failure to comply with policy or lack of adequate policy Fire instructors often avoid training on policy because they regard it as boring or unrelated to what really matters—firefighter safety and survival. Yet most line-of-duty death reports cite failure to comply with policy or lack of adequate policy as contributing factors in the incident. If you’re worried that policy will make your training program dry and uninteresting, link it to real-world events. An online search provides lots of examples of when things went wrong and how adherence to policy might have produced a different outcome. And limit policy training to small chunks. Take out a 10-page policy and go through it line by line, and your students’ eyes will glaze over in seconds. Instead, look for ways to enrich your current training by bringing relevant pieces of policy into it. Your firefighters will be learning the department’s policies without even realizing it! Focus On Continuous Improvement Fire chiefs and fire instructors have a challenging job. Budgets are tight, and training is often one of the first things to be cut. Yet we need firefighters to be proficient in all-hazards response. Every department has a long training wish list. But if we focus on continuous quality improvement, we can get a little better each year. Looking for opportunities to incorporate statistics, technology and policy into our training is a good place to start.
Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations to the U.K. Government after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 were that the competence of the individuals working in the construction and life cycle of Higher Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs) needs to improve and be clearer. Work had already started in many fire protection sectors to create fully recognized qualifications, and these help raise the benchmark. Improving fire safety training A force driving improvements in training is the Fire Industry Association (FIA). As a trade association, FIA is looking at ways to help its members and the broader industry sectors. One way to do that is to improve the training that FIA has provided to fire detection and fire alarm technicians for over 20 years. Having looked at various ways of doing this, FIA’s members agreed that creating nationally recognized qualifications would help add more professionalism to this sector. To offer nationally recognized qualifications, the FIA chose to become an awarding body registered with OFQUAL [Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation]. Initially, training is focused on the FD&A [Fire Detection and Alarm] sector, with future plans to offer training in other fire sectors. The process of becoming an awarding body was rigorous and difficult. It took FIA more than three years of applying and submitting policy documents before the organization finally achieved awarding body status in 2014. Fire system installation roles Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017 Training is provided in the four job roles as described in the fire system installation standard BS 5389/1: 2017; they are Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance. These roles are also recognized within company third party certifications schemes (LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203). The designer designs the FD&A system, and the Installer installs it. The Commissioning technician checks and signs off the installation, and the Maintenance technician will complete the routine maintenance during the life of the system. Training modules Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules. The Foundation is the information that each job role needs and is common to all four job roles, as is the Environment module and the Health and Safety module. These are the core modules. The final job-specific module picks up on the differences among the roles; e.g., what does a maintenance technician need to know that is different to an install technician? “Providing a qualification requires a process of asking the sector what it wants,” says Martin Duggan, General Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA). “We went through a comprehensive route with ‘voice of the customer’ days and surveys plus syllabus reviews to check and double-check that the qualification reflects what the industry wants.” The base is the BS 5389 standard, although more was added such as Health and Safety and Environmental aspects. National Vocational Qualification Level 3 Level 3 is for supervisors or unsupervised workers and in a lot of cases, the individual will work unsupervised once they are qualified and have gained experience. The work done to create the services standard EN 16763: 2017 Services for Fire Safety Systems and Security Systems identified Level 3 as the appropriate level. The trailblazer aimed at apprentices in this sector also reached a conclusion that level 3 was the right one, as did FIA’s own research. Many electricians and security companies install fire alarm systems as their skills are very similar; however, the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) states that a responsible person should only use competent persons to install and maintain fire protection systems. But how do you prove competence? Training in FIA’s four qualifications, at National Vocational Qualification Level 3, is broken down into modules Fire Safety Order “One of the worst things we see from all types of installers into buildings is leaving big holes in compartment walls,” says Duggan. (A compartment wall is designed to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time.) “These should all be correctly sealed up.” The work being done by Working Group 2 (Installers) as part of the industry response group to Government on Dame Judith Hackett’s recommendations includes: Company third party certification (so that the purchasing of services is done through a recognized company). The individuals the companies employ have a relevant recognized qualification. This is backed up on site with a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card or equivalent. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or refresher training is introduced A basic knowledge of fire safe building and compartmentation is understood. “It’s this final piece that will help drive cultural change quickly, if we can implement it correctly,” says Duggan. “Can we get all installers to understand why we build compartments and why it’s so important not to damage these and allow smoke, heat and fire to move freely about a building?” LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 The benchmark for the FD&A industry has been company third party certification with the two schemes LPS 1014 and BAFE SP203 being well established for the last 20 years; however, there are many companies that still are not registered, says Duggan. The excuse is based on cost, that customers are not asking for it, and that it’s not mandatory. “The way the current legislation works and is policed, it’s only likely that poor installations etc. will be found after a serious fire when it’s too late,” says Duggan. “Unfortunately, customers do not fully understand their duties to only employ competent people, and the courts will ask: What is the industry best practice and what more could have been done to prove your competence?” Third party schemes “We have company third party schemes for most fire protection disciplines and there are qualifications coming online for most sectors as well,” says Duggan. “These are what the FIA would point to as best practice.”
