Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
FIREX International Connect 2021 is a brand-new, month-long digital event running throughout June. The upcoming FIREX International in-person event will take place at ExCeL London from 12-14 July, providing the first opportunity in over two years for the fire safety industry to unite face-to-face. “Both events present unmissable opportunities for the industry to reconnect and explore the innovative approaches to fire safety that have been born out of a challenging year,” said Chris...
As people continue to balance work, school, and daily living at home, or are employed in the office or out in the field, it is critical that homes and workplaces are electrically safe, secure, and efficient. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) actively supports National Electrical Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which raises awareness of potential home electrical hazards, the importance of electrical fi...
Following a decision of its Board, Euralarm has welcomed its new member Innohome. The company will join the fire section of Euralarm. Innohome will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation towards European institutions and standardization organizations. This includes the monitoring of legislative and standardization issues relevant to the industry. Innohome will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire s...
Hundreds of sensors and devices operating across an entire city – all connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) – combine to provide useful and actionable information for a variety of functions – including public safety and fire protection. Even as IoT sensors and devices monitor buildings to provide vital information, computer systems transform sensor data into intelligence. Communication advances are ensuring that intelligence is shared when and how it is needed. The Nation...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, has announced the launch of Chemguard NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate. NFF technology This new, patent-pending Non-Fluorinated Foam (NFF) technology provides fast and effective fire suppression on most Class B hydrocarbon and polar solvent fuel fires. With a longer drain time than most AR-AFFFs, this foam blanket also delivers excellent post-exting...
Dycon Power Solutions Ltd, the Welsh-based developer, and manufacturer of advanced technology power supply products and solutions for the fire, security, building management, and communications’ markets, has recently expanded its fire distribution network to offer the full Dycon range of advanced fire power supplies to the fire systems installation market. In addition to its existing distributors Enterprise Security Distribution and CQR, Dycon has now welcomed KGM Fire & Security Dist...
In 1965, Greater London Council ordered six Commer Cobs to be used BACVs (Breathing Apparatus Control Vehicles). DYC32C ended up, at least to start with, in Bromley. It remained with the Fire Brigade until 1977 when it was sold out of the service. Of the six ordered, DYC32C is believed to be the only one that survives today. The Commer was, at one point, owned by a builder who cared little for the fire-based heritage and then used it as a van. However, it survived the cement dust and was sold again to someone who wanted to restore it. It was then, while rubbing the paint down, that the ‘London Fire Brigade’ livery was exposed, and as such, its history was discovered. That owner did a great deal of work to the van, including significant repairs to the front end, which had succumbed to rust. Van Restoration Happily, the van was then restored back to its former firefighting glory, including a full complement of period-correct equipment. A full history including copies of photos from the ‘60s when the Commer was in active service, hand-written notebooks showing when fuel was put in, what the mileage was, when fluids were changed and topped up. The van was restored back to its former firefighting glory, including a full complement of period-correct equipment. It was also full of fire equipment including Period two-way radio fixed to dash (non-functional) Wooden Breathing Apparatus tally board with name markers Period London Fire Brigade map of London Period first aid kit, fully stocked with original items Wooden box containing radiation kit London Fire Brigade Control Unit box with radio, headset and battery Two yellow and black checked tabards One red and white checked tabard Tarpaulin cover for van Winkworth silver bell Functional rotating/flashing blue light for roof Red and white flashing light (not tested) Two period Fireman’s helmets (one with Commander livery) Two Fireman’s peaked caps Two axes on canvas belts Two period uniform tunics with silver buttons Two pairs of Fireman’s black leggings Two face masks in green canvas bags Two jacks and wheel nut removers One London Fire Brigade petrol can One London Fire Brigade wooden box with rope and another face mask One pair of period Firefighter’s boots Interestingly, the engines in these vans supplied to the LFB were fitted with 1,494cc units rather than the standard 1,390cc engine. This was due to the fact the van would always be laden, and would of course be pushed hard in the event of an emergency. Owners Statement “This Commer Cob appealed on many levels,” says Car & Classic’s Chris Pollitt. “It’s a genuine service vehicle, time served, proper job. One of only six ordered in ‘65, and of those, the only one believed to have survived." "We were delighted to find it a new home. It’s a part of social history, of automotive history and as such, it would be a joy and an honor to own it.”
Johnson Controls, the pioneer for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings and architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, is setting a new standard in fire suppression with the launch of ANSUL® NFF 3x3 UL201 Foam Concentrate. This new, patent-pending, Non-Fluorinated Foam (NFF) technology provides fast, effective fire suppression on most Class B hydrocarbon and polar solvent fuel fires. With a longer drain time than most AR-AFFFs, this foam blanket also delivers excellent post-extinguishment burnback resistance and vapor suppression. Minimum design application ANSUL® NFF 3x3 UL201 Concentrate passes the UL 162 synthetic foam concentrate protocol. It has also passed, under independent third-party witness, the UL 162 AR-AFFF test protocol for Type III hydrocarbon fuel at a 3-to-1 expansion ratio. This protocol’s more challenging foam application test rate of 0.04 gpm/ft2 (1.6 lpm/m2) is two-thirds that of the UL 162 synthetic, non-fluorinated foam protocol, and for an AR-AFFF this result would correspond to a minimum design application rate of 0.10 gpm/ft2 (4.1 lpm/m2). ANSUL® NFF 3x3 UL201 concentrate provides flexibility and ease of use for first response teams, as it allows for consistent three percent proportioning for both hydrocarbon and polar solvent fires. This means there is no need to adjust proportioning for different Class B hazards. Significant hardware changes The foam concentrate is compatible with most standard response proportioning and discharge devices With a 3-to-1 expansion ratio and viscosity similar to a 3x3 AR-AFFF, the foam concentrate is compatible with most standard response proportioning and discharge devices, reducing the need for significant hardware changes. The low expansion ratio provides greater throw distance for the foam, giving firefighters additional separation from the flames. “We developed and tested the NFF Concentrate at the Johnson Controls Fire Technology Center, one of the most extensive fire research and testing facilities in the world,” said Craig Cook, global product development leader, Foam Products at Johnson Controls. “When tested on a hydrocarbon fuel fire at three percent concentration, the foam quickly gained 90 percent control and exceeded the requirements for extinguishment and burnback time for a UL 162 AR-AFFF Type III listing.” Fire protection products ANSUL® NFF 3x3 UL201 concentrate is defined as a non-fluorinated firefighting foam concentrate, produced in an equipment free from the use of PFAS chemistry. Since this product is free from any intentionally added PFAS chemistry and precautions have been taken to avoid PFAS contamination, it inherently complies with Directives (EU) 2017/1000 on PFOA and 2019/1021 (EU POPs directive) as a non-fluorinated product. Along with other Johnson Controls fire protection products and solutions, this ANSUL® NFF Concentrate helps protect people and property within industries like petroleum and chemical where spills and limited scale hazards require municipal and industrial response. It is also suitable for use in foam systems with Type II discharge devices.
