FireArrest has announced that it has official launched a new passive fire protection software application. This new innovative passive fire protection app, available to download on Android and iPhone devices, is set to take the fire safety industry by storm. FireArrest App Not only is this passive fire protection app intuitive, but it’s modern design and competitive price point make it the perfect solution for anyone looking to ensure that their premises are compliant with all fire safet...
The COVID-19 pandemic presents new economic challenges to county and municipal governments. Fire departments are likely to be impacted as local governments respond to the economic downturn with spending freezes, hiring freezes and spending cuts. Some local governments are hoping for help from the state and/or federal level. Although some governments have “rainy day funds” to address economic downturns, not all of them do. Furthermore, the extent of the current economic crisis may ex...
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...
Europe’s door provider, Hörmann UK, is celebrating a successful first half to 2019 for its industrial division, achieving record-breaking levels of orders through its Projects department. The first six months of the year have seen a healthy increase in business for the industrial division, with turnover up by 78% on last year (as of end of June). As part of this, trade sales are up by 43%, with sales of Sectional Insulated Doors up by 21%, whilst sales of high-speed doors are also up...
Understanding that charities currently need help more than ever, Aico have been supporting local charities and community organizations in multiple ways, helping to replenish some of the funds that have been lost due to fundraising events being cancelled during the current pandemic crisis. The support began with the UK 2.6 Challenge. All Aico colleagues put their names forward to participate in the challenge, with over 60 members of staff taking part in various challenges, from sporting workouts...
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...
Cordico is proud to announce that they have entered into a strategic nationwide partnership with The Resiliency Project. The Resiliency Project is a non profit organization with a mission to end the silent suffering of the country’s first responders by providing peer support and funding for treatment, recovery and psychological services in an effort to treat posttraumatic stress, build resilience and end suicide. While The Resiliency Project supports the use of departmental peer support teams, it is understood that some first responders may be hesitant when seeking peer support from within their respective agencies. Therefore, The Resiliency Project will be providing confidential, 24-hour peer support, 7 days a week which is available as an added resource within the Cordico Wellness Apps. first responder mental health The Resiliency Project’s peer support team consists of active and retired law enforcement officers and fire personnel who, in addition to peer supporting first responders, also provide peer support to the spouses of first responders. Additionally, in an effort to destigmatize the subject of first responder mental health, The Resiliency Project will be developing ongoing video content and information that can be utilized by agencies that work with Cordico.
Apollo Fire Detectors is delivering online training to members of the fire industry throughout the government lockdown thanks to a series of online events, including CPD webinars and virtual product training courses. Online fire focused CPD webinars Created in response to a significant volume of requests from consultants and specifiers for technical training, each week Apollo is delivering an online fire focused CPD, covering topics such as EN 54-23 Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) and An Introduction to BS 5839, Parts 1 and 6. In addition, the business has launched a weekly series of 30-minute product orientated webinars, hosted by Apollo Product Support Engineer, Warren Moyle. Providing useful advice and insights to installers, the webinars cover features and benefits, applications, demonstration videos and frequently asked questions for numerous Apollo ranges, as well as live Q&A sessions. XPander, the Apollo Test Set & Beam Detectors All webinars are being hosted using specialist webinar platform, Microsoft Teams events The first three sessions will cover XPander, the Apollo Test Set: Learning the Basics and Programming (part 1 of 4) and Beam Detectors, which will be delivered alongside Apollo’s sister company, FFE. More product related webinars will be announced soon. All webinars are being hosted using specialist webinar platform, Microsoft Teams events. The software is easy to access, with attendees able to watch live and interact with presenters via a moderated Q&A. Enhancing fire safety knowledge Warren Moyle stated, “Providing training and helping improve fire safety knowledge is fundamental to us at Apollo. In this unprecedented time, we feel we have a duty to the fire industry to offer the type of training and support that will enable people to grow their skillset from the safety of their own home.” He adds, “The sessions we have already announced have been very well received so far and we look forward to revealing the full webinar schedule in due course. All the sessions are free of charge, but attendance will be capped at 60, so it is important to register if you wish to take part.”
