Passive Fire Protection (PFP)
Dräger has launched a range of solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams as part of its Health for the Firefighter campaign. Dräger have worked in partnership with Harstra instruments, a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The launch follows a study undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which demonstrated a self-contai...
The fire service worldwide collects a lot of data, and a university in Seoul, South Korea, is researching how to crunch the numbers using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the probability of fires more accurately and to direct fire departments’ assets where they will do the most good. Students and faculty at Hongik University are developing AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms into a model that can predict the probability of fires and enable authorities to take action to make the...
Retention has long been a challenge for many volunteer and combination fire and EMS departments, yet little research has been done on the subject. volunteer fire service retention Thanks to support from a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has conducted a study to identify institutional drivers that cause volunteers to leave, the differing perceptions between leadership, current volunteers and former volunteers and what c...
Dräger, a pioneer in medical and safety technology, is launching its ‘Health for the Firefighter’ campaign to support fire services in driving the cultural changes that are required to protect firefighter health. Impact of exposure The launch follows a survey of UK firefighters that found considerable concern over the impact of exposure to contaminants on long-term health. Some 84% admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer – a disease highlighted in some scie...
In October 1993, the American Heart Association appointed the Task Force on Automatic External Defibrillation. The task force was charged with conducting a conference on automatic external defibrillation, evaluating research needed for broader community use of automatic external defibrillators, and overseeing evaluation of the feasibility and desirability of their use by healthcare professionals and the lay public. In December 1994, a conference on public access defibrillation was held in Washi...
The Kentec Installer Program (KIP), launched by the manufacturer of life-critical control systems at last year’s Firex, is now expanding to include Kentec’s vast international installation customer network. To date it has registered more than 100 installers, making it one of the largest partner programs in the fire industry. The scheme provides Kentec’s registered customers with a wide-ranging program of bespoke training and best-in-class technical support, as well as dedicate...
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are helping volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2020, 13 departments will each receive four new sets of turnout gear and four new helmets to help enhance the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. The latest recipients of MSA’s and DuPont’s 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Strykersville (New York) Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. and Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department (Burlison, Tennessee). Strykersville Volunteer Fire Company The Strykersville Volunteer Fire Company (SVFC) protects 52 square miles of rural upstate New York. Even though they have 21 active members responding to over 200 calls annually, all of their turnout gear is over 10 years old and thus non-compliant with NFPA and OSHA safety standards. Over the past year, members have even been turned away from basic and higher-level trainings due to the condition of their turnout gear. SVFC is unable to purchase new gear due to financial constraints, and restrictions enacted to stop the spread of COVID-19 have limited their traditional fundraising methods. Facilitating quicker response times The new gear will have an immediate impact on the safety and effectiveness of the department Despite these challenges, SVFC maintains a positive reputation as a highly responsive, fiscally responsible fire company dedicated to serving their community. The new gear will have an immediate impact on the safety and effectiveness of the department. “Without grant assistance, we risk delayed responses, putting firefighters, the community, and property in danger, none of which are risks we would like to take,” said Secretary Mary Gibson. “The addition of four sets of turnout gear will help bring active members into immediate, full compliance with NFPA 1971 and 1851 [and] facilitate quicker response times with fully-staffed equipment, bringing the department closer to 100 percent NFPA 1720 compliance.” Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department The Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department (GEVFD) serves a community of 4,200 over a 52-square-mile area of rural western Tennessee, responding to around 400 calls annually. Despite having 20 active members, only eight sets of turnout gear are less than 10 years old, and budget constraints make it difficult, if not impossible, to purchase new gear. Even though GEVFD faces many challenges, the volunteers are dedicated to serving their community. They lowered their Insurance Services Office rating, were recognized by the State Fire Marshal’s Office for excellence in community risk reduction, and haven’t missed a dispatched call in the past 17 months. “Receipt of [this gear] will move us forward in ensuring that all of our members entering an IDLH environment are doing so with the best PPE possible and that meets the current NFPA 1971 recommendations,” said Fire Chief Brandon Fletcher.
In the six weeks since Carrier launched its BluEdge service platform, the program is gaining momentum with key wins in all three of its business segments. Carrier has signed more than 300 service agreements with customers selecting service programs that most effectively meet their needs. Carrier Global Corporation is a provider of an innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Enhancing efficiency and performance "We are very pleased with the early response to our BluEdge suite of offerings from our customers," said Ajay Agrawal, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Services, Carrier. "These offerings were designed based on a thorough understanding of customer needs to enhance efficiency and performance, lower costs, and improve building health. We are applying our deep OEM expertise and digital capabilities to address customer needs across the product lifecycle." Carrier's HVAC business has signed more than 200 service agreements since the launch of BluEdge Carrier's HVAC business has signed more than 200 service agreements since the launch of BluEdge and introduced a specialized first-year service offering on qualifying commercial equipment purchases in the U.S. and Canada. Refrigeration has signed service contracts covering more than 900 units for truck, trailer and intermodal refrigerated transportation applications in North America. Powerful pump modules In Fire & Security, Marioff Marine won a multiyear service contract for the Heerema Sleipnir, the world's largest heavy lift crane vessel. Marioff's HI-FOG system helps protect accommodations and service spaces, as well as the vessel's and cranes' machinery including its powerful pump modules, accumulator units, valves and thousands of nozzles. Marioff will provide BluEdge Enhance lifecycle maintenance services to optimize HI-FOG system life cycle costs and minimize potential downtime. Central to the BluEdge service platform is a tiered-service model that provides customers with a range of dynamic options to meet the needs of their businesses. These new tiers of service include: Core. Customers benefit from as-needed expert service to ensure peak equipment performance and longevity. Enhance. Customers can customize on-demand and value-added services, such as multi-year service agreements, preventive maintenance and remote monitoring. Elite. Customers who want complete peace of mind can choose this comprehensive solution that expertly optimizes performance, helps maximize uptime and minimizes cost.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) offers dozens of on-demand webinars, live virtual trainings, and in-person courses on a variety of key fire service topics. Until in-person trainings can be offered again, the NVFC is pleased to announce an afternoon of live, virtual training providing a condensed version of our popular in-person full-day course offerings focused on successful departments. The NVFC Virtual Leadership Symposium is sponsored by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. Fire and emergency services The training sessions will take place on Friday, August 14, from 1:00 – 5:30 pm ET. Registration is required; attendees can choose to attend one or both courses. Leadership for the Fire and Emergency Services 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET Instructor: Chief Jeff Cash Quality leadership is essential for the fire and emergency services to accomplish the mission and improve your department. This course examines leadership styles, qualities, ethics, and best practices to help the department function at a high level and avoid fire and emergency services leadership pitfalls. New retention research will also be discussed to help leaders understand retention concerns and identify solutions. Volunteer Fire Service Culture: Essential Strategies for Success 3:30 – 5:30 pm ET Instructor: David Lewis The NVFC published the textbook Volunteer Fire Service Culture – Essential Strategies for Success as a guide to fire service leaders who desire to change their department’s culture and attitude towards personal health and safety. This training delves into key points from the guide to reinforce the need for change and provide a roadmap for implementation of change to improve the health and safety of volunteer fire and EMS responders.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is excited to bring to a new Virtual Classroom to enhance the online learning. The updated classroom provides a more user-friendly experience with updated content, design, and navigation. Trainings feature on-demand and self-paced courses delivered by fire and emergency service subject matter experts. Free course member benefit All Virtual Classroom courses are free for NVFC members. Non-members will pay per course, or they can join the NVFC for just $18 to take advantage of the free course member benefit. Recorded Train Strong webinars are also available through the Virtual Classroom platform at no charge regardless of membership status. Courses cover a wide range of topics of interest to the fire, emergency medical, and rescue services. Categories include grants and funding, leadership, health and wellness, recruitment and retention, safety and equipment, junior firefighter programs, preparedness and prevention, and wildland fire.