The challenging year of 2020 has identified that international cross-border cooperation related to the prevention of and the response to wildfires is more important than ever. With landscape firefighting missions moving through Europe, there’s no surprise that the pan-European rescEU Commission has recently received a significant investment boost to expand its aerial firefighting capability. Tangent Link Ltd, organizers of the internationally acclaimed series of aerial firefighting events is pleased to announce that the next Aerial Firefighting Europe Conference and Exhibition will take place on 12 – 14 October 2021 in Tartu, Estonia. Providing exceptional opportunity Hosted in Northern Europe for the first time, the event will provide an exceptional opportunity to share best practice between new and mature markets. The new venue boasts modern event facilities for a dedicated conference, exhibition, private workshops as well as opportunities for static displays. The event will provide an exceptional opportunity to share best practice between new and mature markets Chaired by Professor Johann Georg Goldammer, Director of Germany’s Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), the two-day conference will take place at a time when the current pandemic – unprecedented in recent history – and the increasingly noticeable impacts of climate change are challenging Europe and the world. Over the last years, Europe’s natural and cultural landscapes – including the society living therein – have become increasingly vulnerable to wildfires. More severe wildfires In preparation for the event, Professor Goldammer has agreed to share his insights into the conference agenda topics. In the Euro-Mediterranean region, larger and more severe wildfires often are difficult to control. Similar trends are observed in other regions of the world with similar climate and vegetation features speak for themselves, for instance Australia or California. Until a few years ago, the climatic conditions in Central, Western Atlantic, Northern and Eastern Europe were advantageous. The fragmented and intensively cultivated landscapes, forests and protected areas experienced limited numbers of usually small-sized wildfires. More than a decade ago, the first warning signals came from the United Kingdom and Ireland, where the humid Atlantic climate began to change – along with an unprecedented amount of wildfires affecting moorlands, heathlands and forests. Fire management methods Central and Northern European countries need to adjust to a new reality Beginning in 2018, recurrent, long-lasting droughts affected the vitality and resilience of forests, agricultural lands and other open landscapes of Central and Northern Europe. Widespread desiccation of vegetation cover, associated with dramatically lowered soil moisture and water tables, created conditions favourable for wildfires. Central and Northern European countries need to adjust to a new reality. This is calling for sharing expertise with other regions of Europe and the world, where experience in fire management methods had evolved over decades. The conference will provide a forum for exchanging expertise and visions for the future of landscape fire management. Conference contributions from Europe and North America will address the advances in technology development and the integration of aerial resources into concepts of building sustainable concepts of integrated fire management. Aerial firefighting resources Lessons identified during cross-boundary cooperation in fire management in Europe during the peak of the pandemic are another theme of the conference. Representatives of the European Commission will present the opportunities for sharing aerial firefighting resources in the frame of the rescEU agenda, which is an activity of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The conference will also shed light on special problems of fire management The aim of rescEU is to strengthen European preparedness for disasters and sharing capacities to respond to forest fires, medical emergencies or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents. In terms of wildfire related information – early warning and monitoring of wildfires – the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) provides support to rescEU. The conference will also shed light on special problems of fire management: Europe is bearing extended landscapes that are contaminated by the heritage of armed conflicts – unexploded ordnance (UXO) stemming from the World Wars, the Cold War and other recent conflicts. Dedicated exhibition area In addition, fires burning on territories contaminated by industrial waste or accidents, including radioactively contaminated areas of Eastern Europe, pose a special threat to society and fire and rescue personnel. Aerial Firefighting Europe 2021 will include a dedicated exhibition area which will offer the aerial firefighting technology providers the much-needed opportunity to meet face-to-face with new and existing clients and showcase their products to the global audience. Confirmed participants include DynCorp International LLC, Viking Air Limited, Conair Group, Perimeter Solutions, Fireboss LLC, Antavia Ametek, Columbia Helicopters, Inc., Overwatch Imaging, Airtelis, Ansett Aviation and Collins Aerospace among many others. After a challenging time, Aerial Firefighting Europe 2021 will enable the aerial firefighting community to reconnect, share knowledge and define strategies for the global aerial firefighting market. Tangent Link Ltd has embraced the subject of Aerial Firefighting for over a decade with events taking place in key wildfire afflicted countries such as Greece, Croatia, USA, Spain, Australia, Canada, Italy and France since 2008.
Apollo have recently introduced a new conventional Manual Call Point (MCP) into their product portfolio. Following customer feedback, they have created a conventional MCP that utilizes the same operation and resettable mechanism as the popular Apollo Intelligent Manual Call Point. The product, SC2900-001APO, has a new modern and sturdy design, is fitted with an alarm LED and has been designed to operate on a zone of conventional fire detection devices. It is supplied with both 470 Ohm resistors and normally open clean contact electrical options. The new design has already made weekly testing hassle free for numerous end users. Maintaining smooth operation A Heart for Duns is a community group of volunteers, formed to maintain and develop the vibrancy that exists in the Scottish town of Duns. The group own and manage the Volunteer Hall, which hosts regular weekly events such as choir practice, community quizzes, after school clubs and more. The group decided to reshape the facilities so that it better served the needs of the community. In order to maintain a smooth operation of the hall, something that needed to be addressed, was the Manual Call Points. There were various makes and models of MCP’s installed across the site, some were easy to test, others not so. The crucial weekly testing was proving difficult as some of the testing keys didn’t work in the alarm points. Fire alarm testing SAFE Services recommended the new Apollo Conventional Manual Call point (SC2900-001APO) Due to this, the group felt that they were not carrying out effective fire alarm testing and sought an alternative option. A Heart for Duns contacted SAFE Services who specialize in Fire & Security System Integration, offering the highest standard of service from initial consultation and design, to installation and maintenance. Designed to benefit the end-user by offering an easy reset mechanism, SAFE Services recommended the new Apollo Conventional Manual Call point (SC2900-001APO). All existing call points on the site were changed to this model, each fitted with a hinge cover to reduce false alarms from accidental activation on the busy site. There was minimal disruption to the volunteers as the SC2900-001APO was developed to make installation quick and simple for the engineer. Swapping out older model "Having a consistent make of modern Manual Call Point makes it easier to test across the site with minimal effort. Simple and effective. It has made a huge difference!” said Liz Brown, Finance & Facilities Manager at A Heart of Duns. "For me – The new Apollo call point lends itself easily to swapping out older model call points. I think that because all the testing is done by forwarding pressure on the call point then all the stress is greatly reduced on the back-box fixings into the wall and less to go wrong with the call point itself. Other models require a bit of upwards and downwards force to test and this has led to call points coming loose and worst case, breaking. The call point looks so much more modern compared to others on the market and Apollo has got this one spot on when it comes to testing and resetting. The rotation of the element makes it obvious if the call point has been activated should this be maliciously or accidentally," said Graeme Millar, Fire Systems Technical Engineer at SAFE Systems.