One of the most treacherous types of fire associated with open flames typically occurs in kitchens when cooking fats or oils are heated above their burning point and catch fire. What makes such fires so dangerous is that attempts to extinguish them with water can lead to fat explosions. Despite increasing media coverage of this risk, there is still a considerable need for information and training on fires of this kind - an opinion shared by the owner-run company BALS Brandschutz- und Sicherheitserziehung, which has been providing proven, well thought-out fire safety education and fire prevention concepts for over 20 years. Modular systems and concepts from BALS Encompassing everything from fire safety and training cases to smoke demo houses, mini fat fire kitchens and fire safety demo trailers, the modular systems and concepts from BALS are intended to provide a complete solution for anyone involved in explaining fire protection and safety to children and adults. The unique BALS case system in particular comes with all the necessary materials and a complete lesson plan for any target group. The version of the case being unveiled at INTERSCHUTZ 2020 - for stovetop fat fires - is the latest addition to the portfolio. The new case is designed to include everything fire services and fire safety education/information teams need to provide a practical demonstration of a fat explosion without a lot of hassle. One can visit Bals Brandschutz- und Sicherheitserz. at the INTERSCHUTZ 2020 on site Open-air site (FG), Stand K54 and with latest products and services.
Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) Fire Chief, Bryan Collins, announced at a media briefing, plans to provide the Spokane Valley Fire Department with a Firefighter Wellness App to support their mental health and well-being. The wellness tool will be an App installed on phones to help Spokane Valley Firefighters with their personal health and wellness needs. Many Firefighters experience PTSD after years of service in traumatic situations. “Our firefighters face tremendous mental and physical stressors, pressures, and demands throughout the course of their careers,” said Spokane Valley Fire Department Fire Chief, Bryan Collins. “We need to make sure that they are healthy and well, and always present for our communities when called to serve.” confidential access to therapists The Cordico App is a tool that allows firefighters a place to leave their work at work, go home and be present there, and most importantly have a chance at that work-life balance. “Sometimes firefighters can’t unsee or unhear some of those 911 calls they go on. Some of them are heart wrenching. Some of them are painful. All of them become memories that as a firefighter, we have to manage and set aside to meet each new day’s emergency call,” said Firefighter and Local 876 President, Shawn Pichette. “This Wellness App provides First Responders confidential access to therapists, peer support, help with emotional stress, stress management, PTSD and other needs.” firefighters wellness solution The Wellness App provides access to therapists, peer support, and the firefighters wellness solution The Wellness App provides access to therapists, peer support, and the firefighters wellness solution available nationwide offering confidential, in-hand, on-demand 24/7 access to 30+ modules on topics such as alcohol, depression, emotional health, family support, financial fitness, mindfulness, psychological first aid, sleep optimization, and stress management. “First responders tend to build walls in order to separate themselves from the harsh reality of their job,” said SVFD Fire Commissioner, Mike Kester. “In doing so, some take it home and keep up those walls with their loved ones. There’s no way to decompress as it were.” public safety personnel Dr. David Black, CEO of Cordico emphasized, “No one should ever feel blocked from accessing help at times of need due to their schedule or location or concerns about confidentiality, and that is especially true for our public safety personnel who dedicate their professional lives to responding to others’ emergencies.”
National Drowning Prevention Week has started, which will see Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) focus on helping people stay safe around water in line with the Government’s guidance and restrictions that remain in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The dedicated week of action runs from April 20 to April 26 and is led by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC) and supported by fire and rescue services all over the UK. During the week messages will be shared on AF&RS’ social media channels urging people to take extra care around their local waterways while adhering to advice from the Government to exercise locally once a day, alone or with members of one's household, and to practice social distancing. practicing social distancing Simon Shilton, Assistant Chief Fire Officer for AF&RS, said “We want to keep everyone safe during lockdown while adhering to Government guidance, which includes practicing social distancing and exercising locally once a day." "Where possible we ask that you stay away from open water, but if you do find yourself near water while exercising then please take extra care and be mindful that there are less people around at the moment to raise the alarm if you find yourself in difficulty." "We ask if possible that you let someone know where you are going to exercise and when you are coming back and always abide by any signage you see. Also, be sure to look out for hazards around water, stick to proper paths and bear in mind social distancing ahead of venturing out to exercise, often paths along canals and rivers are narrow. We also want to remind dog owners never to enter the water if their dog jumps or falls in. Most dogs manage to scramble out but some owners are not so lucky.”