One lesson of Grenfell is how many fire system technicians operate without the appropriate qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications, and for industry to implement a system in which clients and end users can be assured that operatives are fully competent. Another lesson is that fire service audits of buildings are no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the current system does not require proof that a fire system was installed by a “competent person.” Fire safety in commercial buildings “The general public would be horrified to learn that someone can fit a fire safety system in a commercial building without any proper qualifications or licence,” says Tom Brookes, Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services Ltd., former Chairman of the British Fire Consortium (BFC), and current Chairman of the Fire and Security Association. When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game" “When it comes to competency, the whole industry needs to up its game,” says Brookes. “Some larger companies are upskilling their staff and moving towards formal qualifications. If small- and medium-sized enterprises do not follow suit, they will fall behind and may be excluded from the marketplace altogether.” Working Group 2 on installer competence Working Group 2 on installer competence was established after the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report last year, under the joint leadership of Build UK and the Fire Sector Federation. The group has discussed extensively the need for systems engineers to be suitably qualified and able to demonstrate their competence. “In my opinion, there is too much focus on rival competency schemes rather than overall industry outcomes, which somewhat muddies the waters,” says Brookes. “However, one thing that has become crystal clear is that all fire and emergency systems engineers will likely need to hold a Level 3 qualification in the future.” Training provided BFC, FIA and IFEDA Although quality training is provided through the British Fire Consortium (BFC), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and others, historically there have been no Ofqual-approved qualifications for the fire sector. (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation [Ofqual] is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests.) Changes are afoot, however. In England, the Fire, Emergency Systems and Security trailblazer apprenticeship attracted around 300 new starts last year. The FIA have replaced their 20-year-old training programmes with a new system that will enable technicians who complete the series to achieve their Level 3 qualifications. Since the Grenfell tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt has called for all relevant trades to hold formal qualifications BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification The awarding organization EAL are launching a BS5839-1:2017 Ofqual-approved qualification in August 2019. This will allow previously trained engineers to sit an exam and gain a Level 3 award demonstrating up-to-date knowledge. Practical skills testing for more experienced technicians, outside of an apprenticeship, is something FSA are currently working hard on with partners including ECA, NET and ECS. “Our aim is for a few options to become available for operatives to gain some sort of practical competence certification,” says Brookes. “More technological solutions are now being considered for competency evaluation, such as uploading video assessments of candidates to a portal for assessors. This is already used for some NVQ type assessments and widely used in the USA. It may be just what our sector needs at this moment in time.” 'Accountable Person' role Latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings The latest Government report following Grenfell states they are looking to create a role in commercial buildings called the “Accountable Person.” This person will have a legal responsibility to ensure people working on systems are competent. While only for high rise and high-risk buildings, like all developments, it will likely spread throughout the sector. “For as long as I have been in the fire industry trade bodies have called upon the fire authorities and Government to legislate to stop unskilled workers installing and maintaining fire safety equipment,” says Brookes. He notes that both independent third-party certification of businesses and CSCS partner card schemes like ECS for individuals are voluntary arrangements. To date, neither Government nor fire services insist either scheme is used by a fire protection company. “If, heaven forbid, we witnessed another tragedy like Grenfell tomorrow, sadly I suspect the outcome would be very much the same,” says Brookes. “However, looking further ahead, I am confident buildings will be safer once new legislation comes into force and effectively eliminates the threat of incompetent and unqualified fire and emergency system engineers.”