FlamePro, a British manufacturing specialist of life-saving garments for firefighters, announces the launch of a first-of-its-kind fire kit, having worked with its suppliers to bring new, innovative technologies to the market. The new valiant structural fire suit represents a significant step forward in firefighter protection, utilizing brand new developments in fabrics, membranes, and components. This includes a new fabric assembly, which incorporates an integrated 3D woven structure and state-of-the-art membrane, to provide exceptional breathability, moisture transportation, and thermal performance. Better thermal performance As well as giving brigades the choice of five outer fabrics, the valiant suit is available with new moisture barrier innovations, resulting in a membrane that is the same weight as traditional structures, yet offers increased breathability, moisture management, and high-temperature wash durability, as well as delivering better thermal performance against radiant heat. Another innovation in the valiant suit is a 3D woven thermal lining layer, which offers breathability Another innovation in the valiant suit is a 3D woven thermal lining layer, which offers breathability, as well as excellent moisture transportation and thermal performance. When these technologies are combined, the full assembly offers a garment that has been shown to be one of the most effective at transporting moisture away from the firefighter, which helps to keep them cool and prevent any trapped moisture from conducting heat and causing potential burns. Offering additional benefits Wearer trials of this garment system have shown it performs better than conventional and dual systems in scenarios such as climbing ladders, hot house trials, and crawling through enclosed spaces. Both the jacket and trousers of the valiant suit feature ergonomic shaped paneling, which is designed to maximize ease of movement and comfort for the firefighter. The new fabric system also offers additional benefits including lack of perceived bulk and quick drying. The jacket and trousers have both been designed down to the smallest details to ensure they are better and more comfortable to work in and to provide the firefighter with the features they need to do their demanding job. Cutting-Edge technologies The new garments are also the first on the UK market to include luminous tapes as standard The new garments are also the first on the UK market to include luminous tapes as standard, in addition to reflective tapes. These glow-in-the-dark, phosphorescent strips aid location of colleagues in near, or even total, darkness. Commenting on the launch of the new fire kit, FlamePro’s technical sales manager, Reece Buchner, said: “This new fire kit is a real game-changer in the firefighting industry. We’ve been working with our suppliers for many months to develop these cutting-edge technologies – the likes of which have never been seen before.” Protecting frontline workers “Our new material assembly is truly unique – both the 3D woven structure, as well as the new moisture barrier membrane are very much a first for the industry, and demonstrate a major leap forward in PPE options for firefighters.” “As well as protecting frontline workers from the dangers of extreme heat and flames, making sure PPE is a comfortable fit is a top priority for us. With these new technologies that we’ve developed, and our brand-new designs, we know we are setting a new benchmark for structural suits across the whole industry.”
Anheuser-Busch and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are teaming up for the third year to provide critical hydration to volunteer fire departments responding to wildfires through the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program. The program is an expansion of Anheuser-Busch’s longstanding tradition of providing emergency drinking water and supplies for disaster relief efforts. Anheuser-Busch is continuing its commitment in 2021 by pledging to donate 1.5 million cans of clean drinking water to help keep wildland firefighters hydrated as they protect and strengthen their communities. Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program Since the program began in 2019, over 3.2 million cans of water have been distributed to more than 520 fire departments in 47 US states. “Hydration is a vital component to firefighter health and safety, and an important part of keeping firefighters functioning at their best during response,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chair, Steve Hirsch. Supporting volunteer First responders We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s ongoing commitment to support our volunteer responders" Steve adds, “We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s ongoing commitment to support our volunteer boots-on-the-ground responders. This is an invaluable program that provides a critical resource to volunteer departments, so they can use their limited budgets on other necessities.” “Our emergency drinking water program is a tremendous source of pride for all of us at Anheuser-Busch, as our way of recognizing the efforts of those who help us build stronger, more resilient communities in times of need,” said Julio Suárez, Senior Director of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch. Providing critical hydration resources Julio adds, “Providing these critical hydration resources to our nation's brave firefighters is our way of saying thank you for their efforts and sacrifices for the continued safety of our communities.” To apply for the emergency drinking water, fire departments must be located in the U.S., annually respond to wildfires, be over 50 percent volunteer, and serve a population of 25,000 or less. Fire departments in declared emergencies due to wildfire will also be able to request water outside of the application period, in order to help with their immediate wildfire response needs. The application period is open through April 23, 2021, or until all water has been allocated.
The risks to firefighters’ health can steadily increase with each year. Though long-term health complications don’t deter department men and women from confronting these hazards, there are ways to reduce the threat of occupational disease. Respiratory problems (like asthma) are among the most common health problems firefighters experience in their tenure. Other, more serious breathing problems, however, may develop decades later. Studies of firefighters employed between 1950 and 2009 revealed an excess of cancers of the bladder, brain, esophagus, intestines, kidney, lung, prostate, rectum, stomach, and testes. New research has also revealed an increase in rates of mesothelioma among firefighters. 10 Mesothelioma Prevention Tips To prevent developing serious health problems, the 1.1 million career and volunteer firefighters in the U.S. can utilize a few easy strategies. 1. Put on Appropriate Gear Before Exposure to Smoke and Fire A majority of the occupational diseases for which firefighters are at risk affect the respiratory and digestive tracts. The risk stems from cancer-causing particles that typically enter the body through the nose or mouth. Over time, they cause changes in the DNA in the cells lining the lungs, stomach, heart cavity, and more. Prevent inhaling or ingesting dangerous fumes, dust, and smoke by donning the proper self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) before beginning work. 2. Keep Work Gear Separate From Clothing, and Don’t Take Them Home Always keep your gear and clothing separate and avoid taking the gear home to prevent contaminating surfaces Through your normal firefighting activities, your gear will likely accumulate toxic particles after use. These carcinogens (i.e., cancer-causing agents) can be transferred to your clothing through simple contact. Storing your personal clothes together in a bag, trunk, or locker with your gear could be enough to contaminate them. As a result, it’s a good idea to always keep your gear and clothing separate. Also, avoid taking your gear home to prevent contaminating surfaces (such as carpet) there. 3. Completely Clean Contaminated (and Potentially Contaminated) Gear It’s not enough to simply keep firefighting gear and personal protective equipment (PPE) separate to prevent the transfer of potentially hazardous particles. Regularly handling these items could also put you at risk of airborne exposure as well as toxic contact with your skin. Clean all gear and equipment according to the manufacturer’s recommendation and department guidelines to ensure it is safe for future use. 4. Bathe After Possible Exposure to Asbestos and Other Carcinogens The final step in preventing toxic exposure is cleaning is cleaning your hair, skin, and nails after working in hazardous areas. Dust and other pollutants can travel on your body, causing health problems for you and anyone you may come into close contact with. Secondary carcinogenic exposure typically occurs when firefighters bring home contaminants on their body or clothes. Once there, toxic particles may be transferred to fabrics on furniture, carpet, through the laundry machine, and through direct skin-to-skin contact (such as a hug). Wash your skin and hair fully, cleaning beneath your nails too, before going home to prevent unintentional exposure to family members. 