Around 200 delegates from the building and design industries in the United Kingdom region and beyond attended a one-day business seminar themed - “Sprinklers Save Lives” on providing a fire resilient environment for everyone. It was held at The Burgess Hall in St Ives, United Kingdom. “Sprinklers Save Lives” seminar Organized by BAFSA (British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association Ltd.) in collaboration with, and hosted by, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the event focused on raising awareness of the life-saving benefits sprinkler and suppression systems can provide to communities. During the seminar, presenters spoke about the challenges faced by the fire and rescue service in higher risk buildings, protecting vulnerable people, local authority approaches to protecting buildings from fire and case studies sharing lessons learnt. There were also suppliers on hand to answer any questions about what’s on the market, and demonstrate the latest technology. Benefits of sprinkler and suppression systems We see sprinklers as an integral part of fire protection, not just in commercial premises but also in the home" Group Commander Dave Lynch, Head of Fire Protection for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service commented, “We were delighted to welcome so many delegates to the event. It’s great to see so many people seeing the benefits of sprinklers and how they can protect their business and help us reduce risk within our communities”. Dave adds, “This year we are launching a new sprinkler strategy in Cambridgeshire. We see sprinklers as an integral part of fire protection, not just in commercial premises but also in the home. We are working with developers and the local authority to ensure that sprinklers are considered right at the early stages of developments to ensure that the safety of residents is at the forefront.” Fire sprinklers save lives and protect firefighters BAFSA Chief Executive Officer, Keith MacGillivray said, “What a fantastic turnout for this event, there is a huge amount of interest in sprinklers and what they can do to protect people in both domestic and residential properties, they are invaluable to the vulnerable in our communities as sprinklers act for those who cannot act for themselves. Sprinklers save lives and protect firefighters.” The event was supported by BAFSA members; IPS Flow Systems, FloWatch, Rapidrop and SureFire.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting every aspect of our business lives. But buried among the disruption might be an opportunity. Newly idled workers could see this as an opportune time for training to expand their career options. Meanwhile, employees still on the job may find that a cancelled or postponed project means they have time on their hands. Training can enable them to make the most of that time. In-person training has come to a halt, of course, because of social distancing requirements. Filling the gap are new online learning opportunities. Tavcom Training reacts to COVID-19 Previously, Tavcom Training, part of the Linx International Group in the United Kingdom, provided technical fire and security training delivered in person by expert tutors. Given the practical nature of the courses, the majority were delivered in a state-of-the-art training center through interactive workshops. The situation has changed: In order to best protect staff and learners, and following government guidelines, Tavcom has closed their training center for the time being. (Learners are still able to book into classroom courses for later in the year.) Given the situation, Tavcom has seen an 86% increase in demand for online courses over the last several months “Given the situation we are all in at the moment, our online courses have seen an 86% increase in demand over the last several months,” said Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group. “All our online courses offer the same level of support as the classroom courses, catering to professionals of varying skill levels and experience.” “It’s more important now than ever before that our learners are able to access our online learning programmes and continue in their professional development,” says Alfandari. “To help facilitate this we have discounted 25% off our entire portfolio of eLearning courses.” Introducing e-Learning Tavcom is also introducing new interactive ways of teaching traditionally classroom-based courses with the aid of Zoom virtual classroom courses, led by tutors. From the learners’ own home, they are able to undertake their chosen training course, and then return to the training center later in the year to complete the practical assessment. Even the most well-prepared organizations with extensive contingency plans have been stunned by the scale and speed of the situation we all currently face. However, even during a global pandemic, the drive for learning doesn’t diminish. “We’ve seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organizations, across a wide range of sectors,” said Alfandari. From the learners’ own home, they are able to undertake their chosen training course “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation,” he added. “Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before". Professional and personal development Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market. More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. “We are here for our learners,” said Alfandari. “Our team are working hard behind the scenes to facilitate the best possible learning experience during this time, and we encourage all potential learners to really use this and make the most of it. Whether you want a refresher in the basics or finally start on that qualification you’ve been putting off, we are here to help you in your professional development.”
