Firefighter health and safety
For the last 200 years, firefighters have been using inefficient manual methods to track their crews’ movement. Incident commanders need to know the location and status of responders on site. Technology adds a new element to tracking crews’ movements. Firefighters on scene can now be electronically tracked to ensure they are rotated out of danger before their allotted time expires. The officer in charge – standing outside the scene with the rugged tablet in hand – can mo...
Last year during Dementia Action Week, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service signed the Dementia Friendly Charter, highlighting support to raising awareness of dementia in the community. Fire Engines For Promotion The fire service had two of their fire engines (Richmond and Skipton) liveried with the Alzheimer’s Society Logo As part of the commitment, the fire service had two of their fire engines (Richmond and Skipton) liveried with the Alzheimer’s Society Logo. They also ple...
Anheuser-Busch announced the company is expanding its emergency drinking water program in partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to deliver critical hydration to volunteer firefighters across the country. The new partnership will kick off with a donation of one million cans of clean drinking water in support of volunteer fire departments in 2019, beginning this spring in advance of wildfire season. Critical Hydration For Firefighters As the country faces more natural disa...
Once every 24 seconds, a fire department responds to an alarm somewhere in the United States. Two-thirds of these departments are all-volunteer. Most are also underfunded. That means many of the firefighters who risk their lives every day to protect people, property, and pets are doing their jobs with outdated or otherwise inadequate equipment. Georgia-Pacific launched its Bucket Brigade program to help support local fire departments and the brave men and women who strive to keep their communit...
North America’s largest fire event, FDIC International, brings together more than 34,000 fire industry professionals this month (April 8-13) at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. First constructed in 1928, FDIC continues today in its original tradition of providing a forum for networking about the most vexing issues and sharing the most promising solutions to concerns that face the fire service. FDIC provides opportunities to learn new techniques, train a...
The aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City highlighted the critical need for dependable communications among first responders during emergencies and disasters. In response, Congress established (in 2012) the independent First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to deliver a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. AT&T was later chosen as the private company tasked over 25 years with building out the network. This month marks the first full year of Firs...
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announces the 2019 Safety Stand Down theme. This year’s ‘Reduce Your Exposure: It’s Everybody’s Responsibility’ campaign will take place June 16-22, focusing on increasing understanding of occupational cancer risks and implementing recommendations in the Lavender Ribbon Report, developed by the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) and the NVFC. Firefighters face many health risks, but cancer has emerged as one of the most prominent concerns. Importance Of Firefighters Safety Stand Down resources and materials emphasize the importance of firefighters educating themselves, their physicians, and their coworkers about job-related risks; point first responders to the latest information on exposure to carcinogens, including how to limit exposure; and provide best practices and resources regarding reducing the risk of cancer to firefighters. Firefighters have a responsibility to protect themselves, their coworkers, and the public from the cancerous byproducts of fire This important initiative encourages everyone to refresh their techniques and learn new skills based on recent research and proactive protocol. Firefighters have a responsibility to protect themselves, their coworkers, and the public from the cancerous byproducts of fire, and this year’s Safety Stand Down provides tools and information to help reduce line-of-duty deaths and critical illness. Non-Emergency Activities Agencies across the country are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activities during the week of June 16-22 in order to focus on training and education related to this year’s theme. An entire week is provided to ensure all shifts and personnel can participate. Topic information, resources, training downloads, and videos will be available at, the official web site for the Safety Stand Down event. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a Safety Stand Down partner, will once again host the Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz to generate greater awareness of first responder health and wellness issues. Everyone who completes the online quiz will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes, with 200 randomly selected participants winning a specially designed commemorative Safety Stand Down challenge coin. The Safety Stand Down is coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and the NVFC, and is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations, including the NFPA.