DripDrop Hydration, a rehydration therapy company, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the association representing the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services, announces a new partnership to provide dehydration relief to the nation’s volunteer firefighters. The need has never been greater amid a wave of summer heat, wildfire season, and a COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed the healthcare system to the limit of its capacity. DripDrop ORS will provide a one-to-one ‘buy one, give one’ product donation to volunteer fire departments across the U.S. for every 80-count, multi-flavor DripDrop ORS box purchased by consumers. Maintaining proper hydration levels The partnership coincides with the expansion of DripDrop’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) lineup to now include an 80-count, multi-flavor box of berry, lemon, watermelon, and orange flavors. We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS" This product is the latest in DripDrop’s arsenal aimed at combating dehydration, a condition affecting up to 75 percent of the U.S. population at any given time. Volunteer firefighters can request two 80-count multi-flavor packages of DripDrop ORS to use in their department during wildfire response, long incidents, or other strenuous work. Up to 100,000 units of product will be donated. “No one is immune to dehydration and the effects it can have on our bodies, particularly those who work in extreme conditions like firefighters,” said Eduardo Dolhun, MD and founder of DripDrop Hydration. “We are proud to partner with the NVFC and provide these brave heroes with DripDrop’s ORS to help them stay healthy and maintain proper hydration levels, especially as we head into peak wildfire season.” Providing dehydration relief “Firefighters exert an extraordinary amount of energy when responding to long incidents such as wildfires, and dehydration is a very serious threat to their health and safety,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We are pleased to partner with DripDrop to provide dehydration relief to our volunteer firefighters so they are able to respond at their best.” DripDrop ORS was developed by Dolhun, a Mayo Clinic-trained physician, upon return from a medical relief mission in Guatemala. The patented formula he invented is the most efficacious, great tasting dehydration remedy available to consumers, and an effective alternative to IV therapy for mild to moderate dehydration. DripDrop ORS improves on the World Health Organization (WHO) standard for an ORS with medical-grade electrolytes, making it both the ideal rehydration therapy for the general population and a mission-critical tool for firefighters and other public safety and emergency workers.
The Fomtec® Vrind WRI-2 ½” variable flow inductor represents the latest development in the range of Fomtec foam proportioning units. The Fomtec® Vrind variable flow inductor represents the latest step in the range of Fomtec foam proportioning devices. And a giant leap for proportioning technology it is. Same accurate proportioning The unique, patented, induction method for Fomtec® Vrind unit combines the advantage of a traditional fixed flow inline inductor – low cost, easy installation, low maintenance – with the 1:10 flow ratio of a foam proportioner. It will maintain the same accurate proportioning throughout the whole flow range from 140 up to 1400 lpm at 10 bar inlet pressure. The Vrind unit is available in threaded, grooved or flanged version for one's fixed system and with carrying handle for portable use.
During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to protect the supply chain of food, including supermarkets and convenience stores in cities around the world. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually, including supermarkets and convenience stores, according to a report published by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Structure fires in mercantile properties were responsible for the loss of 12 lives and more than $600 million indirect property damages, and this doesn’t account for the cost of business interruption and the effect on the reputation of the store. Many stores haven’t been able to recover after a fire. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average, which in hindsight is considerably higher than investing in a fire detection system. The most common causes of fire in supermarkets It’s important to look at the data from two different perspectives. The first is the number of fires by cause, and the other is to quantify the property loss by cause. The report estimates that a single fire may cost $46,000 on average Fires caused by cooking equipment , including stores with kitchens and warming and portable equipment, account for 21% of incidences, but only for just 7% of total property damage and four civilian deaths (firefighter and first responder deaths are registered on a different report). On the other hand, electrical distribution and lighting equipment malfunctions and defective wiring account for 15% of the total of fires in a given year, but caused $165 million in property loss, or 27% of the total recorded on the report. It is also important to mention that intentional fires are the third cause reported, accounting for 11% of the total fire incidences and 20% of the property loss highlighted in the report. Occupation, materials and risks The kind of store poses a significant variety of risks associated to the type of occupation, the number of occupants and the materials stored and available in the shopping areas. It’s possible to find combustible materials of diverse nature and propagation speed. Cardboard and paper wrapping can be found in all store areas, including book and magazine stands. Cleaning products, oils and fatty products might have a high propagation speed. All of this, surrounded by different kind of plastics, immensely increase the level of risk. Overall, combustible liquids caused 41% of the civilian deaths recorded during the report In my firefighting years I’ve responded to several fires in food supermarkets and distribution centers, and saw tuna cans (canned with oil) exploding and spreading flames to the surrounding areas. Regarding occupation, it is known that supermarkets and groceries stores are places with high levels of occupation, especially during working hours. But one interesting fact that the report found is that fires occurring between 9pm and 5am can cause, on average, $73,800 in property damage. The NFPA estimates that 21% of human life losses happened between 12am and 3am. This highlights the importance of installing and maintaining an automatic fire detection system. Installing fire detection And Protecting Your Store With the variety of materials and the risk level that can be found in this kind of environment, it’s necessary to take a holistic approach. Fire protection should be designed while considering several angles, from passive protection in all interior and exterior structures and cladding to active protection with sprinkler and clean agent systems, proper ventilation and smoke control and automatic fire detection and evacuation systems. On average 3,740 fires occur in food and groceries stores in the US annually Several detection technologies need to work in parallel, depending on the type of products stored, the environment and the expected level of occupation on the protected area. Store height and ventilation need to be taken into consideration and also the kind of lighting in some cases. Depending on the ceiling height, the shopping floor could be protected with beam smoke detectors. If the ceiling is below six meters, or the store shelves obstruct the beam, it’s possible to use spot type smoke