5. Follow All Safety Guidelines When Working in Old Buildings, Crumbling Structures Though the use of asbestos (a material directly linked to lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesotheliomas) has dramatically declined since the 1980s, many older buildings still contain large amounts of the material in its insulation, wallboard, and cement. When the materials are mishandled or broken, asbestos fibers can be released into the air, then inhaled or ingested. Follow all safety rules when working in old buildings and crumbling structures to prevent disturbing and spreading asbestos. Replace any asbestos-containing gear with modern, safer versions to reduce your risk of hazardous exposure 6. Replace Old Gear When Recommended, and Replace Any Asbestos-containing Gear Due to the fireproofing qualities of asbestos, it was used as much in firefighting equipment as it was in construction products. Proximity suits, used to provide protection from extreme levels of heat, used a protective layer of asbestos since the 1930s before eventually being phased out of the fabric. Over time and through repeated use, old firefighting equipment and gear may break, tear, or flake, and expose users to asbestos. Replace any asbestos-containing gear with modern, safer versions to reduce your risk of hazardous exposure. 7. Play Close Attention to Your Health and Note Any Changes While following cancer prevention tips can reduce your risk of developing health problems, catching an illness early can also benefit your long-term health. If you notice any changes in your physical, mental, and emotional health, take note of their frequency and severity. Next, make an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible to discuss them. For example, if you experience a dry cough for at least eight weeks, you could be experiencing the early symptoms of chronic lung disease. Some respiratory illnesses are reversible and treating them as soon as possible may give you the best prognosis. 8. Make Regular Health Screening Appointments Maintaining a regular schedule of health screenings helps catch abnormalities in their earliest stages Firefighters are regularly exposed to toxic gases, fumes, and dust that can cause respiratory diseases up to 40 years later. Consequently, in many cases of occupational cancer, the individual is not aware of internal growing tumors until it’s too late. By maintaining a regular schedule of health screenings, you may be able to catch abnormalities in their earliest stages. Lung cancer, for example, is considered easiest to treat (and potentially cure) when caught in stages 1 or 2. Advanced-stage lung cancers, on the other hand, may only be treated with palliative care options. 9. Don’t Smoke Smoking tobacco cigarettes not only causes its own long-term health problems, but the habit can also increase cancer risks caused by occupational exposure. Developing mesothelioma, for example, is a greater risk for smokers. Too, smoking can worsen symptoms of respiratory disease (such as cough and difficulty breathing). The International Association of Fire Fighters maintains a page of resources to campaign for smoke-free unions. Other members of the department, family, and friends may be needed to help an individual quit smoking. 10. Research the Latest Safety Protocols The field of fire safety is constantly expanding with new tools and techniques. As recent events continue to reshape the lives of people worldwide, the future of firefighting may likewise change. Continuously researching the latest safety protocols and technology can help protect your overall health for years to come.
The risk of fire is thankfully not an immediate threat in most people’s everyday lives. But this has led to a nonchalant attitude where many fail to appreciate the true dangers posed by a fire situation. The pandemic has served to make matters even more complex, and has pushed fire safety on the back burner as facility managers (FMs) turn their attention to COVID-proofing the workplace. Safety at work is now more of a focus than it has ever been, but the race to ensure we can return to work safely has seen other important matters, like improving indoor air quality, take precedence. Fire detection systems As new rules and regulations regarding the pandemic are introduced, many FMs have been unable to focus on anything except the immediate issues at hand. But fire safety is always immediate. Fire detection systems and servicing and maintenance contracts have always been considered grudge purchases, but this doesn’t mean they should fall off the radar. As buildings have been left vacant, fire alarms have gone untested, have missed upgrades or have even failed to sound. Every business has faced unique challenges in their response to the pandemic But upholding fire safety measures in the workplace is both a moral and legal requirement to help ensure the protection of people and assets, and businesses must treat it with the attention it deserves. Every business has faced unique challenges in their response to the pandemic. We’ve seen some continue operating as usual, some pivot production to make face masks and hand sanitizer, while others have shut their doors for the foreseeable future. Fire risk assessments Those that remained open will likely have experienced considerable changes to workplace layouts, which may in turn have had adverse effects on fire safety – for example, fire doors being wedged open for ventilation, or because people don’t want to touch door handles; and new one-way systems that affect shared escape routes. What’s more, fluctuating staff occupancy levels mean there may not be enough fire wardens present should an alarm sound. All of these changes have an impact. In the event of a fire, your staff and assets might not be as safe as you think. But there is a simple solution: fire risk assessments. The vast majority of companies have undergone a change of occupancy during the pandemic and, as a result, must review their current fire safety measures through a risk assessment. Qualified third-Parties We often find that businesses lack staff with the appropriate training and skillsets in-house This involves looking at a building’s people, processes, procedures, contents and technologies, from fire alarms to sprinkler systems, with the aim of addressing any faults. With occupancy levels and more changed for the meantime – and possible for the long-term too – it’s vital to update your risk assessments. Failing to do so could have severe reputational and financial repercussions, particularly if livelihoods are affected. Should the worst happen, it could also lead to insurers refusing any pay-outs from failing to secure the premises, leading to even more difficulties down the line. We often find that businesses lack staff with the appropriate training and skillsets in-house to conduct a sufficient fire risk assessment. But even with the current restrictions, there’s no reason risk assessments can’t be easily carried out by qualified third-parties. Social distancing guidelines Many buildings lie vacant, meaning assessors simply need to show up in their PPE and conduct the assessment under social distancing guidelines. Technology can also play an important role, by ensuring a building’s safety systems are in order through remote diagnostic tools. Some assessors can even carry out a vast majority of the assessment virtually, examining floorplans, exit routes, and tech stacks from the comfort of their own homes. That said, many businesses won’t have the latest IoT sensors needed to notify FMs on the condition of a building’s physical aspects, such as occupancy levels, open fire doors or signage. Need for office space The impact of COVID-19 on the way we work will be felt for years to come The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to provide FMs with the knowledge they need to ensure their business and assets remain safe and secure, should the worst happen. COVID has not put a stop to this – distraction has. The onus is on FMs to put fire safety back on the priority list. The impact of COVID-19 on the way we work will be felt for years to come. For example, the success of the move to widespread remote work could see businesses revaluating the need for office space, and this will likely have knock-on effects to fire safety as regulations are taken into the home. Associated regulatory changes Elsewhere, the decline of the high street and closure of physical stores may see shops converted for other purposes - and these developments will be accompanied by the associated regulatory changes. It’s becoming clear that as the pandemic has changed the way we use buildings, it will also change the way we approach fire safety. People don’t like to think they may be impacted by fire, but we cannot let fire safety fall off the radar when livelihoods and lives are at risk. As FMs have worked hard to ensure our workplaces are COVID-proof once doors reopen, they must also approach the risk of fire with the same attentiveness. Awareness of the issue is now more important than ever – fire safety needs to be a top priority.