Many volunteer departments are forced to make do with an inadequate amount of turnout gear or with worn-out, non-compliant gear they can’t afford to replace. That’s why MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together again in 2019 to distribute new turnout gear to volunteer fire departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Program. This annual program began in 2012 to help departments in need properly outfit their crew. To date, the program has delivered 455 sets to 95 departments. NVFC Partners With MSA And DuPont “The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “Proper turnouts are essential to ensure the safety of our boots on the ground, but many volunteer departments struggle to provide adequate protection to their firefighters. We are grateful to MSA and DuPont for their generosity in giving back to those who serve.” MSA is pleased to continue this longstanding partnership with DuPont and the NVFC to provide advanced turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need" “MSA is pleased to continue this longstanding partnership with DuPont and the NVFC to provide advanced turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need,” said chief operating officer of MSA’s Globe firefighter protective apparel Tom Vetras. “For more than 100 years we’ve been dedicated to protecting those who protect us, so when there are first responders in need – we’re proud to be able to help.” Firefighters’ Protection and Safety “With DuPont’s continued focus on protecting firefighters, we are proud and humbled to partner alongside MSA and the NVFC on this much needed gear giveaway program,” said John Richard, vice president and general manager, DuPont. “Ensuring that these brave men and women are protected as they selflessly serve their communities is paramount to DuPont, and we look forward to the kick-off of another successful Globe Gear Giveaway campaign.” The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open. 13 departments will each receive four sets of new gear, for a total of 52 sets. The first 500 applicants will also receive a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. Departmental Criteria To be eligible to apply for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway, departments must meet the following criteria: Be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50 percent) Serve a population of 25,000 or less Be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province law Demonstrate a need for the gear Department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC. To help departments meet the membership criteria, MSA will provide a complimentary NVFC Membership to the first 500 applicants.
Registration and course selection are now open for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Training Summit. The Summit will take place June 14-15 in Portland, OR, and is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel from across the United States. This two-day seminar is an opportunity to share ideas and best practices, network, and participate in valuable training. The conference will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland, near downtown and other attractions. Sessions Addressing Critical Topics Attendees will be able to select six out of 12 breakout sessions to attend, addressing critical topics including behavioral health, department training programs, recruitment and retention, leadership, situational awareness, and more. In addition, the NVFC will offer a networking social event on the evening of June 14. The reception will include a vendor area featuring sponsors California Casualty, Columbia Southern University, ESIP/McNeil & Company, NFPA, Provident, and IAFC-VCOS. The registration fee for the Summit is $99, which provides two days of training from nationally-recognized instructors, lunches, and the networking social event. To help more first responders attend, eligible attendees can apply for a travel stipend that will reimburse up to $600 for any combination of approved expenses, including travel, mileage, lodging, and the event registration fee. Stipend applications must be received by April 1 and recipients will be notified by April 20.
To celebrate and support the nearly 70 percent of firefighters who volunteer their service, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire has announced a partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). A donation of $75,000 will be made by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to the NVFC to help support volunteer firefighters nationwide. Health & Safety Of Firefighters The NVFC is a non-profit membership association representing the interests of volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services. The organization serves as an advocate for the volunteer on the national level and provides needed programs and resources to first responders addressing critical needs such as safety, health, recruitment, retention, training, funding and more. “There are over 800,000 firefighters across the country who volunteer to serve and protect their communities, and we work to make sure these heroes have the tools and resources they need to thrive,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire shares our passion for and dedication to the fire service, and we are excited to partner with them to give back to our boots-on-the ground.” Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire – NVFC Partnership The Jack Daniel Distillery is one of the only distilleries that has its own fire brigade The Jack Daniel Distillery is one of the only distilleries that has its own fire brigade, staffed by 34 distillery workers who volunteer their time to protect the distillery and the Tennessee Whiskey they work so hard to create. “I know first-hand the amount of courage and skill required to serve as a firefighter. I also know that those who volunteer to protect their communities need a great deal of support to do so safely and effectively,” said Fred Elliott, Fire and Security Specialist at the Jack Daniel Distillery. “As a member of the Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade for more than 14 years, I’m proud to be a part of this important community while also working for a company that champions it. Firefighters are an integral part of the Jack Daniel’s story, from those who help us make our whiskey to those who work to protect it, and we are honored to be able to give back through this partnership with the NVFC.” Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade In addition to the fundraising efforts, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire also launched a contest for 50 firefighters to win a trip to the Jack Daniel Distillery to attend a concert featuring country artist Chase Rice. The intimate weekend will include a Jack Daniel Distillery Tour, a behind-the-scenes look at the Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade, and the private concert. Additionally, one lucky consumer and a guest will have the chance to meet these heroes and join them in their celebratory weekend through a separate sweepstakes, which opens March 18. “I have the utmost respect for our first responders and all they sacrifice for our safety,” shared Chase Rice. “There’s a camaraderie and a sense of pride in the fire brigade that reminds me of our road family, and as a long-time fan of both Jack Daniel’s and Tennessee Fire, it’s an honor to perform for them and raise a glass to their immense contributions.”