detectors. The same approach can be taken for warehousing and storage areas, but here I would recommend multi-criteria detectors, with heat and smoke detection combined. localized protection As I’ve mentioned before, cooking areas have an increased level of risk, which calls for localized protection. Here, I would recommend multi-criteria (smoke/heat) detectors for areas where food is heated and served, and smoke/heat/Carbon monoxide detectors on cooking areas to avoid nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. It’s important to mention that until this year it was possible to install heat detection in cooking areas, but the UL 268 7th edition that comes into effect in 2021 will require cooking areas to be protected with smoke detection, and smoke detectors have to be able to reject nuisance alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam. Smaller supermarkets and convenience stores usually have vertical freezers or horizontal open freezers. Here, electrical and mechanical failures can ignite fires, which is why it is important to protect the rear side of the freezers. I would recommend point-type smoke detectors, as photoelectric smoke detectors tend to perform better on smoldering fires. The report mentions that air conditioning equipment and electrical equipment can be sources of ignition as well. To protect A/C rooms and electrical rooms I would recommend combined smoke/heat detectors, or maybe even smoke/heat/CO to assure better detection and avoid unwanted alarms in these business critical areas. There is a type of photoelectric smoke detector that uses two different LED sources inside the smoke chamber. This technology, called Dual-Ray, allows the smoke detector to identify the particles inside the chamber by size. The detector knows if it is sensing dust or steam, and can even differentiate between cooking or cigarette smoke from actual smoke from a smoldering fire. Bosch Building Technologies first introduced dual Ray technology in 2015. protecting the food supply chain During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to protect the food supply chain and avoid the social and economic impact of fires in food stores, especially in impoverished areas. Supermarkets and convenience stores present a variety of challenges regarding fire protection, which calls for a holistic approach where passive and active protection are equally important. To achieve this target, one key element is automatic fire detection. Smoke and heat sensing technologies must be combined, and one size-fits-all approach is not enough. Detection and effective evacuation are critical to protect lives and minimize property loss.
The long-awaited announcement by the government to ensure sprinkler systems are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 meters tall has been welcomed by all. However, what happens next - and how quickly - is crucial for all concerned. The UK government recently announced an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations, known as Approved Document B, reducing the requirement for sprinkler systems from the current 30 meters to 11 meters in high-rise buildings. New laws and measures The Fire Safety Bill, which was introduced to Parliament in April, will also empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they do not comply with the law. The new measures are welcomed in the construction industry and related supply chains who have been waiting for clarity to improve the increased fire protection so badly needed. This will help to save lives and property In essence, this will help to save lives and property. In the event of a real fire, the need for sprinklers to help suppress the fire is crucial. Moreover, the requirement for consistent supply of power to these systems is equally important. Seeing the detail behind it Many buildings such as tower blocks, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, airports and those areas with large numbers of people moving rely on electrical systems which will continue to operate in a real fire and provide power, providing crucial intelligence to the fire and rescue services. There can be no compromise in the specification of cabling which provides that power, offering fire protection of up to 120 minutes. The sooner the practical guidance can be rolled out, the sooner they can be applied and the sprinkler systems being specified now can be installed in the knowledge that all best practice has been followed in the interests of safety for all concerned. The Institution of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO) supports AEI Cables in the call to ensure that reliable continuous power is provided for sprinkler systems with the installation of only approved cabling for these purposes. The tried and tested generation of AEI Cables’ fire performance cabling ensure critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes and often support systems which provide vital information. The Firetec Total Fire Solutions range from AEI Cables offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from one source. Danger ‘significantly reduced’ AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling is the only cable to be independently approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B) Category 3 Control for firefighting systems including sprinkler pumps, fire suppression water mist systems, water spray systems, wet riser pumps, wet riser valve and equipment monitoring under the Code of Practice. We also welcome the Government’s move on regulation, with the decision to appoint a new organization to be known as The Building Safety Regulator, to be established under the umbrella of the HSE, responsible for enforcing a more stringent regulatory regime covering buildings over 30 metres tall or of 10 storeys or more in height. It will be responsible for completing a register of buildings in scope and for oversight of their fire safety. The new Buildings Regulator will need to liaise with existing regulatory bodies and fire safety organizations to ensure that it has the most appropriate and up-to-date construction and fire-related knowledge. Call for retrofitting of sprinklers The danger to life, injuries and damage to buildings is “significantly reduced” when sprinkler systems are fitted In addition, a new Construction Products Standards Committee will work on the development of technical standards for construction products and will advise the Government whether voluntary industrial standards should become UK regulatory standards, a role currently undertaken by the European Commission. Again, this is sorely needed to ensure specification of approved products, installed using best practice, brings further reassurance of safety for the public. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) previously made a call for the installation of sprinklers to become mandatory in all residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools and care homes taller than 11 metres. The same organizations have also called for sprinklers to be retrofitted where possible. Latest national research carried out by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Sprinkler Network reveals that the danger to life, injuries and damage to buildings is “significantly reduced” when sprinkler systems are fitted. That speaks volumes. At AEI Cables, we work secure in the knowledge that all of our products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. We hold approvals from organizations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail and LUL and work to international standards around the world. We look forward to seeing further detail on how we can work together in the supply chains to apply the highest standards going forward for everyone’s sake.
