Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Among other impacts on the fire industry, the COVID-19 global pandemic has played havoc with the industry’s trade show schedule, with some major events canceled and other delayed. There are still several events planned for later in 2020 – fingers crossed! After canceling the FDIC International show in Indianapolis in April, Clarion Events is planning a new event, the United Fire Conference, September 22-24, at the Indiana Convention Center. The ‘fully immersive’ event w...
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 Administrati...
Firefighters have seen their roles change significantly in recent years, as they respond to the challenges of the modern world. Today, in addition to fire-related emergencies, fire crews attend a wide variety of other incidents including traffic accidents, medical emergencies, flooding, chemical spills, public unrest, and collapsed buildings. As a result, firefighter PPE has been steadily evolving to reflect this change, with manufacturers and designers striving to produce protective garments t...
Thirty-three Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), comprising over 33,500 firefighters, are now benefiting from the Local Authority Collaborative PPE Framework. Launched three years ago in June 2017, the Framework gives UK FRSs access to high quality PPE ensembles and volume discounts through a streamlined procurement process. The Framework was set up in response to calls from government and the industry for FRSs to work together to share best practice and deliver efficiencies. It is run by Kent FRS,...
Aico celebrates a significant milestone in 2020 with finishing 30 years of renowned market presence in Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) protection solutions. Incorporated in 1990 in Oswestry, Shropshire, United Kingdom, Aico has rapidly grown from strength to strength over its 30-year history, with the growth being marked by the move to a new, bespoke head office. New Oswestry head office The new 7-acre site came as a necessity as Aico’s growth and success has seen significant expansion to...
Protests and riots spread throughout the United States in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman. Firefighters are on the front lines as rioters set fires and even attack firefighters seeking to do their jobs. In Richmond, Virginia, rioters blocked a fire truck from responding to a burning home. Protesters had intentionally set the fire at the home, and there was a child inside. In Philadelphia during a 24-hour period, the fire department responded to doze...
For commercial fire installations, one can choose DMP’s new CellComF-LTE. Designed with the same platform as DMP’s popular DualCom Universal Communicator, the CellComF-LTE includes two sets of tip and ring terminals for easy installations. This new design meets the NFPA 72 standard for single communications technology. For instance, if the CellComF stops communicating, it’s designed to automatically disrupt voltage on the second tip and ring, that triggers the host panel to annunciate the trouble. Supervized LTE alarm communication “For fire panels, it’s a simpler way of ensuring local annunciation,” says Aaron McGhee, product manager of Control Panels. “And, it’s a much cleaner and faster installation process.” The new CellCom Series includes both fire and non-fire options, each one with built-in LTE cellular. When there’s an opportunity to upgrade non-DMP panels to LTE, this means one will be able to give customers a single path fully supervized LTE alarm communication over AT&T’s or Verizon’s LTE networks. As with earlier-generation products, the LTE communicators are designed to work with digital cellular service from SecureCom Wireless™, enabling dealers to get systems up and running quickly.
LuxIntelligent from Advanced is an addressable, automatic emergency light test system. It shows all emergency lighting is compliant and functioning, with no engineer involvement required. It can be easily networked and retrofitted onto existing wiring and luminaires, keeping installation costs to a minimum. LuxIntelligent provides cloud monitoring and system management via mobile and web apps. Test data is stored securely in the cloud and the system delivers live details on status, faults, test failures and advisories from a smartphone, tablet or via a web browser. This allows users to monitor all their sites, anywhere in the world, right down to individual devices. Users can share the data on sites or panels with engineers and maintenance staff and e-mail maintenance and test reports in one click. monitored via cloud The system is easily installed in single-panel or networked formats. Each LuxIntelligent panel can be connected to the LAN via its own MOXA LAN device, allowing any PC on the LAN or with access to the IP address to act as the monitoring PC, and connect to any panel on the network. This low-cost, no-disruption method allows an unlimited number of panels to be networked to cover large or multiple sites across the globe and monitored via the cloud. LuxIntelligent works with most third-party luminaires and LED lights and can be easily added to existing wiring LuxIntelligent works with most third-party luminaires and LED lights and can be easily added to existing wiring, offering considerable savings on installation and maintenance time and cost. It works with any system including those with a central battery, and each panel has up to four loops each supporting 249 luminaires. automatic testing technology LuxIntelligent has a unique set of test methods that include the standard current and voltage tests, as well as direct light level measurement via fiber optics. Once installed, the panels should never need to be looked at, and only need a three-year battery check. “LuxIntelligent makes compliance with BS5266-1 easy and cost-effective,” comments Advanced’s Emergency Lighting Business Manager, Matt Jones. “To help you see how much time and money LuxIntelligent could save you, you can access the savings calculator on our website, showing how the automatic testing technology, easy installation and cloud monitoring will benefit its users.” zero-time testing “A well-tested, compliant system that works when you need it is vital to life safety. We achieve this in a few simple steps. Firstly, we offer live status and test reporting; secondly, all of your data is stored securely in three places: the panel, the PC and the cloud; thirdly, you can access that data on your phone, tablet or any computer. Finally, we make it simple to share sites, panels or test and maintenance reports with your team or third-party partners quickly and easily." "It’s this combination of zero-time testing, data integrity and quick resolution of problems and maintenance needs that make LuxIntelligent so reliable and cost-effective. Not only this, but your system can also easily scale to cover any site anywhere and work with just about any light or LED fitting” concluded Matt. LED light fittings Advanced protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe Advanced offer a full range of ready to install, intelligent standalone LED light fittings, as well as a new range of ultra-low voltage, fast fitting luminaires and exit signs called EasySAFE. These devices twist and click onto a first fix base that draws its power directly from the data cable from the LuxIntelligent panel (32V) – meaning that almost any member of the user’s team can conduct installation and maintenance easily and safely. Owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, Advanced protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe – from London’s Shard to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget Casino. 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. intelligent fire systems Advanced is globally renowned for 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.