Many volunteer departments are forced to make do with an inadequate amount of turnout gear or with worn-out, non-compliant gear they can’t afford to replace. That’s why MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together again in 2019 to distribute new turnout gear to volunteer fire departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Program. This annual program began in 2012 to help departments in need properly outfit their crew. To date, the program has delivered 455 sets to 95 departments. Longstanding Partnership The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway" “The NVFC is excited to partner with MSA and DuPont again this year on our annual giveaway,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “Proper turnouts are essential to ensure the safety of our boots on the ground, but many volunteer departments struggle to provide adequate protection to their firefighters. We are grateful to MSA and DuPont for their generosity in giving back to those who serve.” “MSA is pleased to continue this longstanding partnership with DuPont and the NVFC to provide advanced turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need,” said chief operating officer of MSA’s Globe firefighter protective apparel Tom Vetras. “For more than 100 years we’ve been dedicated to protecting those who protect us, so when there are first responders in need – we’re proud to be able to help.” Gear Giveaway Program “With DuPont’s continued focus on protecting firefighters, we are proud and humbled to partner alongside MSA and the NVFC on this much needed gear giveaway program,” said John Richard, vice president and general manager, DuPont Kevlar and Nomex. “Ensuring that these brave men and women are protected as they selflessly serve their communities is paramount to DuPont, and we look forward to the kick-off of another successful Globe Gear Giveaway campaign.” The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open The 2019 application period for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway is now open. 13 departments will each receive four sets of new gear, for a total of 52 sets. The first 500 applicants will also receive a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Criteria To be eligible to apply for MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway, departments must meet the following criteria: be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50 percent) serve a population of 25,000 or less be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province law demonstrate a need for the gear department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC. To help departments meet the membership criteria, MSA will provide a complimentary NVFC Membership to the first 500 applicants.
Starting on the 2nd August 2019, Watch Manager Justin Rowe from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (based at Malton Fire Station), will be running from Bar Harbor, Maine to the United States Marine Corps War Memorial Arlington County in Virginia. He will be running unsupported for a distance of approximately 1,000 miles over 44 days, pulling a Burley Nomad Trailer, carrying all of his equipment. The run will see him making his way through nine eastern states following the Atlantic Coast Cycle Route, and will take him through national parks, small towns and cities. Support From Fire Departments A number of fire departments are kindly providing him with rest and lodgings along the route. All the money he raises will go to Allied Forces Foundation supporting injured military veterans and their cares on both sides of the Atlantic. A number of fire departments are kindly providing him with rest and lodgings along the route Justin served with HM Forces (Army) for 12 years and is due to retire from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in March after 21 years’ service. He has been running and fundraising in the UK and USA for the over 20 years, during 2013, he was part of a team of four firefighters that ran to all of the 215 fire houses in the 5 Boroughs of New York City. The team ran a total of 376 miles in 7 days with support from Fire Department New York and raising money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation.