Some insurance carriers delay or deny a patient’s medically necessary care, despite recommendations by doctors or other health professionals, in order to reduce costs and increase profits. A delay or denial can happen to anyone with a health care plan. However, firefighters are particularly vulnerable because, as government employees, their plans are not protected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in the United States. Protections for firefighters Without the protections of ERISA, insurance carriers can more easily get away with delaying or denying claims without significant pushback – which can ultimately harm the patient and lead to exacerbated injuries. However, some states, such as Florida, have protections in place so that firefighters and other similarly situated workers can seek legal recourse. We discussed the issue with Leslie M. Kroeger, a partner at the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll. She serves as co-chair of Cohen Milstein’s Complex Tort Litigation practice. Kroeger has also led several managed care abuse cases, spoken at conferences on this topic, and currently serves as President of the Florida Justice Association. TheBigRedGuide.com: What is "managed care abuse" and why is it an important topic? Kroeger: Managed care abuse occurs when your medical insurance provider or HMO breaches its fiduciary duty or contractual responsibilities to you by denying you access to medically necessary care or medication in violation of its healthcare policies and the law. It is often the result of the company prioritizing cost-cutting and profit-making over patient care. This obviously puts the health of the patient at risk. Cohen Milstein has extensive experience litigating managed care abuse claims against insurance companies and HMOs. The result of the company prioritizing cost-cutting BRG: How are firefighters particularly at risk? What are the solutions? Kroeger: The health and welfare of firefighters is paramount as they need to be physically fit to perform their life-saving duties. Firefighters also have a dangerous job that can result in physical and emotional injury. They should be able to get any and all medically necessary treatment allowed by the terms of their health insurance policy without having to fight for them after being wrongfully denied by their insurance carrier. BRG: How should firefighters seek proactively to address the issue of managed care abuse (short of filing a lawsuit)? Kroeger: If a firefighter believes he or she has been wrongfully denied medical care or medication, the first step is to follow the appeal process outlined by the health insurance policy. This will usually require placing a call or writing a letter challenging the decision within 30 days of the denial, but one should check the terms of the policy to follow the procedure that applies in a particular situation. It’s important to keep notes on all action taken during the appeal, including who you spoke with, when, and the details of the conversation. It’s also vital to work with healthcare providers to insure they too are following through with the insurance carrier. BRG: What are the legal remedies available to address the problem? Kroeger: If your appeal to the insurance company is denied, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company. You should call an attorney to discuss your particular situation. Firefighters are increasingly exposed to chemicals and other toxic materials BRG: What other potential issues/challenges do you see related to medical care for firefighters, especially those injured in the line of duty? Kroeger: Firefighters are increasingly exposed to chemicals and other toxic materials while doing their jobs. This will continue to place them at risk for additional medical problems, thereby increasing the need for medical care.
The T-band radio spectrum provides critical communications for firefighters and other first responders in large metropolitan areas. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently required by law to auction off the spectrum for other uses in February 2021. Congress will need to pass legislation in the next several months to stop the auction, which is a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. In the last several years, various bills have been introduced to repeal the mandated auction of the T-band spectrum. In February, House Energy and Commerce Committee Leader Rep. Greg Walden introduced legislation to repeal the auction, and last December five Senators reintroduced the “Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act” to preserve the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum (470-512 MHz). Public safety agencies The T-band was assigned in the 1970s because of the high density of communications in heavily populated metropolitan areas to support critical public safety communications and provide regional interoperability among first responders. Public safety agencies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of federal, state and local funds to plan and build out T-band networks. The T-band is used in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In those locales, there are no workable alternatives. In addition, the T-band is used in San Francisco/Oakland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, Pittsburgh and Washington DC (and surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia). Together, the areas cover more than 90 million Americans. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that Congress pass a law The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that Congress pass a law to allow public-safety users to continue to use the T-band spectrum for emergency communications. A GAO report examined the challenges first responders and local governments expect in relocating communications from the T-band. The GAO conducted case studies in four cities, and reviewed statutes and regulations, FCC documents, and T-band studies by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC). Reallocating and auctioning The FCC is required to reallocate and auction the T-band by law. The independent federal agency has taken limited actions to address challenges and to assist public safety users of the T-band with mandatory relocation. However, they have not begun planning the auction. The FCC is required to reallocate and auction the T-band by law The FirstNet broadband network is designed for public safety; however, it is not ready to support mission-critical voice systems, according to NPSTC. “The safety of our city depends on our use of the T-band, and taking it away would be unconscionable,” says New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The city has invested millions of dollars [to ensure] our first responders can communicate in all types of emergencies, and this resource is key to our ability to keep our communities safe.” In New York, losing the T-band spectrum would require billions of dollars be spent to replace existing radios and infrastructure and would devastate operations at thousands of emergencies each day. the gAO study The GAO study said the cost of relocating T-band users to other bands would be between $5 billion and $6 billion. For many users, alternative bands are limited or non-existent. The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has launched a “Voter Voice” campaign The Middle Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 both created FirstNet and directed the auction of the T-band spectrum. Proceeds from the auction would be made available to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to develop and administer a grant program to help cover costs associated with relocating public-safety users’ radio systems. Numerous business/industrial licensees are also in the T-band spectrum but are not addressed in the legislation. The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has launched a “Voter Voice” campaign to support preserving public safety’s access to the T-band. The campaign encourages citizens to send a letter to their representative supporting repeal of the T-band auction.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the first fire service in North America to purchase a pre-series vehicle based on the Concept Fire Truck (CFT). The electric fire truck from Rosenbauer will be delivered in the first quarter 2021 and put into practice as part of a comprehensive test operation. CFT Technology In addition to its driving characteristics and safety features, the truck made an impression with its ergonomics and high functionality during the initial demonstrations last December. A sworn workforce of around 3,500 makes the LAFD one of the largest fire services in the US. It operates a fleet of 1,300 vehicles and responded to approximately 500,000 emergency calls last year, including 4,100 structure fires. Pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours The LAFD and the City of Los Angeles are setting a clear example for sustainability and climate protection with the decision to use CFT technology. The purchase was made through Velocity Fire Equipment & Sales, which acts as a prime contractor and represents Rosenbauer Group in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Fully Electric Operation The pre-series vehicle based on the CFT will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours. This enables fully electric operation for roughly two hours and covers around 90% of all applications. A 200-kilowatt range extender is integrated for longer application times. The fire truck will be adjusted to meet the needs of the LAFD in terms of usage and loading, without limiting the flexible vehicle architecture in the process, and is designed to meet all standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,” says LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas. “The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise, harmful diesel emissions, and provide a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform. We are looking forward to evaluating in a real-world environment once it hits the streets of Hollywood next year.” Meets All The Safety Standards “The future fire truck is fundamentally different from the vehicles which are in service at the fire stations today. It is multi-functional, fully connected and its flexible interior can be used as a fully featured command center. Its floor can be lowered facilitating minimum boarding and working levels. Electric engines reduce noise and pollution. We will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards" “I am particularly delighted to receive the order from the Los Angeles Fire Department, which really is a fantastic vote of confidence,” says Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International. “Together, we will develop a production-ready fire truck that meets all the safety standards of the NFPA and can seamlessly be brought into real operation further down the line.” Municipal Firefighting Vehicles Rosenbauer’s Concept Fire Truck was first presented to the public in 2016. As a fire truck of the future, it anticipates major mega-trends such as climate change, demographic change and urbanization, as well as the challenges that these entail for fire departments. The use of electric drives enables a completely new kind of vehicle architecture that is 100% tailored to these future scenarios and sets new benchmarks in terms of functionality and ergonomics. The main application area for innovative CFT technology at the moment is municipal firefighting vehicles, but it will also be applied to other types of vehicles further down the line. Rosenbauer estimates that the number of vehicles with technology similar to CFT will rise to around 3,200 by 2030; up to 400 such vehicles could already be in service in Northern America by 2025.