Almost 300 ambulance shifts were completed by Norfolk’s firefighters during their first month of supporting their blue light colleagues during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first group of 24 on-call firefighters who volunteered for the secondment carried out 278 shifts, equating to 3,336 hours of work, during the first four weeks after completing their training. They have now returned to their fire stations and been replaced with a further 25 on-call firefighters who started their ambulance work this week. Training is also being undertaken by up to 20 wholetime (full-time) firefighters over the next couple of weeks so that they can join the bank of staff available. Successful resuscitations of patients The firefighters have been working alongside medics from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), driving ambulances to enable more to be on the roads responding to incidents across Norfolk. As part of the duties, one firefighter was called upon to help support the delivery of a baby during the first week of his duty and several firefighters have been involved in successful resuscitations of patients. FF Bootle was called to support the delivery of a baby during a home birth Firefighter Nathan Bootle, who works on-call at Great Yarmouth Fire Station, said he had really enjoyed his four-week stint with EEAST and hopes to return again if needed. FF Bootle, who works as a builder, said he had attended many varied incidents over the month and been warmly welcomed by all the staff he worked with. He was called to support the delivery of a baby during a home birth but the family did not require a trip to hospital. Benefit of this latest collaboration Chief Fire Officer Stuart Ruff said: “The first month of our work for the ambulance service has been a huge success and ensured we work together to achieve our shared common goal of keeping the people of Norfolk safe. Our teams have merged into one blue-light family to deal with the pandemic and I am very grateful to all of those involved in this work at every stage, from the planning and training through to the completion of shifts as ambulance drivers.” Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: "The ambulance service has provided a warm welcome to our firefighters and both sides have seen the benefit of this latest collaboration." Maintaining social distancing We would urge people to continue to play their part in helping the NHS by taking extra care of themselves" Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer with EEAST, said: “We are very grateful to our blue light colleagues in the fire and rescue service and would like to thank them for their help over the past few weeks.” “We truly appreciate the fantastic support we have received from the fire service, the public, businesses and our other partners, which is helping keep our patients, staff, volunteers and the wider public safe during this pandemic. We would urge people to continue to play their part in helping the NHS by taking extra care of themselves, only going out for essential items, observing advice about hand-washing and maintaining social distancing.” Major road networks As well as the ambulance work, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service has also been supporting EEAST by attending forced entry calls to gain access for medics where there is a medical emergency. NFRS has also supported police colleagues by responding to more road traffic collisions and attending incidents on major road networks to assist police where there is a risk to the public. Fire and police driving instructors were also supplied to help train people to drive patient transport ambulances. Fire service staff have also supported Norfolk's COVID-19 response by helping to deliver medicines and other vital goods and are prepared to assist at Norfolk's temporary mortuary if it is required.
Venari Group has confirmed a major exclusive partnership agreement for the firefighting sector, with one of the helmet manufacturers, SCHUBERTH. SCHUBERTH is a famous, 90-year old, manufacturer of safety helmets for motorcyclists and motorsport, including Formula One. For decades, it has also been one of the most popular helmets among German motorcyclists. And having produced EN 443-certified firefighting helmets for over 50 years, the company has selected recently launched Venari Group as its UK and Ireland distributor. Firefighting equipment sales Simultaneously, Venari announces the activation of a new firefighting equipment sales, service, and customer support division, to drive product quality and aftercare into the challenging firefighting sector. Venari Group CEO, Oliver North, said: “Pre-Venari, the team and I have supplied firefighting equipment to fire brigades since 2008, including over 80% of the current UK firefighter helmets. So, the partnership with SCHUBERTH was a very natural one. The activation of our firefighting equipment department further solidifies our intention of being a high performing supplier to the UK fire and rescue market whilst continuing to build our emergency vehicle range to the highest quality possible.” Structural firefighting PPE The UK fire and rescue service are equipped to a very high standard in terms of structural firefighting PPE" SCHUBERTH is a company committed to researching and developing materials to withstand the toughest of environments. Oliver continued: “Our partnership will concentrate on SCHUBERTH’s truly incredible F300 helmet. The UK fire and rescue service are equipped to a very high standard in terms of structural firefighting PPE, but with more frequent wildland firefighting, RTC’s and water rescues, the F300 provides the ultimate flexibility as a rescue and wildland helmet." UK firefighting and ambulance market Thomas Heinlein, head of BU Industrial Safety and Firefighting at SCHUBERTH added: “For us, Venari is the most exciting company in the British emergency services supplier market, so we are naturally delighted to have agreed on this truly exciting partnership with them.” “Our global reputation for high quality means we can only partner with highly efficient and passionate distributors in their specialist fields. Venari’s team have proven their efficiency and passion over countless years in the UK fire market and we’re excited to work with them in the UK firefighting and ambulance market with our F300.”
The latest Introduction into the Angloco Mist-Tech Range is the new and unique Battery driven misting system the VMSB 2000. All vehicle mounted misting systems are usually powered by an internal combustion engine. This can create problems with their installation, for example engine noise, exhaust emissions and in some cases having to carry another type of fuel. Battery powered misting system Angloco is all concerned about the environment and there must be a better way and following months of prototype testing Angloco is pleased to say they have the first battery powered misting system. The system has the latest technology from the batteries through to the power supply. The power source is a bank of batteries, the D.C battery power is then converted by an invertor to A.C and this drives the motor connected to the pump. It’s simple to operate and no complicated installation is required, Battery power: no pollution, very quiet operation and no fuels to deal with. The VMSB 2000 system will run for over an hour on one full charge.