When it comes to physical fitness, every fire department’s approach is different. Some have invested in a fitness initiative, others haven’t. Some struggle to create culture change and an environment where physical fitness is a priority and not an afterthought. Other departments don’t know where to begin, or they approach the issue of health and fitness randomly with approaches that may not be based on science. Firefighters physical health Worse, some departments embrace systems that are too strenuous or likely to cause injury. Using heavy weights can cause harm. Sometimes firefighters exercise beyond the point of fatigue. Basketball may be good exercise, but the risk of ankle sprains and other injuries outweighs the benefits. Any exercise program should be science-based and should “engineer out” the likelihood of injury" “Any exercise program should be science-based and should “engineer out” the likelihood of injury”, says Bryan Fass, Founder and President of Injury Prevention Systems and the Fit Responder. He works nationally with departments to reduce injuries and improve fitness for first responders. Need for a fitness policy at fire stations “Some departments have a ‘fitness policy’ that says firemen should work out whenever they can,” says Fass. “Others have no policy at all, and some have to deal with cities, command staff and unions – it’s hard to have a focused goal because everybody wants something different.” Some departments have built a centrally located fitness facility that crews from multiple firehouses can use on a rotating basis. Others may simply have an arrangement with a local health club that is agreeable to a fire truck being parked out front. A principal benefit of a physical fitness program is avoidance of on-the-job injuries Avoiding on-the-job physical injuries A principal benefit of a physical fitness program is avoidance of on-the-job injuries. The number one physical affliction for firefighters and EMTs is low-back injury. Firefighters also suffer shoulder injuries from pulling; or knee injuries from tripping, stepping in a hole, or climbing in and out of a truck. Injuries also tend to be less severe – and to heal more quickly – among physically fit patients. Fit firefighters are less likely to suffer from heart attacks in a high-stress/high-heat environment. Fitness also helps to offset fatigue. Research shows that a “fit but fatigued” firefighter will outperform, have less risk of injury and better cardiac health than an “unfit but fresh” firefighter in a high-stress/high-heat environment. In short, better fitness equates to better work capacity and fewer injuries. Addressing wide fitness level disparities When it comes to fitness, a concern is the wide disparity among fitness levels of firefighters When it comes to fitness, a concern is the wide disparity among fitness levels of firefighters. There are young firefighters who are relatively fit working out side-by-side with an aging workforce that isn’t equipped for the same level of activity. In the middle are some motivated souls who are more health-conscious. An approach that works for all three groups is to introduce activities with a low-risk-high-reward ratio. Regularly scheduled exercises should cater to the lowest-common-denominator participants. Exercise programs should be risk-averse. Importance of physical fitness programs A big need for fire departments is to have more structure in their physical fitness programs. “The need for structure is there, but every department is different,” says Fass. In fact, a misconception about firefighter fitness is that they have to train all the time. Rather, a balanced approach works best. When scheduling exercise routines for each shift, different kinds of workouts should be scheduled about two days apart. One day might be high intensity; another might be a mobility/recovery workout; a third might be primal lifting, squats and deadlifts; and a fourth might be stability/mild cardio (core training). The light schedule assumes that more fitness-conscious firefighters would work out more strenuously on their own time. A big need for fire departments is to have more structure in their physical fitness programs Incorporating high nutrition in firefighters’ diet Some departments embrace the concepts of good nutrition and how they can impact everything from a firefighter’s fatigue to their ability to survive on the fire ground; others revolt and won’t even listen. There are geographical differences, too: The West Coast is more health-conscious than the Northwest or South. Eliminating pain, increasing mobility and fighting fatigue are prerequisites for an exercise program Eliminating pain, increasing mobility and fighting fatigue are prerequisites for an exercise program. Participants should be taught to self-treat pain in the 16 “trigger points” around the body using therapeutic tools, such as a foam roller or tennis ball. There are tools to target each area of pain. Adopting a “mobility program” involves stretching for greater flexibility and mobility. And combatting fatigue means ensuring that firefighters get enough sleep. Incentives for fit firefighters Fears for their job security may be an unspoken but real concern among firemen presented with a new fitness program: “Get fit, or else….” Fitness programs should allow plenty of time for participants to get back into shape,” says Fass. Some departments offer incentives to employees who achieve better fitness, such as a cash award, gift card, or extra time off. Some offer incentives to do tests based on NFPA 1582, which outlines an occupational medical program to reduce risks and provide for the health, safety, and effectiveness of firefighters.