This time of year we remind communities to change their smoke detector batteries, advise them how to be safe while cooking during the holidays and, for those of us in wildland fire-prone communities, encourage them to follow the “Ready, Set, Go” model to properly prepare. But there’s another dangerous “season” out there we need to be aware of. In addition to Covid–19, flu season is among us and, as with fire, it’s important to take preventive measures and prepare your resources (you!). When it comes to being exposed to airborne and bloodborne pathogenic germs, firefighters are among the most at risk. And this is not just a little inconvenience that one or two sick days can cure. Emergency rooms become saturated this time of year with people suffering from the flu, which generally peaks between December and April. Harvard Medical School estimates that 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year in the U.S. due to flu. So, how’s your personal “Prevention Bureau” doing? Are you taking preventive measures to mitigate your risk for flu? Have you and your family received the flu vaccine? How about those you work with? Are you stocked up on over-the-counter medications? If you think about it, firefighting and “flu fighting” are very similar. Both start out small, but if not rapidly attacked, they develop into a much worse situation. Let’s look at this similarity a little more closely. Firefighting versus flu fighting: Incipient stage 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year in the U.S. due to flu Fire - This first stage begins when heat, oxygen and a fuel source combine and have a chemical reaction resulting in fire. This is also known as “ignition” and is usually represented by a very small fire that hopefully goes out on its own before severe stages are reached. Recognizing a fire in this stage provides your best chance at suppression or escape. Cold/Flu - The incipient stage is the incubation period, or the time it takes for a person who has been exposed to the virus to become infected (think of infection as ignition). The Merck Manual’s Online Medical Library section on influenza reports the incubation period may be from one to four days (first stage), averaging about 48 hours from exposure. Controlling the spread Fire - As the fire grows, the structure’s fire load and available oxygen are used as fuel for the fire. The fire starts rapidly spreading to other parts of the building, creating more damage. It is during this shortest of the four stages when a deadly “flashover” can occur, potentially trapping, injuring or killing firefighters. Cold/Flu - The U.S. Library of Medicine defines communicability as the time it takes an infectious agent to be transmitted from an infected person to another person (spreading rapidly). Once infected with influenza-type illnesses, the affected person may begin shedding the virus to others one day before signs and symptoms occur and continue to be contagious after symptoms begin. Prevention is all but impossible at this stage of the disease. Fully Developed When it comes to being exposed to airborne and bloodborne pathogenic germs, firefighters are among the most at risk Fire - When all combustible materials have been ignited, a fire is considered fully developed. This is the hottest phase of a fire and the most dangerous for anybody trapped within it. At this point our efforts are generally focused on protecting endangered structures. We surround the fire, apply massive amounts of water and let the contents burn themselves out. Cold/Flu - Fighting a fully developed flu virus is not much different. You position yourself in a safe place (usually your bed!) and “surround and drown” with fluids/rest. You generally cannot do much except protect exposures (others) by limiting your contact with them. The Firefighter Flu Prevention Bureau If fighting the flu has similarities with fighting fire, we can extend the metaphor a little further. In the fire service we rely on our Fire Prevention Bureau to educate the public as to the common causes of residential fires. We understand that a little education goes a long way in preventing fires. Well, the flu is no different, except this time we’re educating ourselves! So, following are a few tips from your friendly Flu Prevention Bureau: Wash your hands. The most important prevention measure for preventing colds and flu is frequent hand washing. Rub your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds to slough germs off the skin. Get a flu vaccine. Within two weeks of getting a flu vaccine, antibodies develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Children receiving the vaccine for the first time need two doses delivered one month apart. If you get exposed or get sick, take action. Give yourself time to recover, with plenty of fluids and lots of rest. Seek medical help if your symptoms don’t improve. Antiviral medicine may also help prevent flu if you have been exposed to someone with flu symptoms. In this flu season, take steps to protect your health and the health of those around you. Check with your NFPA—or Nearest Family Physician Available—for additional preventive measures on reducing this risk!
The extremely cold winter this year is a reminder of the need for firefighters to be prepared and trained to fight fires in extreme conditions. Extreme environments tend to elevate the hazards of firefighting, which already include trauma, thermal injury, and smoke inhalation. The additional hazards range from minor inconveniences to extreme danger. One element that increases risk during the depths of winter is the increased incidence of fires caused by the additional use of (possibly hazardous) temporary heating equipment, such as space heaters. In this year’s deadly Texas cold wave, wintry conditions knocked out power to around 4.5 million homes at one point. Power outages, combined with freezing conditions, sent Texans scrambling for home heating alternatives, such as generators and fireplaces, which can present their own fire hazards. Interactive training opportunities With cold weather also come additional challenges for firefighters trying to get to the site of a fire, possibly including downed power lines and other infrastructure challenges. Hydrants may be frozen. Training is a key element in preparing to fight fires in extreme conditions, providing opportunities for hands-on experience and to meet with industry peers to share useful information. The low student-to-instructor ratio for courses allows for repetitive skills applications and solid engagement For example, the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Winter Fire School, held in January, provides first-class, interactive training opportunities for all skill levels. Participants can choose from hands-on and/or classroom training programs that meet individual professional needs. The low student-to-instructor ratio for courses allows for repetitive skills applications and solid engagement with a dynamic and knowledgeable instructor team. Creating slippery hazards When it comes to keeping firefighters safe in extreme environments, here are some elements to consider: Beware of the hazards to firefighters of rapid cycling from working in the extremes of hot and cold. Be aware that the need for extra insulation in clothing layers can impair mobility. Look out for frozen water on hard surfaces that creates slippery hazards. Icing on ladder rungs, especially, can become slick and dangerous, as can the surfaces used to stabilize ladder positioning. Remain vigilant lest breathing apparatus becomes obstructed by freezing moisture. Adjust duration of work to offset the additional stresses. Firefighters will need to reduce their working time during inclement weather, which impacts scheduling. Be aware that body temperatures and condition are a concern when working in extreme heat or cold, including hyperthermia, hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, etc. Impacting extreme temperatures Ensuring that infrastructure and equipment is made ready is also helpful when preparing to fight fires in colder temperatures, including Installation of in-floor heating systems in apparatus bays or other areas, or adding an extra bay equipped to rinse salt from apparatus. Addressing possible damage of salting to apparatus, concrete and building surfaces. Ensuring additional needed maintenance of valves, hoses and appliances to ensure they are cold weather-ready. Freezing water can render some equipment inoperable. Be aware that snow creates greater loads and strains on a firehouse roof. Keep in mind that, during extreme cold, water must continue to flow through hose lines to avoid freezing. Consider the impact extreme temperatures can have on mechanical components such as hydraulic lines, steering components and drive trains. The pending arrival of spring provides relief from the additional hazards of fighting fires in cold temperatures but should not provide leeway not to prepare for next year. Departments should think ahead and prepare for the challenges of firefighting in whatever environmental conditions may present themselves. Lives may depend on it.