Angloco Limited, the UK’s oldest manufacturer of fire engines, has secured a major deal to replace and service most of the UK Ministry of Defense’s existing fire fleet. UK Defence Fire and Rescue Project The £30 million order comes as part of the Defense Fire and Rescue Project – a significant outsourcing contract recently awarded to Capita Plc. Under the contract, Angloco will not only supply more than 80 new state-of-the-art fire vehicles but will also support them both in the UK and around the world, for the next 12 years. Fire safety vehicles supplied The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening The announcement comes after recent news of Angloco’s rapid growth and second factory opening – a nine-bay, 12,000 sq. ft unit down the road from its 30,000 sq. ft. HQ – capable of turning out 100 fire engines per annum. Commenting on the defense contract, Alistair Brown, Managing Director of Angloco Ltd. said, “This is great news for both the company and the local area – the project not only gives our order book a further boost, but secures more jobs for the longer term.” UK Ministry of Defense contract for fire fleet revamp Alistair adds, “The defense order – along with numerous other projects – means we are now engaged in another major recruitment exercise for more staff across all areas of the business.” Angloco hit the headlines over summer when the management team announced a drive to recruit a further 12 colleagues into the 90-strong business. “This is such an exciting time for the company,” continued Alistair, adding “We have fought off some very stiff international competition but are delighted that a British company will now be delivering the contract.” Caterpillar-tracked fire engines Angloco has a rich history of supporting the UK Ministry of Defense over many decades, previously winning a major project to fully refurbish 88 old fire engines through the 80s and 90s, as well as supplying three caterpillar-tracked fire engines for the Falkland Islands base in 1989. Offering some concluding insight into the specifics of the deal, Alistair added, “The new vehicles are being built to an innovative design which allows one common vehicle type to be used for multiple fire and rescue roles. This not only reduces the purchase costs but makes them far easier to support – wherever in the world they may be.”
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.
The latest personal protection equipment (PPE) are being designed to meet new regulatory standards Marine firefighting encompasses activities to extinguish any type of fire in a marine environment. For many years, this meant dealing with fires on seagoing vessels, or more specifically, shipping. In this article, Richard Cranham, International Sales Manager at Bristol Uniforms, sheds light on the various fire hazards at sea and the latest protection outfits designed to meet new regulatory standards. Nature of marine fire hazards At one time, marine fire risks were primarily associated with shipping and the vessels or their cargoes. In the 21st century, however, the seas and oceans are increasingly becoming sites for static structures. Many of these are associated with oil, gas and other mineral exploration and harvesting. Clearly the range of fire hazards associated with these different activities varies widely. In some situations, firefighters will be able to work onboard, depending on the severity of the fire, but, following a blow out or explosion aboard an oil rig or gas production platform, fighting the ensuing fire may only be possible from firefighting vessels. Also, the characteristics of the fires facing firefighters will reflect the volatility and flammability of the materials involved in the conflagration. Some materials burn much hotter than others. Some will throw off burning shards or molten materials, some can be unpredictable either due to the composition of the flammable materials involved (in particular hydrocarbons and chemicals) or prevailing weather conditions. Wind speed and direction can be particularly variable out at sea and can cause rapid changes in the levels of hazard experienced by firefighters. Personal protection equipment (PPE) to suit the conditions As with land-based firefighting, the type of personal protection equipment required is increasingly being designed to protect against the specific nature of the fire hazards most commonly encountered. New marine firefighting standards introduced for use throughout Europe equate the hazards, if not the conditions, associated with typical shipping fires with those commonly experienced in structural fires. This has led to the new Marine Equipment Directive (MarED) standards, enshrined in EU Commission Directive 2010/68/EU, to adopt EN 469 (2005) as its benchmark for basic protective clothing for firefighting (A.1/3.3). This means that, throughout the EU, local fire & rescue authorities can deal with ship-board fires occurring in rivers, docks and coastal waters wearing their regular structural fire kit. As with all PPE, compatibility is important and appropriately matched helmets, boots and gloves should be supplied For parts of the world outside the EU, a new international standard has recently been developed. The new standard, BS ISO 22488:2011 [Ships and marine technology – shipboard firefighters’ outfits (protective clothing, gloves, boots and helmet)], has drawn substantially on the work undertaken for the recently issued European Standard. Close proximity firefighting involving gas and oil fires requires protection from the intense heat and flames produced in such ‘hot fires’ and call for quite different types of protective clothing. In some circumstances this type of firefighting will require PPE satisfying ISO 15538 (2001) - Protective clothing with a reflective outer surface (A.1/3.3). New PPE designs to meet new standards Yellow outerlayer on marine firefighting garments signify its use by emergency incident crews battling different types of fires at sea. Garments meeting EN 469 (2005), as used by European municipal firefighters, can also be deployed by them when dealing with shipping fires on river estuaries, in ports and docks and in coastal waters. For fighting fires involving shipping at sea, and for other marine fire emergencies, an alternative is the new design fleet suits which are being introduced to coincide with the implementation of the new EU Commission Directive. As with all PPE, compatibility is important and appropriately matched helmet, boots and gloves should be supplied. In Europe, these should be to MarED approved standards, and include firefighting helmet to EN 443, gloves to EN 659 and firefighter boots to EN 15090 whilst the new international standard, BS ISO 22488:2011, when introduced, may be adopted in other parts of the world. Richard CranhamInternational Sales ManagerBristol Uniforms
The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington brought the need for search and rescue capability into sharp focus The role of firefighters has evolved to include the provision of search and rescue operations for various natural and man-made disasters. Search and rescue professionals have to be suitably clothed and equipped to meet the demands of these challenges, resulting in the rapid development of specialised Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) clothing. In this article, Roger Startin from Bristol Uniforms traces the evolution of the field of Urban Search and Rescue and the resultant impact on the PPE sector. 