The UK’s largest fitness operator, PureGym has chosen Britannia’s P50 fire extinguisher to protect its 200-plus gyms and more than a million members. P50 fire extinguisher Fast-expanding PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract and can be maintained in-house by trained staff, in its new gyms, with a program to replace metal extinguishers in all its premises. PureGym is installing our multi-use composite P50, the only extinguisher that needs no external servicing contract Eliminating the process of ‘organizing and chasing’ external servicing was the driving force behind the decision to swap metal extinguishers for the P50 as well as the major savings the investment would bring. PureGym’s head of risk Malcolm Shevlin discovered the P50 and its special features at a presentation by a fire and rescue service. The fact that fewer P50 units were needed to replace metal extinguishers was also a big appeal. Effective Fire safety “On average we are installing half the number of P50 extinguishers compared to the old metal ones in our new sites or existing sites going through renewals of extinguishers,” Mr Shevlin said. The installation of hundreds of units across England and Scotland is running alongside the program to fit P50s across Heathrow Airport’s terminals. Heathrow chose the fire extinguisher because it fitted with its sustainability strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. PureGym’s investment comes at a time when sales of P50 are growing at 45% already this year, with three shifts running at our Norfolk factory and further growth predicted. Emergency rescue vehicles P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances" Britannia Fire’s Sales Director Andy Spence said, “The P50’s innovation and technology is in line with what the modern world demands. It is a made in the UK product. PureGym highlighted the in-house maintenance as the most important factor. For Heathrow, it was sustainability to help its strategy to lower its carbon footprint.” “P50s are also in emergency vehicles, including ambulances. The P50s were chosen for emergency vehicles to keep vehicles on the road. Servicing means emergency vehicles have to be taken out of action. For our marine and offshore market, it is the P50’s lack of corrosion that is a real sales trigger, as well as the cutting the servicing offshore.” High-quality equipment PureGym was launched in 2009 and pioneered the model for affordable, flexible and high-quality fitness clubs in the UK. Most of its sites are open 24 hours a day and offer a full range of high-quality equipment without the need to commit to a 12-month contract.
Oakland County is enhancing the safety of residents, guests and businesses by improving the ability of first responders to communicate with each other during emergencies, including seamless interoperability with neighboring counties as well as state and federal agencies, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has announced. ASTRO 25 LMR network The county has entered into a contract with Motorola Solutions to replace its aging public safety radio system with the ASTRO 25 land-mobile radio (LMR) network which will interface with the statewide Michigan Public Safety Communication System (MPSCS). Oakland County will be the first user in Michigan to utilize Motorola Solutions 'Phase 2' technology that will more than double the number of users on one system. “Oakland County always pursues innovation to provide outstanding services to our residents and businesses,” Patterson said. “That’s why we collaborated with our cities, villages, and townships to identify and implement leading-edge communications technology that will improve public safety for years to come.” Enhancing public safety communications We’re ecstatic to work with Oakland County to provide them with mission-critical communication solutions" Motorola Solutions Regional Vice President Chris Lonnett said his company will be working with Oakland County to take the county’s public safety communications to the next level. “We’re ecstatic to work with Oakland County to provide them with mission-critical communication solutions for their first responders,” Lonnett said. “Oakland County has long been a role model for agencies working together to improve public safety. This will be a great step forward to improve regional communications interoperability.” Fire fighters paging In addition to interoperability, the ASTRO 25 land-mobile radio (LMR) network will provide Oakland County’s public safety departments countywide paging of fire fighters with new 700/800 MHz pagers. “This new partnership with Motorola Solutions will launch Oakland County into a whole new level of emergency communications,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “Technology is constantly changing and this investment will give our first responders the tools they need to serve our residents. Once again, Oakland County will set a standard for other counties to follow and emulate.” Two-way radio system Oakland County’s contract with Motorola Solutions requires one percent grade of service which means 99 out of 100 times the two-way radio system will be fully available to a first responder. Also, the contract requires the new radio system to cover 97 percent of the county outdoors and 95 percent of the county while in buildings. 