The Thermite RS3, manufactured by Howe & Howe Technologies, is a wide-chassis, industrial firefighting robot that is remotely operated using a belly-pack controller to provide high-definition video feedback for easy maneuverability, even in difficult conditions. The Los Angeles City Fire Department was the first to buy the bright yellow firefighting vehicle, as announced last fall. Thermite RS3 robot Decon7 Systems has teamed with Howe & Howe Technologies to pioneer the delivery of D7 disinfecting formula The robot is also being used in a new way during the COVID-19 pandemic. Decon7 Systems has teamed with Howe & Howe Technologies to pioneer the delivery of D7 disinfecting formula, using the RS3 to spray the disinfectant as foam, in order to ensure large areas are free of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The configuration is another way that a variety of items are being repurposed for new uses in the time of the pandemic, ranging from scarves used as face masks to kitchen tables that double as desks in a virtual schoolroom. In this case, a robot, which costs upwards of US$ 300,000, is providing a new way to carry out large-scale disinfecting operations of public places. Combination of D7 disinfectant and Thermite RS3 As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease and more public events are contemplated, the combination of D7 and the Thermite RS3 to disinfect and clean large areas will be relevant to communities and facilities across the country. “The combination of Thermite RS3 technology and D7 foam opens the door to new methods of quickly and safely deactivating the COVID-19 virus in public spaces,” said Decon7 Systems’ Senior Vice President, William Joe Hill. Thermite and D7 provided a demonstration of the new capabilities. “We hope to show the significance of this capability to facility maintenance operators and first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement and emergency services teams, all across the country,” adds William Joe Hill. Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) ventilator The RS3’s modular design and wider stance allow additional equipment to be incorporated, including positive pressure ventilation (PPV) ventilator. In the disinfectant use case, two nozzles spray the disinfectant from the robot. One is controllable and can spray a sidewalk as the robot travels down the road, for example. The second nozzle feeds into the airstream of a PPV ventilator fan system, where it is jetted at 20 gallons per minute to get the right foaming action of the solution. A tow-behind trailer includes a pump to provide pressure without connecting to an outside water source. Large-scale disinfection operations When used in firefighting, the Thermite RS3 avoids having to deploy firefighters into extreme conditions When used in firefighting, the Thermite RS3 avoids having to deploy firefighters into extreme conditions. The RS3 enables firefighters to respond at a safer distance from danger, while using the robot as an extension of their own senses. The same advantages also drive new usage arenas such as COVID-19 disinfection, toxic chemical remediation, and biohazard disinfection. Large-scale disinfecting operations can be achieved without putting personnel in harm’s way. The RS3’s hose attachment enables users to spray large areas with disinfectant efficiently. D7 broad-spectrum antimicrobial disinfectant D7 is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial disinfectant that is versatile for a host of applications. It capitalizes on the power of hydrogen peroxide, penetrating and disarming toxins at the molecular level. The D7 formulation is made up of mild ingredients, which gives it low toxicity and corrosion properties. Fabricated using industrial-grade steel and reinforced rubber tracks, RS3 can navigate rugged terrain and withstand exposure to the extreme elements. Its 36.8 hp diesel engine can run 20 hours without refueling. The control device, strapped around the waist of the operator, has a range of a quarter mile away.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is seeking to address fire dangers from electric vehicles that use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. At risk are first responders who may be injured by electric shock or uncontrolled increases in temperature and pressure that can reignite the batteries. The risk of shock and fire arises from the ‘stranded’ energy that remains in a damaged battery, says the NTSB. A safety report from the U.S. federal agency documents their investigation into four electric vehicle fires that involved high-voltage, lithium-ion batteries. Emergency response guides Three of the batteries were damaged in high-speed car crashes, and then reignited after firefighters extinguished the vehicle fires. The fourth occurred during normal vehicle operation and did not reignite. NTSB noted inadequate emergency response guides from vehicle manufacturers, and gaps in safety standards and research related to high-voltage lithium-ion batteries involved in high-severity car crashes. Crash damage and resulting fires may prevent first responders from accessing the high-voltage disconnect Crash damage and resulting fires may prevent first responders from accessing the high-voltage disconnects in electric vehicles. The instructions in most manufacturers’ emergency response guides for fighting high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires lack necessary, vehicle-specific details on suppressing the fires, says the agency. Mitigation measures are needed for thermal runaway and the risk of battery reignition, and for the risks of stranded energy during emergency response and before a damaged electric vehicle is removed from the accident scene. Damaging battery modules Guidance is also needed on how to safely store an electric vehicle with a damaged battery. The investigated crashes caused damage that extended into the protected area of the cars’ high-voltage battery cases, rupturing the cases and damaging battery modules and individual cells. The non-crash fire was caused by an internal battery failure. In each case, emergency responders faced safety risks related to electric shock, thermal runaway, battery ignition and reignition, and stranded energy. On the basis of its findings, the NTSB makes safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to the manufacturers of electric vehicles equipped with high-voltage lithium-ion batteries, and to six professional organizations that represent or operate training programs for first and second responders. Applying extinguishing agents In late 2011, NHTSA began working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to assist first and second responders in handling lithium-ion batteries after a crash and was working with vehicle manufacturers to develop post-crash protocols for dealing with vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. The guidance also highlights the difficulty of applying extinguishing agents directly onto burning cells The NFPA emergency field guide states that large, sustained volumes of water are required to extinguish a high-voltage battery fire: “It could require over 2,600 gallons, depending on the size and location of the battery.” The guidance also highlights the difficulty of applying extinguishing agents directly onto burning cells because of the batteries’ protective cases. High energy density It further states that applying a large volume of water might cool the battery enough to prevent the fire from propagating to adjacent cells. A high-voltage lithium-ion battery is designed to resist water, but water is critical for cooling overheated cells to stop thermal runaway and further combustion. As the NTSB concluded its investigations, international incidents concerning other vehicle manufacturers came to light, including three high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires in Europe. Lithium-ion batteries have been chosen for battery electric vehicles (BEV) because they have high energy density (allowing them to store large amounts of energy for a given volume), a low self-discharge rate (allowing them to retain a charge), and excellent electrochemical potential (allowing high-power discharge).