9/11 is seen by many as a defining moment in the history of search and rescue. The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington brought the need for urban search and rescue capability into sharp focus. Until then, many search and rescue operations had been carried out by specialist teams trained to work in areas devastated by natural disasters – many in remote regions of the world. Since the escalation of international terrorism, signalled by the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centre, targets have not only become focused on western democracies but on centres of high population densities for maximum impact in terms of human injury and devastation of economic infrastructure. This has required a total rethinking of the response needs, in what has become urban search and rescue (USAR). Besides covering natural disasters including floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, urban search and rescue is now considered to include incidents ranging from terrorist chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attack to chemical spills, industrial, traffic and domestic accidents and building collapses. The UK leads the way in USAR in Europe In the UK, increasing numbers of municipal fire brigades have taken on a much wider ranging role, as reflected in the 'fire & rescue' name now adopted by many to better reflect this broader responsibility. The government's recognition of the essential nature of urban search and rescue in today's major centres of population around the world was amply recognised with the passing of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. Urban Search and Rescue deals with incidents ranging from terrorist attacks to chemical spills, from industrial, traffic and domestic accidents to building collapses The UK has a successful record for urban search and rescue. The United Kingdom Fire Service Search & Rescue Team (UKFSSART) provides an international search and rescue facility for the UK Government and is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to respond to an accident or disaster anywhere in the world. The team is composed of firefighters and other specialist rescue personnel, working within the emergency services of the United Kingdom. It is also one of a number of teams registered with the United Nations. The team has, over the last fifteen years, successfully carried out search, rescue and relief missions around the world. UKFSSART has also been declared a European USAR resource and could be committed to incidents within the European Union. Highly mobile, capable of being rapidly transported by helicopter or aircraft, UKFSSART is capable of providing a variety of support services to emergency agencies. Support includes specialist advice, canine search teams, specialist search and rescue equipment and complete search and rescue teams able to be deployed at short notice. Urban Search and Rescue specialist cutting through concrete Need for specialized Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in USAR Man-made disasters have the potential to include a wide variety of damaging and polluting agents not found in most natural disasters. To protect rescuers fully from the range of threats involved, the latest USAR Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) incorporates protection against a number of health hazards. Firefighting roles have expanded to include attending forest, shrub and grassland fires, for which specialised wildland PPE have been developed and introduced, as well as hot fires involving highly flammable substances, such as chemicals and oils, where protection against high flame temperatures at close proximity has created the need for greater levels of protection from the fabric combinations used in advanced PPE. Similarly, the expansion of the firefighter's role into non-firefighting activities, such as building collapses and road traffic collisions, has brought with it the introduction of more specialised PPE designed specifically to meet the demands placed on the wearer. USAR kit falls squarely into this latter category. Other scenarios calling for USAR PPE include dealing with road traffic collisions (RTC), where the rescue crew is likely to be exposed to oil and fuel spillage, contamination from bodily fluids and the need to work in cramped conditions when entering badly damaged or crushed vehicles to help recover injured occupants. The USAR capability includes equipment to lift, cut and remove rubble from collapsed structures, and to locate casualties. It also brings with it the need to develop new skills, including the ability to work in confined spaces, safe working at heights carrying out search and rescue operations in a multi-level collapsed building, technical search and shoring, breaking and breaching skills. Activities which include lifting and moving, using basic principles coupled with modern technology, to move and stabilise heavy masses place special stresses on the rescuer's body which in turn call for appropriate levels of protection and support whilst reducing heat stress to avoid early exhaustion. Advances in Urban Search & Rescue PPE The latest designs of USAR PPE incorporate fabric combinations which recognise the special conditions under which search and rescue personnel work and differ significantly from the makeup of structural firefighting ensembles which are still in USAR use with some fire & rescue services. The main differences are occasioned by the working conditions, which, unlike firefighting, do not involve the presence of either fire or hosed water. Without the need for protection against flame and heat, the outer fabric is selected more for its protection against physical damage and noxious fluids and chemicals. It also incorporates an inner membrane giving protection against rain, bodily fluids and pathogens. The effect is to allow the USAR kit to become a two-layered construction, affording much greater flexibility and wearer mobility and comfort in the confined and constricted working conditions frequently found in fire damaged and collapsed buildings. The lighter-weight construction also helps to reduce internal heat build-up when working in hot and airless conditions often encountered in urban rescue situations. For example, in the Bristol Uniforms' offering, the coat and trouser combination incorporates a 220gsm Nomex Ripstop outershell in Orange with a Goretex Crosstech membrane. Easily identifiable at multi agency incidents, the coat and trouser can be zipped together to give the advantages of a one-piece, but retaining the flexibility of a two-piece garment. Search operation in burning building New USAR guidelines Under new operational and response guidelines, rescue teams must be able to respond to any major unstable or collapsed structure or major transportation incident, as part of a national response. To achieve this objective, and meet defined performance standards, the team must be able to respond within 45 minutes, along with the on-call personnel. It is now increasingly common for fire & rescue services with a defined USAR responsibility to carry the USAR team's PPE on designated vehicles at all times to help speed up response times and to allow the decision on deployment of PPE to be made on location once the operational needs have been assessed. In the UK, the government's response has been the New Dimension programme, which is intended to enhance the previous levels of expertise. Since late 2003, an interim Urban Search and Rescue capability has been in place and there has been a roll-out programme across England and Wales. The roll out across 17 Fire and Rescue Services was a phased approach and eventually completed in 2008. The New Dimension Urban Search and Rescue Project developed the response capabilities in order to deliver the equipment and training to seventeen selected Fire & Rescue Services (F&RS). The guidance identified the process and funding to supply USAR personnel with a national standard for specialist tools and protective clothing in those F&RS to allow the safe and effective deployment of these teams in the event of any of the identified potential disaster scenarios happening. In order to effectively deliver such a capability, funding was provided to supply a certain amount of PPE for initial issue to USAR teams. Merseyside and Cheshire were nominated to form a joint team by the government with an identical set up with Lancashire and Greater Manchester FRS. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service team in USAR-specific protective clothing Recent examples of the deployment of specialist USAR teams include the fatal hotel blaze in Newquay in August last year. Rescue specialists from the Devon & Somerset USAR Unit assisted colleagues in Cornwall, offering information and advice regarding search operations in the partially collapsed Penhallows Hotel in Newquay. In another incident in June 2007, a man who was trapped when the top two floors of a building in Westminster collapsed, was freed by crews from London's specialist USAR Units. Europe and ROW (rest of the world) follow suit, adopt USAR protective clothing A number of countries in Europe have begun to recognise the specific advantages of USAR protective clothing. Fire and rescue services in Holland, Finland and Portugal have already taken delivery of consignments of Bristol's USAR PPE over the last 2 years. In addition, services in both Greece and Croatia are in the process of initiating test programmes for the rescue kit, as are those in Mexico. There seems little doubt that the growing interest across Europe is beginning to spread to other parts of the world, especially in those countries more susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, coastal flooding and volcanic activity, which all result in serious infrastructural damage. Collapsed buildings are often the cause of greatest loss of life, but immediate search and rescue teams suitably clothed and equipped can often effect extrication of the injured and trapped and thereby save many lives which might otherwise be lost. Roger Startin -Joint Managing Director - Bristol Uniforms