31-site simulcast system A 31-site simulcast system will ensure Motorola Solutions provides reliable and dependable communications A 31-site simulcast system will help ensure Motorola Solutions provides reliable and dependable communications that will provide full-system capacity to every first responder in Oakland County. "The idea that this new radio system will actually become a reality is extremely exciting,” said Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh. “The communication system will give us capabilities we haven’t had before and enhance the service we provide to Oakland County residents while providing reliable and dependable communication for our first responders." APX mobile West Bloomfield Township Police Chief Michael Patton agrees. “After a comprehensive evaluation process, the selection of a Motorola Solutions will provide enhanced mission-critical, push-to-talk radio communications to the next generation of Oakland County public safety members as well as greater interoperability with our state and federal public safety partners,” Patton said. Both Patton and Unruh were members of the selection committee for Oakland County’s new communications system. Portable two-way radios The US$ 46.9 million project will replace more than 3,500 portable radios and about 2,000 radios in emergency vehicles with Motorola Solutions APX mobile and portable two-way radios for best-in-class communications for public safety officers. The radios are equipped with Wi-Fi and support wireless programming. Plus, the project will replace 76 radio consoles at the 20 Oakland County 911 public safety answering points or dispatch centers with new Motorola Solutions MCC 7500E dispatch consoles. These consoles will be tightly integrated with the existing Motorola Solutions CallWorks 911 platform which will maximize the capabilities for emergency call taking. The project will replace 76 radio consoles at the 20 Oakland County 911 public safety answering points Large-scale emergency recues The system will be built with multiple layers of redundancy to withstand large-scale emergencies such as tornadoes or floods. The design includes 31 sites, 12 channels on the 700/800MHz, and will be built to Project 25 'Phase 1' and 'Phase 2' compliance standards. Oakland County’s Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System (CLEMIS), which uses innovative computer technology for criminal justice and public safety applications, will utilize APX Radio Management to maintain and update the fleet of radios through a central database. APX Radio Management Implementing the complete ASTRO 25 land-mobile radio (LMR) network will take up to three years. Over the next six months, Oakland County and Motorola Solutions will work together to design the 31-site system to submit to MPSCS for review.
Motorola Solutions’ local partner in Romania, ASTI International, has been selected in a tender by the General Inspectorate for the Romanian Police to equip its police officers with state-of-the art Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) two-way digital radios. TETRA digital two-way radios Motorola Solutions will deliver 10,000 TETRA digital two-way radios to the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police. The 18-month framework contract covers the supply of 10,000 MTP3550 TETRA portable radios from Motorola Solutions. The MTP3000 series radios are packed with features that are essential for safeguarding frontline police officers and ensuring effective operations. The state-of-the-art digital radios provide significant improvements including coverage performance at extreme range and inside buildings, as well as enhanced connectivity and ruggedness that provide the best possible audio during mission-critical operations. In addition, the ‘man down’ functionality enhances officer safety by automatically alerting the command center when an officer is in need of help. Digital radio solutions Motorola Solutions has been a trusted partner for public safety organizations in Romania for over 25 years Motorola Solutions has been a trusted partner for public safety organizations in Romania for over 25 years, providing highly reliable and secure TETRA digital radio solutions. In times of growing crime rates and global threats, mission-critical law enforcement solutions that help first responders work effectively and efficiently are more important than ever before. “We are extremely proud that the Romanian Police continues to see us as a trusted partner, and we remain committed to help keep Romanians citizens and first responders safe,” said Michael Kaae, vice president for Nordics, Russia and Eastern Europe at Motorola Solutions. Mission-critical communications Motorola Solutions is a global renowned mission-critical communications solutions provider. Their technology platforms in communications, command center software, services and video security and analytics make cities safer and help communities and businesses thrive. At Motorola Solutions, advanced technologies are ushering in a new era in public safety and security.