The Vizcaya Provincial Council in Spain, has invested seven million euros in its fire prevention, firefighting and rescue services. Almost 25 percent of the existing fleet will be replaced by new trucks, which will enhance efficiency and improve rapid response. The 15 new vehicles include six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, three heavy-duty large-tank pumpers, three first-response trucks and three automatic turntable ladders, all fitted with Allison fully automatic transmissions. Heavy-duty urban fire trucks VEICAR built the bodywork for nine of these vehicles, including the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, which have already been delivered. The bodywork is mounted on a SCANIA P 410 B chassis with 4x4 traction and Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. These trucks have water and foam tank capacities of 4,200 and 200 liters respectively. They are equipped with roof boxes that can be accessed from the ground, eliminating the need to enter the truck to access tools. An LED lighting mast provides supplementary lighting and a further feature is a monitor that provides a joystick-controlled flow rate of 4,000 liters per minute from the pump cabinet. Large-tank pumpers The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis The Vizcaya Provincial Council’s order of three large-tank pumpers is also based on the SCANIA P 410 B chassis. The vehicles share the same features as the six heavy-duty urban fire trucks, including Allison 4000 Series transmissions with retarders. They have larger water and foam tank capacities of 9,000 and 300 liters respectively. Like many other vehicle bodybuilders, VEICAR has full confidence in the benefits of Allison fully automatic transmissions. The company has worked in close cooperation with Allison since 2009. Allison fully automatic transmission Rather than using the automated manual transmissions that come as standard in this SCANIA model, VEICAR opted for a fully automatic transmission with torque converter, in this case, an Allison 4000 Series model with retarder (GA866R in SCANIA nomenclature). “The vast majority of our fire trucks are equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. We consider them an indispensable firefighting tool as they maximize vehicle performance, and greatly improve acceleration, reliability and safety,” said Carlos Prieto-Puga González, CEO at VEICAR. Faster acceleration and increased torque Carlos Prieto-Puga González adds, “In addition, their superior acceleration and maneuverability are beyond question, which is vital when there is not a second to be wasted. Most urban firefighters prefer them because they provide greater safety. And if that weren't enough, the vehicles reach the final years of their service life in better condition.” Allison transmissions are designed to offer increased torque and up to 35 percent faster acceleration. When fire trucks respond to emergencies, they are heavily loaded, so the optional retarder has been incorporated to provide high braking capacity, enabling the vehicles to slow down quickly at intersections. Optimum maneuverability on varied terrains Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions" “Allison transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability in the most demanding conditions and are the transmission of choice for firefighting fleets around the world. As regular users of these transmissions, we have no doubts whatsoever. As bodybuilders, we are always much happier when vehicles are equipped with Allison,” said Prieto-Puga González. Allison automatic transmissions provide optimum maneuverability on soft ground and in tight spaces, greater control on steep grades, smoother driving, better starting capacity, and faster acceleration. This makes it possible to reach higher average speeds and save fuel. Prieto-Puga Gonzalez adds, “A two- or three-minute head start can be crucial. Not losing power during gear shifts means smoother, more continuous and consequently more effective acceleration. It also improves maneuverability and saves time, which, along with the reliability of the transmission, means greater safety for firefighters. These great benefits are even more extraordinary when we consider that Allison transmissions reduce fleet maintenance costs.” Featuring Chelsea 870 power take-off “The easy maneuverability of the vehicles simplifies the drivers' work. They don't have to shift gears and can concentrate fully on the job and the road when traveling at high speed. And with Allison, vehicles can include up to two power take-offs (PTOs) to keep hydraulic equipment working correctly, even while the vehicle is in motion,” said Trond Johansen, European Key Fleets and Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission. “The Chelsea 870 power take-off incorporated into the transmissions has allowed us to fine-tune the entire unit to achieve the best possible onsite fire pump performance,” concludes Prieto-Puga González.
FlamePro, a renowned British manufacturing specialist of life safety garments and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for firefighters, has been awarded a £4 million contract by Capita, to provide its firefighting PPE for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), across the next decade. Firefighting PPE tender The competitive tender, part of Capita’s contract with the MOD, saw four different PPE providers bid for the contract, with FlamePro being appointed to provide its full ensemble of Personal Protective Equipment, alongside a total garment care package. FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products FlamePro was awarded the Ministry Of Defence’s PPE contract, due to its high-quality products and the company’s dedication to providing support and expertise on Personal Protective Equipment care, use and maintenance. The contract includes a multi-million pounds initial roll out, with a total value of £4 million over 10 years duration. New fabric technologies and designs Nathan Bricknell, the General Manager at FlamePro, said “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this contract with Capita. It marks a key milestone for the company. Over recent months, we’ve worked with our partners to develop brand new fabric technologies and designs, including a 3D woven structure and new moisture barrier membrane, to ensure our PPE is the most advanced on the market.” Nathan Bricknell adds, “Our brand new structural fire suit has set a new benchmark across the whole industry. This, teamed with our shorter-than-average lead times, stands us in great stead to deliver top-quality products and service on this contract.”
FCC Environment is one of the waste and resource management companies. With activity throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America, FCC is one of the world’s largest environmental services companies, they provide a range of services, from collecting business and municipal waste of recycling and processing, and the generation of green energy from waste. Fire protection systems AFS provides turnkey fire protection systems for FCC Waste Recycling sites in the UK, each project typically includes; aspirating detection, custom designed to resist false alarms in harsh environments, flame detection, sprinklers, deluge. On these projects AFS act as principle contractor and principal designer, providing a complete solution, including site accommodation, health and safety management (CDM) mains supplies, builders’ works, ground works as well as the provision of fire protection systems.
A fault-tolerant network of fire alarm control panels from Advanced has been selected to protect the 3Ts Redevelopment program at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. 36 four-loop MxPro 5 fire panels, 46 repeater panels, and two custom-built AdSpecials panels from UK-manufacturer, Advanced, are to be installed at Brighton’s 3Ts hospital redevelopment as part of phase one of the program. Phase one involves the construction of a 13-storey building with two basement levels, located on the main Royal Sussex County Hospital site. Incorporating all the functions of a modern hospital, the building will include a three-storey atrium reception, outpatient departments, operating theatres, wards, a teaching facility, and administration facilities. MxPro 5 fire panels The three-phase building works will deliver improved accommodation for more than 40 wards and departments, supporting the Trust’s role as a regional center for teaching, trauma, and tertiary care at Royal Sussex County Hospital. The new facilities meet the highest clinical standards and offering patients a modern, spacious care environment. The Essex-based firm will install Advanced’s pioneering MxPro 5 fire panels alongside bespoke sprinkler indication Taking a lead role in the cabling, first and second fix for the fire system throughout phase one of the project are EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd. The Essex-based firm will install Advanced’s pioneering MxPro 5 fire panels alongside bespoke sprinkler indication and ventilation override panels, all linked to approximately 5,000 Hochiki devices. High-performing protection Chris Goddard, Project Manager at EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd, said: “The 3Ts redevelopment project represents a massive healthcare investment for Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and, once completed, will offer an improved experience for thousands of hospital patients each year.” “Configuring protection across a site of this size can often appear daunting, however, the MxPro 5’s ease of installation and scalability will help to make the challenge of implementing protection effortless. As long-term users of Advanced, we’re confident that its solutions will be capable of delivering high-performing protection across the hospital’s large number of zones, many with their own complex cause and effect requirements.” BMS integration Amanda Hope, UK Business Development Manager at Advanced, said: “We’re proud to be supplying our partners, EA-RS Fire Engineering Ltd, with the equipment required to ensure that the valued healthcare staff, patients, and these state-of-the-art facilities will be protected by a cutting-edge fire system for years to come. “The fire system will include BMS integration and a custom graphics package to provide visual representation of the fire system to end-users. The custom-built sprinkler indication and ventilation override panels will be a showcase for the fantastic design and manufacturing work done by our in-house AdSpecials department.” “ As work progresses on the redevelopment of Royal Sussex County Hospital, Advanced’s high-speed, fault tolerant networks, that are renowned for their resilience, will come into their own, with the expansion of the fire detection system across phases two and three of the project.” Multiprotocol fire system solution Once complete, the two new clinical buildings of phase one and two will cover the front half of the hospital site Phase two of the development is a seven-storey building extending the functions of the first building, with stage three being a smaller delivery and service area to improve site management. Once complete, the two new clinical buildings of phase one and two will cover the front half of the hospital site. MxPro 5 is the fire industry’s pioneering multiprotocol fire system solution and was recently certified by FM Approvals to the EN 54 standard. It offers customers a choice of four detector protocols and a completely open installer network, backed up by free training and support. MxPro 5 panels can be used in single-loop, single-panel format, or easily configured into high-speed networks of up to 200 panels covering huge areas. Ease of installation and configuration, as well as its wide peripheral range, make MxPro 5 customizable to almost any application. Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe, from London’s Shard and Lloyds building to Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Hagia Sophia historic site in Turkey.