Fire stations are unique environments with conditions that could be conducive to the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19. Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts, and then return home to their families. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the disease. The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) has compiled a list of guidelines that departments can put into practice to reduce and/or avoid cross-contamination of on-duty staff. Shift Change Interaction Firefighters live in close quarters for 24-hour shifts. Reports about “hot” firehouses have helped to emphasize the need to follow best practices to avoid the spread of the diseaseStaff should use a designated entry point, and comply with requirements of a Self-Screening checklist, which includes factors such as fever, uncontrolled cough, prolonged sore throat, a flu-like illness, or diarrhea. Firefighters should remove and store their own PPE and personal items from the apparatus at shift change. Personal belongings (bags, bedding, etc.) should be moved to a privately owned vehicle early to facilitate expedited bunkroom/office transfer. Interaction between oncoming and leaving shifts should be limited. Roll call should be conducted in a large space, such as an apparatus bay, that facilitates a minimum of 6-foot distancing. Station Socializing While in quarters, firefighters should not congregate in small spaces (such as the watch office or kitchen) and should adhere to 6-foot minimum spacing. Fewer chairs should be located in common meeting spaces to deter people from gathering in the same space. Training should be conducted in a manner that maintains 6-foot minimum spacing. Off-duty members should not be allowed into the stations to work out or visit. Station Captains should develop a practice if a member needs to arrive the evening before his/her shift that will limit contact with others. Station Meals Eating should occur in shifts to reduce staff interaction, and eating locations should be varied to alternate places in the station to create spacing. Shared food containers and communal items should be disinfected, and stations should consider supporting local small businesses in the district by ordering takeout. Department Mail Department mail routing should be modified to minimize the potential for staff interaction. Mail pickup/dropoff should be moved to a location, such as an apparatus bay, that minimizes traffic flow through station living areas. Documents should be scanned and emailed whenever possible. When mail must be handled, it’s best to wear gloves and wash hands immediately thereafter. Department Facilities Visits to fire department facilities should be limited to urgent department business. The number of guests should be limited, and they should make appointments when possible. Battalion Chiefs should communicate with Battalion members via phone or video conference. If a Battalion Chief needs to go to a station, he or she Self-monitoring stations should be set up near designated staff entrances and should provide a self-screening checklist and thermometer screeningshould maintain social distancing. Bedding A washable base layer should be used on beds (e.g., sheet, blanket, etc.) to create an additional barrier between the bed and personal bedding. Base layers should be washed after each shift. Self-Monitoring Self-monitoring stations should be set up near designated staff entrances and should provide a self-screening checklist and thermometer screening.
Wellness, mental toughness and psychological self-care for firefighters are available in the palms of their hands; that is, in a smart phone app. Fire and police agencies can provide their officers access to these and other self-help tools in an app that reflects each agency’s identity and design choices. Employees can be assured that use of the app is totally confidential. Cordico, Gold River, California, west of Sacramento, provides confidential support for firefighters and other employees through an app that incorporates comprehensive and trusted wellness resources. The CordicoFire app is easy to use, available on-demand, and only requires the push of a button. Firefighter wellness tools The app is designed to reinforce and strengthen a fire agency’s existing wellness culture The app is designed to reinforce and strengthen a fire agency’s existing wellness culture and is updated continuously. The app includes firefighter wellness tools, such as self-assessments and a therapist finder. Peer support resources are built into the app, and psychological first aid helps firefighters know when help is needed – and what their options are. There are also sections on the app addressing healthy habits, making marriage work, mindfulness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specific to firefighters, there is information on cancer awareness, exposure to hazardous materials, and heart health – among more than 40 topics firemen can scroll through. Self-assessments can identify the sources of stress and how to address them, and/or identify problems with alcohol abuse. Physical fitness videos demonstrate exercises for stress release and injury prevention, and there is a section on nutrition. No additional authentication required Each firefighter is provided a link and password to download the app. Posters promoting use of the app are available, including a QR code that employees can scan to download the app. There is no additional authentication required, and no personal information is shared with the app. Around 90% of employees typically download the app. The app is hosted on Cordico’s server rather than the agency’s server, so there is no tracking of information, which would defeat the purpose of an anonymous app. Anonymity is important to overcome the perceived stigma that could make firefighters hesitate to ask for help. The app is also made available to spouses, significant others and even retirees, who may find that cumulative trauma catches up with them years later. Employee assistance programs People use their smart phones all the time, so it’s easy for anyone to get on the app" “People use their smart phones all the time, so it’s easy for anyone to get on the app, click on a section and read for 10 minutes if they need information, help or emotional support,” says Kevin Dacy, Operations Manager, Cordico. “There is a generation of people comfortable with using apps. We provide them with privacy to look at topics and get the self-help they need.” The app dovetails with an organization’s employee assistance programs and peer support team and/or leaders. Cordico works with agencies to include information about therapists, clinicians and chaplains who are available to help. When an agency decides to use the app, Cordico’s chief technology officer organizes a product launch meeting, and Cordico’s client care team works with the agency until the app has been successfully launched. Pre-Employment psychological evaluations Agencies have flexibility in terms of the graphics and illustrations used on the app and also the information provided, which could include traffic, weather, etc., in addition to other services. (Southern California agencies include a surfing report because the activity can help to relieve stress.) Updates to the app are done on the back end as new information is added. The app password can be changed to limit use of the app to current enrollees. The company evolved to providing pre-employment psychological evaluations for first responder jobs Dr. David Black, CEO of Cordico, shifted his psychological practice to first responders after 9/11. The company evolved to providing pre-employment psychological evaluations for first responder jobs. The app grew out of that service, and now most of the largest agencies in California use the app. Cordico has worked with small and large agencies – five to 22,000 employees – although the average department size using the app is 150 to 200 people. Consulting clinicians and therapists In addition to a concentration in California, the company also does business throughout the United States, with customers in most states. Cordico has around 15 employees, in addition to consulting clinicians and therapists. Although Cordico does not share specific data with an agency about who uses the app, they can provide activity counts. For example, usage of the app could spike after a dramatic incident, which could alert the agency of a higher level of trauma that might need additional education and/or comfort. During the coronavirus pandemic, Cordico’s phone lines and emails have lit up with agencies looking to consider the app to help manage the added stress of dealing with the pandemic. Even during the economic downturn, Cordico is busier than ever.