Sepura partner in Australia, Radlink Communications, secured a contract with Aurizon, Australia's largest rail freight operator to deliver one of the largest radio networks in Australia. Aurizon moves coal, iron ore, agricultural freight and more across Australia daily and needed to improve the communications across their vast rail network. Their new radio network is due to be operational this year and will use TETRA technology, encompassing 79 sites and covering 2,670 kilometers of rail network, linking 50 coal mines and four major ports throughout central Queensland. Aurizon have purchased 1,200 Sepura SC20 hand portable radios and 1,800 SRG3900 mobile terminals to be used across the network. The SRGs will be installed across the train fleet to keep communications along the rail network. TETRA network, remote diagnostics Aurizon’s current analog radio system was more than 20 years old. Keeping this in mind, an overhaul of the radio system was long overdue and needed to ensure reliable and secure communications, in order to meet their operational requirements into the future. The new TETRA radio system will consolidate four analog systems across train control, shunting, maintenance and wayside operations into a singular cohesive TETRA network, providing the highest level of reliability and availability with no single point of failure. The new network will also deliver improved monitoring, remote diagnostics, overlapping radio coverage, GPS tracking and distress signal capabilities. Aurizon selected Sepura’s new SC20 handheld radio due to their robustness and improved radio performance Radlink Communications are a globally renowned systems integrator with vast knowledge and practical experience in the wide range deployment of Sepura mobile terminals. Aurizon selected Sepura’s new SC20 handheld radio due to their robustness, improved radio performance and enhanced coverage with 3W radio frequency and improved receiver sensitivity. The addition of Sepura’s Short Data Application (SDA) capability is also enabling the use of applications developed by Radlink for Aurizon which include; Geofenced auto channel change, weather alerts, heat maps of radios showing identity and location, speed alerts, signal strength tracking, and a mobile phone client providing two-way radio access and functionality on smartphones. SC2 series TETRA radios Aurizon staff have visited Sepura’s offices in Cambridge, UK and were very impressed with the design process and level of testing that Sepura applies to all products, including the latest SC2 series TETRA radios. Radlink Communication’s project director, Scott Manson, says “The system we are implementing for Aurizon is truly ground-breaking in terms of its sheer scale, functionality and capability. The new TETRA network will be fully integrated to operate over the Aurizon Central Queensland MPLS network and will provide greater radio coverage, increased reliability and advanced monitoring for what will be a critical communications network”. TETRA base stations Radlink successfully designed and installed 79 Tetra base stations in 14 months across a remote Central Queensland landscape The project is progressing well with construction currently ahead of schedule and initial tests providing outstanding results. Radlink successfully designed and installed 79 Tetra base stations (including 2 control rooms, disaster recovery trailers & 15 new tower structures) in 14 months across a remote Central Queensland landscape close to the size of Germany. Sepura have now delivered all 3,000 terminals to the project with the next phase of programming and vehicle installation now well underway. Doug Bowden, Business Development Manager for Sepura in Australia said “The success of Sepura terminals in supporting this project further proves Sepura’s reputation as a trusted solution provider for the transportation, mining, oil and gas industries in Australia. Through the experience and expertise of our partners such as Radlink, we continue to provide secure, reliable critical voice and data communication solutions for some of the harshest environments”.