Across the world, fire and rescue services vary greatly, and each will have their own unique circumstances and challenges to deal with. Firefighters in the USA and Australia are more likely to face wildland fires, whilst in the Middle East, firefighters deal more regularly with transport related fires involving hazardous materials. In many European countries, less than 10% of call-outs are fire related at all, with firefighters much more likely to attend traffic accidents, medical emergencies or flooding. A range of different climates also provide firefighters with specific challenges. Providing Optimum Protection These fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight Firefighters in hot and tropical Indonesia for example, will have different requirements to those in hot and arid South Africa, whilst those in Scandinavia operate in more temperate and cooler conditions. It’s important, therefore, that PPE manufacturers can provide a wide variety of options to suit particular environments and operations. PPE must be highly effective, comfortable, and suitable for the job in hand, wherever in the world the firefighters are operating. Selecting the right fabric for your PPE is the first step in providing optimum protection for the environment you are operating in. International fibre and fabric manufacturers have developed a number of highly specialized materials offering a range of benefits. Used in combination, these fabrics can offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. Best Quality Firefighting Garments Highly specialized and lightweight fibers for the outer-shell of a garment, for example, can provide outstanding air permeability and breathability, allowing metabolic heat to escape, whilst of course providing vital protection against the intense external heat and flames of a fire. The best quality firefighting garments combine this type of outer shell with an inner moisture barrier and liner system which draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep the body cool and dry. Strenuous work in a hot environment causes profuse sweating, and if this sweat is not able to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself effectively. Once the most appropriate fabric is chosen, the design and style of a garment also plays a crucial role in contributing to a firefighters’ safety. Maintaining A Comfortable Body Temperature Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed Whether operating in bushland, floods, on the roadside or even in extremely cold conditions, firefighters need to maintain a comfortable body temperature and stay dry. They are also likely to need to crawl, run, and climb to carry out the job in hand. Any protective clothing must be ergonomic and has to be able to work with them rather than hinder them. As a result, over and above the full structural firefighting garments available to FRSs, manufacturers have also developed innovative designs for more specific applications. For example, Search and Rescue operations often take place once the immediate danger of flame is removed, with USAR or technical rescue teams entering enclosed and confined spaces where high temperatures and often toxic smoke are hazards. Particular Protection Against Radiant Heat USAR firefighting garments therefore should be tear and puncture resistant, provide protection against blood-borne pathogens, offer physical protection at high risk points such as the knees and elbows, provide a high level of flexibility to afford maneuvrability in confined spaces, and crucially be lightweight and breathable to minimize heat stress. Alternatively, for firefighters engaged specifically in combatting forest and wildland fires, garments need to provide particular protection against radiant heat, and ideally feature a double layer of fabric to protect against sharp thorns and undergrowth. Today, many FRSs across the world use a combination of structural and technical rescue garments which can be particularly useful when faced with a range of operations requiring different levels of protection. Rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident International Standards Of Performance For PPE Frequently, rescue jackets are worn with standard structural trousers when responding to a road traffic accident, for example. So long as these garments are tested and approved as compatible before they are used in combination, this can serve to improve ergonomics and comfort, and crucially can contribute to the lowering of heat stress in firefighters. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage To ensure the best level of protection, most countries demand conformity with both national and international standards of performance for PPE. There are currently three major standard-setting bodies on the world stage, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which covers the USA, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which covers Europe, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) which sets standards worldwide. Lighting And Communications Equipment In addition, each country will have its own National Standards Body (NSB), setting standards for its own specific interests. Ultimately, it is down to the customer to decide which standards they would like their PPE to follow. The best manufacturers can create PPE to meet a number of these standards simultaneously. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats Different countries, and even individual FRSs, often have particular additional requirements for their PPE, which can simply be down to style or color preference, or to accommodate particular tools or equipment they use. These include alternative types of trouser front, leg openings and knee-pads, as well as cuff styles on fire coats. Operational safety features such as integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices can also be specified. In addition, firefighter accessories including tools, lighting and communications equipment all have to be carried safely requiring a selection of loops, straps, D-rings, glove hooks, and pockets and flaps. Developing Innovative Solutions Finally, most FRSs aim to present a professional and clearly recognizable identity to their communities, so particular colors and badging can be an important feature of PPE. This has led to the introduction of a wide range of fabric colors and the increased use of Velcro fixings for identification badges with logos, names and roles being individually catered for. Called upon to handle an ever-increasing variety of challenges, in contrasting climates and situations, firefighters across the world are certainly faced with complex environments in which to operate. By carefully studying these conditions and listening closely to customers, PPE designers and fabric manufacturers will continue to work together to develop innovative solutions to meet these specific needs and create optimum garments for maximum protection and comfort.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), promoting safety comes from a joint effort of knowledge, preparation, oversight and vigilance. The ‘Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem’ includes eight elements, as listed by NFPA, and weakness in any of the eight creates conditions that foster risk. A recent NFPA report includes examples, drawn from current events, that illustrate the importance of each element of the Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem. Government responsibilities Citizens expect their governments at all levels to create a regulatory environment in which laws, policies and spending priorities are dictated by public safety needs. Safety laws were unenforced and/or code violations slipped through the cracks in several recent incidents. Five children died August 11, 2019, when an overloaded extension cord running beneath a couch caught fire in an Erie, Pennsylvania, private home operating a daycare. In Washington, D.C., on August 18, 2019, a 40-year-old man and a 7-year old boy died in a fire. The single-family home was filled with code violations and was likely operating as an illegal rental. Development and Use of Current Codes The latest codes and standards establish minimum levels of safety to protect people and property The latest