The third stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 27 includes funding earmarked to help fire and EMS services deal with the burgeoning coronavirus emergency. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $2.2 trillion in all to help the nation deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the provisions of the law is $400 million in grants that can be disbursed for firefighters, emergency managers and providers of emergency food and shelter. Of the total, $100 million will be used to assist firefighters by providing personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies and reimbursements. Another $100 million will be used for Emergency Management Performance Grants to ensure emergency preparedness. The other $200 million will pay for an Emergency Food and Shelter Program administered through local service organizations. $100 Million - Is It Enough? $100 million will be used to assist firefighters by providing personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies and reimbursements Gary Ludwig, President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), says the $100 million earmarked for firefighters is inadequate, given the gravity of the disaster. “The lack of funding in the CARES Act to protect our firefighters made it very clear that our U.S. Congress and the President of the United States orphaned our fire and EMS chiefs in their mission to protect their firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel who are on the frontlines in every community in the United States – providing life-saving treatment and emergency transportation to the hospital of the victims of this insidious virus,” Ludwig said. “There are hundreds of firefighters and EMS personnel nationwide who have contracted the virus, while thousands are being quarantined after being exposed,” Ludwig added. “Proper funding is absolutely required and needed to win this war and keep our communities safe. I call on Congress and the President to fully fund the needs of fire and EMS personnel in the next stimulus bill and ensure that [payments provide] immediate and direct funding to fire departments.” CARES Act To Provide Widespread Relief The CARES Act also provides economic stabilization and assistance to state and local governments, including $454 billion to provide loans to eligible businesses, states and municipalities. Another $150 billion is available for states, territories, Indian Tribes, and local governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. The $45 billion provided to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund will pay for federal response operations across federal departments and agencies, as well as reimbursements to state, local, territorial and tribal governments and private non-profit organizations. $150 billion is available for states, territories, Indian Tribes, and local governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency Under the CARES Act, “private non-profit organizations” are eligible for Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loans (up to $2 million). Volunteer fire departments with IRC 501(C) exemption can apply online for an emergency loan and a grant/advance of $10,000. To access the advance, organizations must first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance (i.e., even if the loan is denied), and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations. The Paycheck Protection Program Volunteer organizations may also be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, an SBA loan program providing an incentive to keep workers on the payroll. Division A of the CARES Act focuses on keeping workers paid and employed, on health care system enhancements, and on economic stabilization. Measures include $1,200 cash payments to taxpayers, additional deductions allowed for charitable contributions, and measures to strengthen the supply chain of drugs and medical devices. A temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will provide payments to self-employed, independent contractors and others who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits. The law also provides an additional $300 per week payment to unemployment benefit recipients.
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced that it has secured an order for nine pumpers built on a Freightliner chassis from Dyer County Fire Department located in Northwest Tennessee. Emergency vehicle specialists Sold through Pierce dealer for Tennessee and Arkansas, Emergency Vehicle Specialists, the order for nine pumpers is the largest in the department’s history and will be distributed among each of its nine fire stations to replace aging apparatus. Our current fleet of Pierce fire trucks was purchased in 1993 and has served us well" “Our current fleet of Pierce fire trucks was purchased in 1993 and has served us well,” said James Medling, Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for Dyer County Fire Department. “When considering our needs for new fire apparatus, keeping a 100 percent Pierce fleet was an easy decision. We’ve been impressed with the performance and lifespan of our Pierce pumpers, as well as the easy accessibility to regional service support.” Providing expanded service support The Dyer County Fire Department’s nine new Pierce Pumpers will feature: Freightliner M2-106 commercial chassis Cummins 360 hp engine Hale 1,250 GPM pump 1,000-gallon water tank TFT deluge gun Dump valve in rear of apparatus 1,500-gallon portable tank on the top hose bed “Particularly in rural communities like many of the ones we serve, trust and longtime relationships are critical elements of our business,” said Bob Dudley, sales representative for Emergency Vehicle Specialists and incoming president of the Tennessee Fire Chief’s Association. “We’ve been honored to support the Dyer County Fire Department for nearly 30 years. We are grateful to once again work collaboratively to not only put the best fire trucks into service for the community but also provide expanded service support and parts inventory.” Strategic procurement resources The new Pierce Pumpers will serve dual purposes as both pumpers and tankers Dyersburg/Dyer County is located 75 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee, and is the hub of a 10-county region. The Dyer County Fire Department covers a service area encompassing 550 square miles, 40,000 residents, and an extensive manufacturing sector, large agri-business base, and regional shopping mall. To best serve the department’s diverse needs among nine stations, the new Pierce Pumpers will serve dual purposes as both pumpers and tankers. Additionally, the benefits of selecting Pierce’s commercial chassis include an economical and streamlined engineering and production process – which is often an ideal option for rural departments. Chief Medling continued, “We are grateful to our county commission representatives who were gracious in their support of our new apparatus purchase, as we secured financing through grants for rural communities and low-interest financing through strategic procurement resources. They will join us in our celebration, along with the Dyer County community, as we welcome the new pumpers into service with delivery planned to take place in April 2021.”