I gave a lot of thought to identifying the biggest challenge facing the American fire service in 2019. Many things came to mind: funding; fire prevention - if every building was sprinklered and all had working smoke alarms, it would solve a lot of other problems; political influences; initial, regular and ongoing training, and a bunch more. But the one constant that kept popping up is the people issue. Staffing. This obviously isn’t the first time you’ve heard that. Normally, when we talk about staffing, we talk about the number of firefighters on the apparatus. That is not exactly what I'm talking about. What I mean is, in 2019, we better figure out where our next group of recruits is coming from. Measurable Drop In Applicants If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship On the career side, numerous areas are reporting a measurable drop in applicants—in other words, they need people who want to be firefighters and medics. In some areas, it’s a bidding war. If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship. And who can blame them? They have families to take care of. But when the dust clears, there are still far fewer people interested in this job than we need. Some theories are that the new generation: Doesn’t like helping people Are self-focused Aren’t into doing physical things Are lazy Can make the same money without shift work Can make the same money without risk None of these theories gets us far in addressing the problem. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1 Big Picture Focus On the volunteer side, all you have to do is listen to a fire radio nearly anywhere in the U.S. (and Canada) and you will hear volunteer fire departments toning out... toning out... and toning out—with little response when members are responding from home or work. It, too, is a measurable problem. There are volunteer departments with little funding and others with plenty of funding. Regardless, there seems to be little “big picture” focus on solving the problem based upon what’s best for the people having the fire. Some say to simply hire career firefighters. Is it that simple? What are the pros? And are there any cons? There certainly are. Trained Interior Firefighters Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll The old model of volunteers responding from home or work doesn’t work very well when you consider the proven fire spread in 2019 vs. fire spread even just 20 years ago. Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll. That may be the least expensive option depending upon the local model. Some hire part-time firefighters. Some unfairly and regularly rely on mutual aid. Some have a fair and balanced mutual aid system. Some have their heads in the sand. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1. If we don’t have people knocking on the fire station doors to become career firefighters or to volunteer, that goal is in jeopardy. I simply can’t see a bigger, more immediate challenge for 2019 than the “people” issue.
Firefighting is hot, hazardous, and let's face it, grueling work. But believe it or not, the job today has become even more challenging as firefighters must deal with increased heat loads, toxic substances and other physical challenges that make structural firefighting one of the most demanding professions on the planet. So, needless to say, being well-trained, physically fit, and safely equipped can make all the difference in the world. Evolving Technology The fact is, as heat loads and toxicity exposure risks increase due to modern synthetic construction, the ways in which fires are fought are changing as well. These shifts, combined with the revolution that’s taking place in firefighter protection technology, have led to new and exciting designs in firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE) offerings. Technology is providing firefighters with respiratory protection “systems” is which respiratory protection itself is just one of many benefits Take the tried and true SCBA for instance. Since the invention of the first breathing apparatus in the late 1910s, their primary function has been air delivery. But today, technology is providing firefighters with respiratory protection “systems” is which respiratory protection itself is just one of many benefits. Revolution Of Life-Changing Technology Consider this: the effects of technology today impact virtually every aspect of modern life. And the same is true for the fire service, as software, thermal imaging, and wireless communications capabilities become more mainstream on the fireground. In response to these new capabilities, the consensus organizations responsible for PPE performance standards (i.e. NFPA and EN) have increased standards by mandating certain electronic components for each firefighter. But performance of these components can be limited by the fact that only so many “parts” can be attached to an SCBA, or because some capabilities are simply out of reach from a budget perspective. Over time, these limitations create long-term implications when it comes to SCBA choice, because the breathing apparatus purchased today may have to be in use for the next 15 years or more. So, what are firefighters to do? Firefighters should view their SCBA as the “foundation” of a safety system that equips firefighters with the many new safety capabilities that technology offers—now and in the future It’s More Than Air Delivery Missed opportunities for more timely safety improvements – which keep up with the pace of technology – are rooted in a false assumption that all SCBA are comprised of separate, mechanical components – and that the SCBA function is only about respiratory protection. But air-delivery is not the issue because every SCBA meets the standards, and every SCBA delivers air well. Further, looking at the SCBA merely as a separate component for air diminishes its potential to serve as a revolutionary safety technology “platform.” Safety As A System Firefighters need more than the minimum performance from breathing apparatus To keep pace with the rapid improvements in firefighter safety, firefighters need more than the minimum performance from breathing apparatus. Instead, they should view their SCBA as the “foundation” of a safety system that equips firefighters with the many new safety capabilities that technology offers—now and in the future. I’m talking specifically about platform-type products that can be easily updated with the latest technology, as soon as it becomes available, to help protect them when their lives are on the line. Key Questions To Consider When Looking For An SCBA Include: Does the SCBA have features that allow you to see, hear, and react quickly to changing situations? Can the SCBA sizing be customized to best fit each firefighter? How many total batteries are needed for the SCBA, and how does that affect long-term costs? How well does it integrate with other systems, such as communication devices, portable instruments, etc.? Does the SCBA provide you, your team, and incident command with critical information to make effective, life-saving decisions? Can the SCBA be programmed to meet your standard operating procedures, such as audible and visual alarms at 50% remaining pressure? Is the facepiece reducing or adding to overall SCBA cost and complexity? How easily can the SCBA be updated to meet changing standards? How easily can integrated accessories or features, such as thermal imaging, be added as they are developed in the future? At MSA, we develop technologically-advanced safety equipment designed to help meet today's changing fireground dynamics. We’re committed to setting the pace for safety with continuous improvements and innovations in PPE. For today. For tomorrow. For the future.