codes and standards establish minimum levels of safety to protect people and property, and they must evolve to reflect the changing world. Flames consumed Notre-Dame de Paris on April 15, 2019, and it appears the historic cathedral was not following current codes developed to ensure heritage sites can be enjoyed by future generations. There was no layered protection through alarms, sprinklers, and compartmentation, for instance. In another example, data analyzed from the 2018 Camp Fire wildfire, which destroyed much of Paradise, California, demonstrates the value of building codes. Among 350 single-family homes built after a stronger building code came into force, just over half were undamaged. In contrast, only 18% of the 12,100 homes built before the 2008 building code changes escaped damage, according to data analysis by publisher McClatchy. NFPA Referenced Standards Providing guidance to designers, installers, facility operators, and enforcers, referenced standards are a fundamental part of life safety. Fires are a regular occurrence in buildings under construction, renovation and demolition, despite standards aimed at preventing them. From 2013 to 2017, there was an estimated average of 3,840 fires per year in structures under construction. NFPA’s Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations requires site operators to mitigate fire risks. Noncompliance was also a major factor in the 2017 Grenfell fire in the United Kingdom. The aluminum cladding that wrapped the outside of the high-rise apartment building, which did not follow referenced standards, contributed to the disaster. Investment in Safety Money and resources must be allocated to reduce losses from fire and related hazards Money and resources must be allocated to reduce losses from fire and related hazards. A lack of fire sprinklers in a 25-story high-rise apartment building in Minneapolis contributed to deaths and injuries when a fire ripped through the building in November 2019. Five people died and three others were hospitalized. Investment in the form of fire sprinklers would have also made a difference in containing a massive fire in North Shore, Wisconsin, at the Bayside apartment complex in March 2019. One hundred people were left homeless. Skilled Workforce and Code Compliance Ongoing training and professional development maximize skills of people who work in the fire and life safety fields. Personnel lacked familiarity with the fire suppression system recently at a warehouse distribution center for a British online supermarket. Their decision to shut off the sprinkler system for five minutes enabled the fire to grow beyond containment capabilities, costing the company over $120 million and 400 jobs. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The places where people live and work are only as safe as the code compliance in place before, during and after construction. Firefighters in Natick, Mass., had to battle a massive blaze in a strip mall from the outside. They could not douse the fire from inside the building because of ‘hidden void spaces,’ created through multiple non-compliant remodels of the 100-year-old structure. Preparedness and Emergency Response The alert system also lets people know the actions they should take to stay safe Prioritizing and investing money in preparedness and response capabilities before, during and after an emergency helps first responders meet community needs. Australia’s 2019 bushfire season benefited from lessons learned after the horrific Black Saturday fire in 2009, where 173 people were killed. A centralized wildfire alert system now communicates to the public the location of the fire and provides an estimate of when it might reach a new location. The alert system also lets people know the actions they should take to stay safe. The new warning system likely saved lives in the 2019 wildfire season. Informed Public Education People take extra safety measures if they have the information they need and understand the risks and consequences. The Honolulu Fire Department created a provocative ad campaign showing a young child, comfortably in his bed. The narrator explains that he is not sleeping but dying as smoke fills the home with no smoke alarms to wake the family. Such messages help to educate the public about the dangers of fire and needed prevention.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend toward working from home has accelerated. New technologies are now making it possible for 911 dispatchers to work from home, too, whether to ensure social distancing or to supplement operations during evolving emergencies. The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems offer web-based interfaces and mobile capabilities that enable public-safety answering point (PSAP) operators to work from anywhere. Other technologies that are paving the way for dispatchers to work from home include the cloud, virtual private networks (VPNs), and faster data speeds. Remote emergency dispatchers An innovative implementation in Alexandria, Virginia, involves remote emergency dispatchers using equipment including a laptop, headset, smartphone, mobile hotspot, mobile router with computer-aided dispatch and other hardware. The city uses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) network, provided in partnership with AT&T. A dedicated, secure and reliable connection ensures operation for public safety, everyday functions, and/or for emergency communications. In Alexandria, hotspots and smartphones powered by FirstNet enable 911 dispatchers to take calls In Alexandria, hotspots and smartphones powered by FirstNet enable 911 dispatchers to take calls and handle CAD operations from their homes and remote locations. The dependability of the FirstNet connection is critical; relying on a dispatcher’s home Internet service could be risky if it loses connectivity. Initially hesitant because of concerns about the unknown, Alexandria’s Director of Emergency and Customer Communications was spurred into action by the COVID-19 crisis. Emergency Communications Centers They had tested the system in January. During the first month of implementation, remote workers only answered non-emergency phone calls before beginning to handle 911 calls. The approach helped with social distancing in the midst the COVID -19 crisis, during which dispatchers could not work together as usual in close quarters. To ensure social distancing, dispatchers worked from two different Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) – one primary and one a backup location – in addition to some dispatchers working from home. There was also a fourth ‘isolation’ team, comprised of two fire dispatchers, two police dispatcher and one call telecommunicator – staying and working remotely in a nearby hotel for 10 days in a row. Deciding whether to allow dispatchers to work remotely depends on factors such as employee performance, operational effectiveness and available tools, according to experts. Careful evaluation of these factors ensures a successful implementation. Home-Based operators Technology requirements include a VPN and a dependable, high-speed internet connection In addition to providing flexibility during a global pandemic, remote dispatchers can help departments augment their regularly scheduled staff members more quickly. Dispatchers who can work immediately from home are not delayed by the practicalities of getting to work. Staffing can be augmented immediately rather than several hours from now – an essential consideration during a developing emergency. Technology requirements include a VPN and a dependable, high-speed internet connection. Connectivity might especially be a problem in rural areas, where operators are also more likely to need to travel a long distance to work. There might also be legal issues, such as access to confidential databases. There might also be concerns about discipline of home-based operators and challenges when it comes to working together cohesively as a team. In the end, though, such questions are about ‘how’ a home-bound dispatcher scenario might be managed rather than whether it is feasible. The changing situation during the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that the technical hurdles have been overcome.
Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implements the EIDL program to support private entities reeling from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government agency has deemed that entities (such as volunteer fire departments) are ineligible for assistance if they receive more than one-third of their revenue from legal gaming, which the Internal Revenue Service interprets to include bingo games and raffles. “While this determination may not have been intended to preclude volunteer fire departments from receiving this critical assistance, many of the most acutely impacted private non-profit fire departments are unable to request the assistance that they desperately need,” according to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Financial funding for private non-profit fire departments In a letter, the IAFC has urged the SBA to adjust the EIDL assistance program in order to provide greater financial assistance to private non-profit fire departments. In effect, the association of fire chiefs is asking the agency to exempt volunteer fire departments, recognized under Section 501(C) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), from the limit on legal gaming revenue. “The unprecedented economic downturn and stay-at-home orders have decimated the ability of these agencies to meet their fundraising needs,” said the letter, adding “The IAFC urges the [SBA] to waive this requirement and support private nonprofit fire departments in their work to answer calls for emergency service.” Over-reliance on volunteer personnel According to the USFA, 70% of U.S. fire departments rely solely on volunteer personnel to respond to emergencies According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 70% of U.S. fire departments rely solely on volunteer personnel to respond to emergencies. Located in rural communities with limited tax bases, these agencies rely upon community support to sustain their operations. The EIDL program is a mechanism to support private entities staggering from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late April 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published an interim rule to waive the cap on legal gaming revenues for public entities seeking assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. However, this change does not impact fire departments that utilize volunteers and own their property outright. Economic Injury Disaster Loan facility “The IAFC fears that these private non-profit fire departments may be unable to maintain their emergency response operations if a similar exemption is not also made for the EIDL program,” the letter further adds. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and organizations in all U.S. States, Washington D.C., and overseas US territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to US$ 10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
Set on the iconic shores of Italy’s Lake Garda, Campeggio del Garda is a popular campsite that attracts tourists from around the globe to its picturesque location. Hochiki Italia’s Totem solution was specified to protect the idyllic campsite and provide occupants with an ideal level of outdoor protection. Campeggio del Garda is located on the water’s edge of Lake Garda, one of Italy’s most picturesque lakes and holiday hotspots. The scenic location offers a range of bungalows and mobile homes, as well as camping and mobile home pitching areas, for visitors. Looking at the spot, it’s clear why this campsite has become a must-visit attraction for tourists. With on-site facilities such as a swimming pool, restaurant and sports courts, the 3,000 guests the site can accommodate are able to enjoy complete luxury during their stay. Updated emergency evacuation system Italian-based designers, Studio Albertini, were brought on board to specify a suitable range of life safety devices In need of an updated emergency evacuation system, Italian-based designers, Studio Albertini, were brought on board to specify a suitable range of life safety devices to protect the site’s guests and employees. Owner and lead contact for the project, Paolo Albertini said, “It was essential for Campeggio del Garda that the solution would be complex enough to deal with the scale of their facilities, but also waterproof to accommodate for outdoor protection. Understanding the high-level of expertise that would be required for such a project, we worked alongside life safety manufacturer, Hochiki Italia, to supply the best and safest solution possible. In this case, their unique Totem system was specified.” Studio Albertini and Hochiki Italia collaboration Studio Albertini and Hochiki Italia collaborated closely on the project to specify a life safety system that could be installed across the expansive accommodation facility. Mirko Corsini, Project Manager at Hochiki Italia, said “Due to the sheer size of the camping area, we decided to manage the system through two networked panels by using the master/slave function of the device.” Mirko Corsini adds, “Combining this intelligent system with the 31 Totem call points that were installed throughout the campsite, we were able to provide a fully integrated and accessible network that covered the entirety of the park. Each Totem is fully waterproof to allow for operation all year around and contains a CHQ -WSB2 sounder beacon, warning signs, multilingual fire safety instructions as well as a UNI ISO 7010 signal call point, as requested by the Ministerial Decree.” Hochiki’s Totem system installed Hochiki Italia’s Totem system is ideal for large scale projects, as was the case and requirement at Campeggio del Garda. Being able to work from multiple networked panels, the system can be divided into zones, in order to make the connection and detection more secure and reliable. This basically means that the system can be operated and monitored from a singular control panel that includes a digital display screen for complete visibility of the status of the various call points. From this panel, duty holders can test, activate and identify any incidents for around the clock safety while reducing operational costs for large premises. The Totem’s call points are placed evenly across the facility to make sure they are accessible for all guests and are within a reachable distance at all times. The call points can be activated by guests or members of staff and can act as a beacon to communicate with guests. Fully compliant solution Totem is fully compliant with Italy’s Ministerial Decree 28.02 2014 and Circ. Prot.n. 0011002 - 12/9/2014 Totem is fully compliant with Italy’s Ministerial Decree 28.02 2014 and Circ. Prot.n. 0011002 - 12/9/2014, in relation to the safety of guests in open air, tourist accommodation. The decree states that all existing accommodation facilities must adopt the appropriate method of fire detection and fighting in spaces of more than 400 people. A clear part of the guidance is that call points should be distributed within 80 meters of each other and well-lit, with multi-lingual fire instructions. At the same time, the alarm signal coming from any of the detectors or call points must determine the optical and acoustic fire alarm signal at a manned place during the hours of activity. Signal and call point functionalities The signal and call point functionalities of Hochiki Italia’s Totem system work perfectly in line these requirements, making them suitable for a range of outdoor environments. Commenting on the end result, Paolo Albertini said “We are elated with the installation and the level of life safety that we can now offer to the campsite’s guests. It was a seamless process and we were able to adapt the system to our exact needs and ensure that fire detection was not only present, but accessible to staff across the whole site. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hochiki Italia products to customers.”