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into a new student accommodation development in Beeston, Nottingham. The system was installed by Nottinghamshire based integrated safety and security solutions provider, TIS. Dagfa House is a unique development of townhouses, clusters and studios adjacent to The University of Nottingham campus. It provides accommodation to 229 students and a range of leisure and study amenities. At the heart of the development is a Grade two listed building that dates back to the 18th-century and was converted into a school in 1948. Addressable fire alarm system This latest development has been undertaken by the Cassidy Group, which has over 30 years of experience in construction and property. One of the key fire safety challenges posed by the Dagfa House development was the mix of accommodation blocks, with some being relatively small. A cost-effective fire detection system was required that could potentially evacuate each site in the event of a fire and that would also be future proof, with spares readily available. A Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire alarm system, comprising two individually networked systems, each utilizing eight Evolution1 panels and Nittan devices was chosen as the solution. Chris Mills, Head of Fire Division at TIS explains: “TIS carried out market research of a number of fire alarm manufacturers before finally settling on the Nittan Evolution panel with Nittan devices which provided a single source approach while providing a cost effective and reliable solution.” Sophisticated detection algorithms Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms Evolution is Nittan’s advanced, premium fire system. Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms, combining extremely reliable fire detection together with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its advanced, highly flexible protocol allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed and is not affected by the number of devices on the loop. At Dagfa House, the Nittan Evolution1 Panel was selected because of its built-in network connectivity, making it extremely cost effective, plus its ease of installation and cause & effect configuration. For the primary detection in the majority of locations, Nittan’s EV-PYS Optical Detector with built-in sounder was selected for convenience, due to the reduced cost and time required compared to installing separate detectors and sounders, as well as the combined detector/sounder providing a more aesthetically pleasing solution. Compliant visual alarm In the open areas, such as the cinema room, games room, common room and the communal garden terrace, Nittan EV-HIOP-SB High Output Sounder Beacon VADs were installed. These devices provide high volume sound, EN 54-23 compliant visual alarm and are waterproofed to IP65, making them suitable for the outdoor areas. One of the most important devices in any fire alarm system is Manual Call Points, which are strategically located in the Dagfa House development at points of evacuation. Nittan EV-MCP2-SCI Call Point with built in short circuit isolators were chosen to ensure the loops were adequately protected, so the system remains compliant even under short circuit fault conditions. Each Call Point was also fitted with a hinged front cover for compliance with BS-5839-1: 2017, the code of practice for designing, installing, commissioning, and maintaining fire detection and alarm systems. Nittan fire detection systems are a popular choice for student accommodation, with many applications around the UK.
A globally-renowned International Dairy Industry Group consulted IEP Technologies SAS located in France when an expansion project for one of their production sites in Western France led to the requirement for the upgraded process plant to be protected against the potentially dangerous and costly effects of industrial explosions. risk of explosion protection The company had decided to invest in the plant to increase its production capacity of dairy-based ingredients which are used in the food industry, however as part of the design review the company’s Global Insurance Underwriter judged that the new fluid bed drying and powder cooling plant as well as the upgraded dust collection equipment all needed to have “state of the art” explosion protection to meet or exceed their own internal engineering safety standards and rules. In addition to the dairy and food Industries, many manufacturing processes are at risk of dust explosions which may occur when fine particulates, dispersed in air, are exposed to an ignition source within a contained environment. Dust collectors These types of contained environments are commonly present throughout industry, for example piping and ducting, process vessels, dust collectors, and numerous types of special process machinery. Ignition sources should always be minimized or eliminated through a combination of engineering and safety controls The ignition source may originate from several conditions, including hot materials or surfaces, flames, self-heating clusters, friction or uncontrolled electrostatic discharges. Such ignition sources should always be minimized or eliminated through a combination of engineering and safety controls, effective management and operator training and awareness. Spray Drying process However, even with these safety measures in place, the explosion risk cannot be ignored in abnormal or fault conditions and therefore techniques to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of such an event must be employed. In this specific case, the upgrading of the Spray Drying process formed part of a much larger plant expansion which included a new external fluid bed dryer for final drying and effective powder cooling. In addition to this, the Cyclones currently in use were replaced with a totally new process bag filter. First protection concept and budgetary proposal IEP Technologies was first contacted by the project integrator in March 2018, and after an initial meeting where material explosion data and process specifications were collected, IEP Technologies responded with the first protection concept and budgetary proposal within a tight four-day turnaround. The existing drying chamber (10 meters in diameter) was already equipped with explosion venting panels and these were judged to be sufficient enough to provide explosion relief for this part of the process. Explosion suppression for the external fluid bed However, it was also necessary to isolate the chamber to reduce the risk of explosion propagating to the associated new equipment, at the same time as providing explosion suppression for the external fluid bed and the process bag filter. Deep discussions followed with the end user, integrator and insurance company to ensure that IEP’s proposal fully complied with the Insurer’s in-house standards and requirements as well as the pre-requisite local safety regulations and the European ATEX Directive. SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution The key elements of the protection system selected consisted of SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution During this