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.
In a fire, a safe, reliable source of power is of paramount importance. Tasked with supplying emergency firefighting power for Victorian mill conversions, Newburn Power Rental’s expertise and commitment to health and safety made them the perfect partner for power safety - instilling confidence should the worst happen. The client, who are converting mills into luxury apartments – initially in and around Leeds, Halifax and Manchester, the centres of Victorian industry – gave Newburn a two-fold job. Providing emergency power to the lifts in the event of a mains failure was one element, with a critical requirement to ensure power for lifts and smoke extraction fans for the emergency services in the event of a fire. Emergency Communication Systems The vital importance of firefighter access and safety is recognised and legislated through numerous Standards and Regulations, and inadequacy or non-adherence can have devastating effects. As LEIA (the trade association and advisory body for the lift and escalator industry) note, the development of British and European Standards has been central to lowering accident rates – both to people using lifts, escalators and lifting platforms, and to those working on them. For firefighting lifts, the requirements are covered by Standard EN 81-72:2105 For firefighting lifts, the requirements are covered by Standard EN 81-72:2105, which replaced the 2003 version and includes changes to the physical structures of firefighter lift systems as well as amendments to requirements for emergency communication systems. The critical element of a firefighting lift is that, unlike a normal lift, it should be designed to operate for a long as is practicable in the event of a fire. Firefighting Equipment In the UK, it is a requirement that buildings with a floor more than 18 metres above or more than 10 metres below fire service vehicle access have a firefighting lift, helping firefighters to move more quickly and more easily through the building and allowing for the transportation of firefighting equipment across multiple floors. The lift installation includes the lift car itself, the lift well and machinery area, along with the control and communications systems. While the Standard EN 81-72:2015 covers all aspects of firefighting lift design, e.g. minimum load; minimum lift car dimensions; speed of travel and specific design, there are also a range of factors that Newburn needed to consider when specifying the power generators for emergency use: robust and reliable back-up (secondary) power supply and the potential for water ingress. Electrical Installations In terms of building structure and power safety, the issue of water ingress needs to be addressed at the design stage In terms of building structure and power safety, the issue of water ingress needs to be addressed at the design stage, including measures such as drainage channels at each landing entrance; ramping up of the floor at the lift’s entrance; as well as methods of prevention of water build-up such as drains or draining pumps permanently installed and fitted outside the lift shaft. There have been instances where water from hose lines has entered a lift well, causing malfunction to electrical installations such as door locks, lift car controls and communications systems, hence it is vital to both reduce the potential for water ingress in the first instance as well as to minimise the effects of water on lift operations to avoid hampering firefighting and evacuation procedures. Fire-Protected Areas Newburn Power Rental’s power supplies, following the Standard, were specified and installed to the appropriate IP rating, to protect the electrical equipment against water ingress. Their generators, which varied from 20kVA up to 60kVA (dependent upon the lift motor sizes) are all installed in fire-protected areas, with fire-protected power cabling. Reliability of power supply – both the mains and the secondary sources – is clearly critical to the safe use of firefighting lifts and this, too, is referenced in the Standard. Mark Henstock, managing director at Newburn Power Rental, comments on this project, “We were approached to undertake this contract based on Newburn’s reputation for reliability and for the weight we place on health and safety at all times.” Reliable Power Supply The importance of secure and reliable power supply in an emergency can’t be over-emphasised" “The importance of secure and reliable power supply in an emergency can’t be over-emphasised. We’ve worked on projects in the past where water ingress is an issue, so have a great deal of experience with managing pumping solutions and circuitry, as well as emergency backup supplies for a whole range of sectors.” “We have a committed workforce – in sales and specification for generators and ancilliaries, as well as in the service and maintenance team. Clearly, both aspects are vital to ensuring that the correct equipment is installed in the first instance, and to making sure that it works efficiently and reliably, should it ever be needed. Since the first installation for this client, we have gone on to work with them on buildings in cities and towns across the North and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”