Tamworth-based trade association, DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) is emphasizing the importance of making fire safety an ‘absolute priority’ in new-build homes, following an investigation into potentially dangerous fire safety issues in houses developed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. Fire Safety In New-Build Homes The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process" The findings, by BBC Watchdog Live, highlighted that a number of new builds constructed by the firms were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are used to form a complete seal between different areas of a home, and prevent the spread of fire. Without them, experts say, fire and smoke can spread five-to-ten times faster. “The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” explains DHF’s Commercial Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. “In many new builds, particularly timber-framed buildings, fire barriers are a vital part of fire protection and we would urge house builders to ‘get it right’ at the construction stage and to have a workforce that is trained in, and understands, the importance of installing the fire barriers required to prevent potential problems down the line. Ultimately, responsibility for ensuring that buildings are compliant with Building Regulations lies with the house builder.” Importance Of Fire Safety Following the investigation, Bellway Homes stated that it was ‘committed to improvement’ with regards to potentially flawed fire safety issues in developments in Kent and West Lothian, and that mandatory training on, amongst other subjects, fire stopping, has been introduced for all relevant construction staff.Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, DHF’s voice has been one of the loudest and most passionate in its call for third-party certification by a UKAS-accredited body of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, in order to offer complete assurance on their performance. With a history and heritage dating back to 1897, the federation is undoubtedly one of the most revered organizations, widely respected as the industry’s independent authoritative voice. Fire Door Training Courses DHF works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses Fierce advocates for appropriate levels of training across all the sectors that it serves, DHF continues to place the importance of training firmly ‘up-front-and-center’. The organization works assiduously with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses; this has been central to its on-going fire safety campaign. Additionally, in March 2019, DHF announced a high-profile collaboration with Secured by Design (SBD) and Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on fire safety. Named A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, the publication accentuates the key issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets, recommending all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), that all work be completed under factory production control, and in addition, audited by a third-party. Fire Doors “Since Grenfell, the wider issue of fire safety has been thrust into the spotlight and we are delighted that progress is being made in this regard,” said Patricia. “We continue to stress that the use of fire doors, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are an essential part of fire safety and urge those in positions of responsibility (such as house builders) to ensure that they are not only fulfilling regulations, as well as legal and moral obligations, but insisting upon appropriate levels of training with regards to installation and maintenance.”
During the Expo Seguridad 2019 (Safety Expo 2019), Motorola Solutions announced that its mission-critical device, LEX L11, has been certified by Altán Redes, the developer of the Red Compartida, to operate on the 4.5G-LTE broadband network that already covers more than 40 million people in 14 cities. LEX L11 mission-critical device The LEX L11 is a rugged and durable mission-critical LTE-device created for public safety users who need efficient, instant and secure communications. It enables officers to communicate clearly and easily thanks to its dedicated push-to-talk button, advanced audio features, such as noise cancellation and feedback suppression. Multiple levels of security protect the mission critical device, data, and communications Multiple levels of security protect the mission critical device, data, and communications. These include: a secure boot, integrity monitoring, malware blocking (malicious software), and policy based controls. The LEX L11 also provides support for secure device management based on industry standards, with over-the-air monitoring and control capability including: remote configuration, remote firmware and software upgrades, application whitelisting and over-the-air wipe and lock capability. WAVE PTX for Public Safety In addition, before the end of 2019, WAVE PTX for Public Safety will be a first for the Mexican market, and will allow interoperability with P25 and all Motorola Solutions' systems, as well as with the external systems that public safety agencies already have. WAVE PTX, which will be offered as a service, is the ideal application for public safety users who use the LEX platform, as both solutions have been designed with specific features, such as easy access and dedicated emergency and push-to-talk buttons, to meet the needs of public safety users, namely, to respond effectively and immediately to emergencies. Altán Redes, the operator of this innovative 4.5G LTE shared broadband network in Mexico, provides Motorola Solutions with the opportunity to deliver comprehensive and innovative security solutions in order to bring about a positive change in public safety, in line with the company’s interest in contributing to building safer cities. Enhanced public safety The LEX L11, and its value proposition with WAVE PTX, will enable public safety officers to experience broadband" “This certification is a major step in our firm commitment to Mexico and our interest in establishing ourselves as a strategic partner of the public safety forces, bringing our latest innovations to the country. The LEX L11, and its value proposition with WAVE PTX, will enable public safety officers to experience the benefits of broadband for instant, reliable and interoperable communication. This is just the beginning, we will continue bringing innovation to make Mexico a more connected, safer and smarter place,” said Janet Fernandez, vice president for North of Latin America at Motorola Solutions. With the WAVE PTX instant communication service for Public Safety and the LEX L11 device, as well as its international standards systems and portfolio of mission-critical, specialized solutions, Motorola Solutions seeks to continue increasing its cooperation, keeping everyone connected with optimized interoperability between agencies, systems and databases, enhancing situational awareness and transforming voice, video and data into real-time intelligence for a more effective response in emergency situations.