phase, an extremely effective ongoing working partnership was formed between IEP France and the local integration manager and it is considered that this open and honest relationship facilitated a smooth execution of the overall project. The key elements of the protection system selected consisted of SmartDS dynamic explosion detection solution to provide early detection of developing explosions and to initiate the High Rate Discharge (HRD) Explosion Suppressors installed on the external fluid bed and process bag filter. High Rate Discharge Explosion Suppressors High Rate Discharge Explosion Suppressors actuate within 1.5 milliseconds of receiving an activation signal from the control unit, discharging the optimal quantity of powdered extinguishant through a special design nozzle system. The SmartDS is a SIL 2 certified rate of pressure rise detector which uses multiple algorithms that constantly interrogate pressure data to allow robust explosion detection while providing excellent false alarm immunity, thereby avoiding costly plant downtime. IR-13 Optical Detectors Additionally, in view of the relatively short distances involved, IR-13 Optical Detectors were installed on the process ducts to enable a suppressant isolation barrier to be rapidly activated before the flame front propagates through to associated equipment and creates a secondary explosion. The overall system is monitored and controlled by an EX-8000 multi-zone unit with the capability to selectively control discreet functions to initiate the appropriate protection devices only where and when they are needed. Explosion Protection System IEP’s local service team in France will be responsible for ongoing planned periodic maintenance IEP France was finally awarded the contract in July 2018 and all the elements of the Explosion Protection System were delivered in October 2018 with the project commissioned in December 2018, which was considered to be well within the project timeline. IEP’s local service team in France will be responsible for ongoing planned periodic maintenance, and the company has also purchased an inventory of running spares to minimize any downtime in the event of any system activations. Trusted Industrial Explosion Protection Partner The tight time scales involved in the execution of this entire project, right from initial contact, through protection concept design, proposal, proposal acceptance, system delivery, installation and commissioning, as well as the need to comply with the insurance company’s internal standards truly illustrates IEP’s capability as a Trusted Industrial Explosion Protection Partner, which comprises engineering review and design, system supply and ongoing maintenance, training and support.
As in January this year, the installed AQUASYS high-pressure water mist (HPWM) system again successfully protected the people in Austria's longest road tunnel and avoided any damage to the tunnel. On 28th of September a car driver in the tunnel noticed smoke coming from his car. The HPWM system installed in the tunnel triggered quickly and stopped the fire from spreading until the fire brigades arrived. Thanks to the rapid activation of the system, nobody was injured. High-Pressure water mist The advantages of high-pressure water mist are obvious when it comes to tunnel protection: HPWM systems are characterised by high efficiency even with high fire loads (e.g. tank trucks). Further advantages of the AQUASYS system are the good precipitation and washing out of dangerous, partly toxic smoke particles, the rapid cooling of the center of the fire as well as the surroundings and also the reduction of the oxygen content in the vicinity of the center of the fire. Thanks to the HPWM system, the fire brigade was able to report a ‘fire out’ within a short time and the tunnel was reopened for traffic. In Austria for several years this technology has been protecting some heavily frequented tunnels.
A high-pressure water mist (HPWM) system installed by AQUASYS successfully fulfilled its task and prevented a fire from spreading to the part protected by AQUASYS. Aware of the existing increased fire risk in waste management companies, an AQUASYS system has been installed 3 years ago at the waste management company in Klagenfurt to avoid a fire flashover. On Sunday, fire brigades had to fight a fire near Klagenfurt, which had occurred in one of the waste buoys. Thanks to the HPWM system installed by AQUASYS, the fire could be prevented from spreading to other areas. Conventional sprinkler systems In this application, the HPWM system gets activated when the detectors identify a fire. The high-pressure pump system starts and the corresponding section opens. The fine water mist immediately distributes throughout the affected area, quickly removing heat from the source of the fire and also cooling the surroundings. This means that HPWM systems require considerably less water and operate at a much higher level of efficiency than conventional sprinkler systems. Further HPWM projects to protect waste disposal facilities in Austria are currently in the status of implementation or planning. For each project, AQUASYS has developed an optimized and efficient solution with the Institute for Fire Protection Technology.
The legendary tower ‘Paks Margareeta’ of the Estonian capital Tallinn and the seafaring museum inside have recently been equipped with an AQUASYS fire fighting system. The high-pressure water mist system protects the exhibition areas on four floors with a total area of 1,000 m², the large presentation hall with a height of up to 12 m and the round corridors in the tower. The project was realized with the local partner ANTIFIRE. Conventional sprinkler systems The advantage of the high-pressure water mist system (HPWM system) from AQUASYS is that the valuable art objects are not additionally damaged by extinguishing water in case of fire. The fine water mist distributes itself immediately in the room, quickly withdraws the heat from the source of the fire and also cools the surroundings. The small pipelines can be optimally integrated into the complex building structure HPWM systems requires significantly less water and work more efficiently than conventional sprinkler systems. The small pipelines can be optimally integrated into the complex building structure. The nozzle heads are installed both in false ceilings and visibly in the room. With the aesthetically pleasing stainless steel nozzles, this technology is in great demand, especially for installation in art areas. High-Pressure pumps The water mist nozzles of the prestressed AQUASYS system are equipped with glass ampoules and are activated by triggering the temperature in the fire area. Due to the resulting immediate pressure drop in the system, the high-pressure pumps are started and water mist is released in the area of the opened nozzles. Estonia trusts AQUASYS once again. In addition to the large Estonian Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Estonian Architecture in a more than 100 years old salt warehouse as well as the Maakri Tower were successfully equipped with an HPWM system.
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?