Located 40 kilometers outside the Russian capital, the new Mercedes-Benz passenger car factory is a showcase for Industry 4.0 automotive manufacturing. To ensure the safety of more than 1,000 employees at the massive facility, Bosch provided a fire alarm and security system, replete with voice evacuation capabilities to meet the specific safety needs of modern-day car factories. Future of car manufacturing Walking into the main manufacturing hall of the new Mercedes-Benz Cars plant in the Moscow region is to see the future of automotive production. Amid glass walls and high ceilings, robots and humans work side-by side to assemble the company’s most popular limousines for the Russian market. From chassis welding to windshield installation to painting, the plant combines all production steps in the same building as part of a ‘one-roof concept’. But from a fire safety perspective, the ‘one-roof concept’ with its tall factory ceilings and open floorplan poses challenges. The reason: Conventional, point-type fire detectors exceed their performance limit when it comes to detecting smoke particles inside such a vast, air-conditioned space. Working closely with the client, experts of Ateksis, the system integrator who lead this project, realized that early fire detection would take a solution just as innovative as the futuristic car factory itself. Safety for automotive factories They can detect fires in the beginning stages (called the “smoldering” phase) even before visible smoke is released Additionally, Mercedes-Benz required a centrally controlled combination of intrusion alarm and video security to guard the entire perimeter of the 85-hectare facility with its total of seven buildings. And could the solution be ready within a few weeks for the plant’s grand opening featuring international dignitaries? Working on a tight timeline, the team of Bosch and Ateksis experts selected a fitting smoke detection technology: aspirating smoke detectors. Perfectly suited for large warehouses, the detection units are located within a pipe system that constantly ‘inhales’ samples of air, which are checked for smoke particles via intelligent signal processing technology. As a result, the light-based detectors achieve smoke sensitivities as precise as 0.05%. They can detect fires in the beginning stages (called the “smoldering” phase) even before visible smoke is released. electrical interference for reliability Aspirating detectors also pinpoint the exact location of fires, thus reliably preventing major damage in most cases. The system also suppresses environmental factors that typically cause false alarms in car factories, including dust, flying sparks and electrical interference for maximum reliability. “The Mercedes-Benz project is an important reference for us. It shows the level of integration and customer focus made possible by Bosch solutions. Our system has succeeded in meeting the specific needs of automobile manufacturers in the next generation of car production facilities”, said Ivan Konukhin, Bosch Security and Safety Systems Russia. audio sound quality The ceiling loudspeakers are equipped with a metal fire dome to adapt to the in-air handling spaces Amid the acoustic conditions inside the vast production plant, a total of 650 horn and ceiling loudspeakers from Bosch deliver sufficient volume and intelligibility. The horn speakers offer a wide opening angle to broadcast sound across factory floors while offering protection from water and dust, as well as the corrosive effects of industrial environments. What’s more, the ceiling loudspeakers are equipped with a metal fire dome to adapt to the in-air handling spaces of the automotive plant. The cabinet loudspeakers are certified according to the fire evacuation EN54-24 standard for reliable performance under emergency conditions. Overall, this level of audio sound quality directly serves to keep workers secure and informed, especially if evacuation becomes necessary. automatic fire detectors In the bigger picture, the total of 248 aspirating detectors inside the main production hall are centrally networked via Modular Fire Panels 5000 series and connected to more than 2,500 automatic fire detectors installed throughout six additional administrative buildings on the premises. For maximum employee safety, clear voice and audio alarm is provided by the PRAESIDEO Digital Public Address and Voice Alarm System. With Smart Safety Link, the interfaced fire and voice alarm system offers a full control in case of emergency, including the customization of the fire verification time and the automatic process that can ensure a safe phased evacuation. To ensure full visibility of the premises and around-the-clock safety, the video security solution consists of 112 high-definition cameras from Bosch. While bullet and moving cameras secure the perimeter, dome cameras monitor inside spaces. Video Management System Integrated on the Bosch Video Management System, all cameras can be controlled by the on-site security team Integrated on the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS), all cameras can be controlled centrally by the on-site security team inside the control room. Bringing security full-circle, the video system has a direct interface with intrusion alarm system containing over 200 detectors. This seamless integration of all solutions on the Building Integration System (BIS) from Bosch enables a host of additional functions: for instance, the system alerts the control room when a fire detector is triggered and sends live images from the nearest camera for full situational awareness. Aspiration smoke detector As Ivan Konukhin at the Regional Representative Center North-West and South Russia at Bosch Security Systems explains: “The cooperative functionalities between BIS and BVMS components were programmed according to customer requirements in an uncomplicated manner via macros, which also supported a timely installation.” Bosch Security System’s solution consists of: FPA-5000 Modular Fire Panel Solution Smart Safety Link License key for voice alarm Aspiration smoke detector 2 pipe systems AVENAR detector 4000 PRAESIDEO Digital Public Address and Voice Alarm System Metal Fire Dome Cabinet loudspeaker, metal, rectangular Horn loudspeaker, 10W, 6x10" Ceiling loudspeaker, 6W, ABS MAP 5000 family IP4000i, 5000i and 6000 cameras AUTODOME IP Cameras Access Control System Bosch Video Management System Building Integration System
Lake Assault Boats, a manufacturer of purpose-built and mission-specific fire and rescue boats, delivers its third fire and rescue boat to the San Bernardino County Fire District (SBCFD) in California. The 28-foot long vessel is serving on California’s Big Bear Lake, and is similar to one stationed in Needles, California on the Colorado River. “We’re thrilled to deliver and place into service a third fire and rescue craft to the San Bernardino County Fire District,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats vice president of operations. “Like our other Lake Assault Boats units in service with SBCFD, this new craft is equipped to handle a wide range of emergency scenarios, and is outfitted with particular features for a high altitude lake.” Skyhook digital anchor This new craft has all of the capabilities of our other Lake Assault Boats vessels" Big Bear Lake is situated at over 6,700 feet above sea level. “Because of Big Bear’s elevation, we’ve added a fully-enclosed pilothouse and a reinforced hull that will enable us to push through ice in emergency situations,” explained Brian Wells, a SBCFD Engineer. “This new craft has all of the capabilities of our other Lake Assault Boats vessels that are performing at a very high level.” The fireboat is outfitted with twin 350 hp Mercury Verado outboard engines controlled through the one-touch Skyhook Digital Anchor and Joystick Piloting systems. A 1500 gpm Darley pump (powered by a dedicated V-8 engine) along with a TFT monitor and three discharge ports comprise the heart of its firefighting capabilities. Hydraulically operated bow door A 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door (with an integrated ladder), dual dive doors, a davit crane with twin socket locations, and a fully enclosed pilothouse provide protection from the elements. The onboard electronics include dual 12-inch touchscreens mounted on the dash, Garmin radar and sonar with SideVu and DownVu, chart plotting, and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system. Lake Assault Boats provided three days of on-the-water orientation ahead of the boats being put into service. “Lake Assault Boats is our vendor of choice and we’re very pleased with the design, build quality, and support we receive from their entire team,” added Wells. “We continue to refine the specs to meet the growing needs of our department’s on-the-water response capabilities in San Bernardino County.”