In the Midwestern Illinois city of Rochelle, the local fire department took delivery of its first Toyne Apparatus, a fully customized rescue/pumper. The Rochelle Fire Department's (RFD) new rescue/pumper will replace an older fire truck built-in 1995 that had served the department for 26 years. Built to take the call, the department’s latest fire apparatus addition is ready to protect the community. Established in 1877, the RFD has been serving the residents of Rochelle for nearly 145 years. The department has 34 firefighters on its roster and manages nine apparatus. Building robust apparatus In 2014, they responded to nearly 2,000 emergency calls. The department's firefighters will go through in-service training on their Toyne Apparatus before being officially put into service. "This is a highly capable rescue/pumper, and it's equipped with a wide variety of specialized hardware to assist the Rochelle Fire Department for a range of different emergencies," said Bill Bird, Toyne Product Support Coordinator. "We're proud to build an apparatus as robust as this one is." The rescue/pumper was stall-built at the Toyne manufacturing facility in Breda, Iowa. Constructed with bolted painted stainless steel, the apparatus body is made to stand up to the elements. Toyne mounted the body onto a Spartan Metro Star ELFD chassis, and the cab boasts a 24-inch raised roof. Under the hood of this commanding apparatus is a 380-horsepower Cummins ISL9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. Vital hardware components The rescue/pumper has plenty of storage options to accommodate different tools On the inside of the cab, there is seating for up to six firefighters. Toyne outfitted the rescue/pumper with an array of vital hardware components that will be critical to operations and emergency response, such as a 360-degree backup camera system, FireCom in-cab intercom system, and an in-cab EMS storage compartment. RFD's Toyne tailored apparatus was designed to be a multirole platform during emergencies. The rescue/pumper has plenty of storage options to accommodate different tools for fire and rescue situations. Quick access to their equipment is ensured with ROM painted roll-up doors, Toyne custom slide-out shelving, custom slide-out tool boards, and rear slide-in storage for ladders and pike poles. Designs called for installing an on-board SCBA air bottle refill system, air hose reels, a custom-built air-bag storage unit, and winch receptacles that are anchored on all four sides of the apparatus. Addressing different emergencies For fire suppression, Toyne added a 500-gallon UPF tank, 1,250-gallon-per-minute Hale Qmax enclosed side-mount pump, and an Elkhart Cobra Monitor with an 8598 extender. A Waterous Overboard Foam Power Fill and Waterous Aquis 6.0 Class-A/B foam systems elevate the department's ability to address different emergencies. The pump is controlled by a fire research pump boss pressure governor, and the tank level is monitored by an ICI SL Plus tank gauge. Emergency lighting consists of a full suite of Whelen lights; including Whelen warning, PFP2 scene, PFH2 brow lighting, and LED arrow stick lighting. The body storage bays are wired with ILI LED strip compartment lighting. Dinges Fire Company from Amboy, Illinois, sold this Toyne rescue/pumper to the Rochelle Fire Department. As an authorized Toyne dealer, Dinges Fire Company serves fire departments throughout the state of Illinois.
Following the successful delivery of more than 5,000 sets of high-quality structural firefighting PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from globally renowned specialist PPE manufacturer, MSA Bristol (MSA Safety Incorporated) and its Australian distributor, Pac Fire Australia (Pac Fire), Australia’s Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) fire service has continued with their roll out and expect to have an additional 5,000 sets of structural PPE delivered by June 2021. The expectation is that Fire & Rescue New South Wales will be able to complete the rollout of structural PPE to all of its 6,500 firefighters by December 2021. Fire & Rescue New South Wales Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) is one of the world’s renowned urban fire and rescue services Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) is one of the world’s renowned urban fire and rescue services and the busiest fire service in Australia, with more than 6,500 firefighters spread across 335 fire stations and attending close to 120,000 call outs per year. An extensive evaluation and wearer trial carried out in 2019 led to FRNSW selecting MSA Bristol’s popular XFlex ensemble for its PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) upgrade. MSA Bristol is a renowned designer and manufacturer of protective clothing and equipment for emergency services across the globe, formed by the recent acquisition of Bristol Uniforms by MSA Safety Incorporated. XFlex range of structural PPE Its XFlex range of structural PPE has been ergonomically designed with sports styling and lightweight fabrics, providing advanced comfort and protection. The unique fabric combination consists of Safety Components Nomex 360, combined with a GORE PARALLON liner system, which provides unparalleled levels of breathability while preventing drops in thermal protection. On taking delivery of the new kit, Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) Commissioner, Paul Baxter said, “These new uniforms are heavy-duty but lightweight, allowing for enhanced maneuverability and coverage, and will be supplied in a wider range of male and female sizes, so all firefighters will have better fitting garments. They also feature a customized moisture barrier, which helps prevent steam burns and keeps firefighters dry while on the job.” Service information on UHF-RFID chip fitted to PPE Service information, such as garment specifics, is assigned to a unique UHF-RFID chip fitted within the item Pac Fire Australia (Pac Fire) is one of Australasia’s renowned suppliers of personal protective equipment to the fire and emergency industry. Its specialized roll-out of the XFlex range of PPE ensembles to the Fire & Rescue New South Wales has included the allocation of each item to a specific firefighter. Service information, such as garment specifics, date of issue and firefighter information, is assigned to a unique UHF-RFID chip fitted within the item. This process allows garments to interact with inventory management and laundry systems, tracking physical location and the condition of the item, throughout its service life. Advanced fabric technology offers optimum protection Paul Clark, Business Development Manager (BDM) for Pac Fire Australia said, “The XFlex design with its distinctive sports styling has proved particularly popular with the firefighters, offering greater flexibility and reduced resistance when carrying out physical tasks, as well as providing optimum protection thanks to the advanced fabric technology.” Roger Startin, Joint Managing Director at MSA Bristol (MSA Safety Incorporated) said, “The roll-out of the first order went very smoothly, despite the challenges of the global pandemic, and all garments were delivered to schedule. It’s great to see the New South Wales firefighters in action in their new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and we’re delighted to be following this up by providing a further 4,500 sets of structural PPE this year.”
Round table discussion
Ensuring the health and wellness of firefighters is a burden shared among equipment manufacturers as well as the fire departments and individual firefighters. Thoughtful design of equipment and other products used in the fire service can be a positive factor as firefighters and other first responders face dangerous situations every day. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps can we take to better ensure firefighter health and wellness?