A network of fault-tolerant MxPro 5 fire panels from Advanced, have been installed at the UK headquarters of Computacenter. As an independent provider of IT infrastructure services, having robust fire protection measures in place at Computacenter’s UK logistics and distribution center is crucial to ensuring smooth operations. As part of a fire system upgrade and move towards a more open-style protocol, Advanced was selected as the preferred solution at Hertfordshire-based Computacenter’s headquarters which, at over 220,000 square feet, are some of Europe’s largest and most sophisticated purpose-built warehousing and operations facilities. Effective and reliable solution Advanced partner, Controlled Ltd., was responsible for the complete replacement of the fire system, including installation, configuration and commissioning of one 8-loop, one 5-loop and two 1-loop MxPro 5 panels that form the core of the site’s active fire protection. Controlled Ltd. integrated the new Advanced control panels alongside several third-party systems in the warehouse and operations building, including auto conveyors, sprinklers, gas suppression, aspirator systems and fire doors and shutters. Advanced panels are easy to use for both installers and operators" Neil Bain, Director at Controlled Ltd., said: “In selecting new fire protection equipment for the upgrade to Computacenter’s headquarters, we chose Advanced because we were confident that it would offer the most flexible, effective and reliable solution for the job. Advanced panels are easy to use for both installers and operators and their technical support team is always efficient and informative.” Temporary wireless solution In order to introduce the open protocol Advanced fire system, Controlled Ltd. had to install a temporary wireless solution until they were ready to conduct a phased changeover of loops, wiring and installation of new devices. With the control and indicating equipment now in place, Computacenter have the option to install graphical mapping and front-end monitoring software to improve visibility of the status of the fire system across the site. Jim Brown, Building Services Supervisor at Computacenter, said: “As part of an extensive overhaul of the fire alarm system in our operations center, Controlled Ltd. installed a temporary fire alarm system to work alongside the existing alarm system which was being upgraded to Advanced. This has worked very well with little disruption as progressively each loop has come online. The fact that they have successfully undertaken this work in what is essentially a manned site twenty-four hours a day is impressive, as is their ability to offer workable solutions to problems encountered, on time and on budget.” Open installer network Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager, said: “Our panels are installed within commercial premises across the world, protecting people, prestigious properties and strategic assets. For Controlled Ltd, our MxPro 5 fire panels offered the versatility and ease of use required to ensure a painless upgrade to Computacenter’s fire system – this is an area where our products excel so it’s great to have been able to support them with the equipment required for this project.” Panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed The MxPro 5 is the unbeatable multiprotocol fire system. Approved to EN54-2, 4 & 13, it offers four protocols, Apollo, Argus, Hochiki and Nittan and a completely open installer network that benefits from free training and technical support. Panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. MxPro 5 panels are backwardly compatible with existing MxPro 4 networks and include a host of features including AlarmCalm for complete false alarm management and reduction. Single-Panel installations Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile commercial and manufacturing sites across the globe – from eyewear manufacturer Luxottica in Milan, to Hitachi Rail Europe’s facility in County Durham and the £134million Condor House in London. Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Advanced’s reputation for performance, quality and ease of use see its products specified in locations around the world, from single-panel installations to large, multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multiprotocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems.
Situated in the heart of Cleckheaton, Victoria Court has recently undergone a £2.5M transformation and is now home to two floors of offices and an array of retail and commercial outlets including Dominos Pizza and the Halifax Bank. With its cutting-edge control panels, detection and alarm devices, C-TEC’s new CAST XFP system provides the highest levels of fire protection at the multi-purpose site. Featuring all the top-notch qualities of C-TEC’s existing panels plus distributed intelligence, autonomous decision making, high speed data transmission and a powerful group activation command for the rapid deployment of alarm signals, CAST is designed for fast and easy install. In addition, its capacity for displaying detailed data on all system activity was also a key factor in its specification for this particular site. Fire alarm panel CAST XFP is easy-to-install, well manufactured and very reliable on all the current installation sites" Said Nathan Douglas-Smith of Centurion Fire and Security Ltd, the specialist fire company that completed the installation of the life-safety systems in just under five weeks: “Fire alarm panel feedback is crucial so engineers and end users can ascertain all site activity. CAST XFP provides the responsible person with vital information on system activity in complete contrast to the old fire alarm system it replaced. As a result, engineers and end users can see exactly what is happening on site.” “CAST XFP is a great product - it’s easy-to-install, well manufactured and very reliable on all the current installation sites. From a customer support point of view, C-TEC are very responsive to enquires, requests and the occasional technical support call. For example, at a late stage in the installation, the client decided they wanted the smoke detectors in a specific area to be black. We simply called C-TEC and they manufactured them to order.” feature-rich and intuitive Said David Armstrong, Centurion’s MD: “CAST is powerful, feature-rich and intuitive. We’ve installed ten systems to date and have many more projects in the pipeline. Going forwards, we can’t wait for it to be rolled out to C-TEC’s larger panels particularly the ZFP over the coming months.”
Getac, a globally renowned rugged mobile computing manufacturer, has come to the aid of the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) with the donation of powerful rugged mobile devices, along with accompanying accessories from its partners. The new solutions replace the CBMRT’s original IT equipment, which was lost during a devastating fire at its base of operations in Merthyr Tydfil, and provide a significant technology upgrade in the process. Rugged mobile devices The Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) is a voluntary organization covering the Central Brecon Beacons, including South Wales’ highest mountain, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Corn Du, as well as the Ystradfellte waterfalls. Getac donated the ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and F110 fully rugged Windows tablets The CBMRT responds to over 120 incidents a year, with rescues often taking place in extremely challenging conditions. Many areas of the national park are also very remote, which can make effective coordination between rescue teams difficult without the right equipment. Getac donated the ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and F110 fully rugged Windows tablets, both of which feature a host of innovative technologies that greatly enhance the CBMRT's capabilities during time-sensitive operations. Integrated with Lumibond touchscreen technology Getac’s revolutionary Lumibond touchscreen technology means rescuers can view and operate the devices in all weather conditions, from bright sunlight to heavy rain, and even while wearing gloves. The powerful inbuilt 4G LTE connectivity also enables team members to remotely log-in to the SARCALL incident management platform from any location, where they can liaise with other rescue parties, coordinate searches and provide real-time updates. Vehicle docking stations Secure vehicle docking stations with compact and robust Zirkona mounting brackets were also donated by Gamber-Johnson, while Lind Electronics provided high-quality, rugged vehicle power adaptors that together meet the requirements of the most demanding and harsh environments. These have been used to create fully integrated solutions in both the front and rear of the CBMRT’s three new response vehicles, allowing the devices to be safely used when in transit, then detached and taken into the field once teams are at the scene of an incident. Getac tablets Mountain rescue can be hard on equipment, but Getac tablets and accompanying accessories perform flawlessly" “When we’re trying to locate a person in need of our help, the last thing we want to worry about is our devices,” said Penny Brockman, Team Leader, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team. Penny adds, “Mountain rescue can be very hard on equipment, but our Getac tablets and accompanying accessories perform flawlessly in even the toughest conditions, meaning we can stay focused on the task at hand, which is saving lives.” Technology in frontline emergency response “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in frontline emergency response and when the CBMRT lost all of its equipment in the fire, both we and our partners were more than happy to step in,” said Chris Bye, President, Getac UK Ltd. Chris adds, “With the new rugged solutions in place, rescue teams have everything they need to communicate and coordinate effectively in the field, giving the best possible chance of success.”