telent, a specialist in the effective operation of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA) are marking a milestone moment this year as their collaborative partnership enters its 19th year, with the contract now secured until 2024. Integrated Risk Management Plan Serving five metropolitan boroughs – Sefton, St Helens, Knowsley, Wirral and Liverpool – community safety and life-saving operations are top priorities for MFRA. Information Communication Technology (ICT) services are crucial to the day-to-day running of operations and must be developed, aligned and continually reviewed to ensure they can support the delivery of the Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) which prepares for various incidents and is a statutory requirement of all fire services. Since 2001, telent has delivered a range of vital ICT services and introduced multiple innovations, including an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based service catalogue to ensure that Merseyside can easily alter the services it receives according to changing needs. ITIL-based service catalogue Our relationship with telent means we have a partner that we can rely on in the most demanding of circumstances" At the heart of the contract, telent runs a service desk for MFRA, handling more than 650 IT incidents per month, with 75% of issues fixed by telent remotely, bringing significant cost-savings to Merseyside. “Our relationship with telent means we have a partner that we can rely on in the most demanding of circumstances,” said Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer at MFRA. “As well as having a deep understanding of the blue light sector, telent brings a flexible approach to its service delivery which has proved invaluable to us as we work to keep up with the fast-paced technological changes across the business sphere. Ultimately we know we have a highly-trusted partner in telent and look forward to working with the team for years to come.” ICT life-cycle management services More recently, telent has made additions to the ICT Service Catalogue which include providing ICT life-cycle management services for National Resilience Fire Control (NRFC) and the introduction of MFRA ICT cloud-based services to deliver in-house apps on frontline appliances. The National Resilience is responsible for deploying and co-ordinating National Resilience equipment and supporting individual fire and rescue services to minimise the impact of major emergencies. “What comes with an ICT Service Catalogue is the ability to have a Service Level Agreement with clearly defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and I am pleased as telent continues to meet those KPIs,” said Ed Franklin, Head of Technology at MFRA. “The Service Catalogue also provides the flexibility to easily adopt new services as our requirements evolve or new technology solutions become available.” According to the Home Office, MFRA attends more primary fires per thousand population than any other fire and rescue service in the UK. It is committed to attending all life risk incidents within 10 minutes on 90% of occasions.
Global FM service provider Atalian Servest has won a contract with the University of Edinburgh to maintain its fire alarm and associated life safety systems. The three-year contract is worth a base cost of £250,000 per annum. Atalian Servest will service over 250 buildings within the historic City of Edinburgh, some of which are Grade-A listed. Premises include prestigious lecture theatres, libraries, seminar buildings and student and family accommodation. The contract will include maintenance of disabled person refuge communication systems and remote monitoring telephone line systems, supporting the safety of staff, students and visitors at the university. Enhancing student experience The University of Edinburgh offers undergraduate degree programmes, and postgraduate taught and research programmes to more than 14,000 students; it is globally recognised for its research, development and high-quality teaching. Daniel Dickson, CEO of Atalian Servest UK & Ireland, said, “Our fire and security team are excited to support such a prestigious university and a global leader in education, and look forward to strengthening our partnership throughout the contract and beyond.” Heather Fleming, Building Services Engineer at the University of Edinburgh, said, “Atalian Servest has been a key partner, delivering other contracts and projects for several years. We welcome the fire and security team to enhance the experience of our stakeholders, students and visitors alike. The company provides the highest level of customer service, innovation and quality.”
The National Fire Chiefs’ Council has called for all residential buildings with four floors or more to be installed with sprinkler systems after a huge fire tore through student flats in Bolton, United Kingdom last month. Fire sprinklers in Tall buildings But a Freedom of Information request from The Argus revealed 44 council-owned housing blocks in Brighton and Hove which are four storeys or taller do not have sprinklers installed. This is a worrying discovery as two of the 44 buildings had sprinklers systems approved last September. However, despite funding of £300,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue service, the installation of fire sprinklers has been delayed due to ‘feedback from residents’. Sprinkler installation program “For a sprinkler installation program to be successful, the residents must be consulted. Although, not all residents are in favor of installing a sprinkler system; despite sprinklers being paramount in preventing another tragic disaster similar to the Grenfell Tower fire,” says an East Sussex Fire Brigade Union Spokesman. Whilst firefighters on the frontline understand the importance of sprinkler systems in assisting to prevent the rapid growth of fires, sprinkler systems should not be viewed as a ‘golden bullet’. There is no replacement to a properly funded and resourced fire and rescue service.
Gent by Honeywell installs its new S-Quad Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) in Leamington Spa’s renowned entertainment venue, the Royal Spa Centre. The popular purpose built theatre and cinema, owned by Warwick District Council, recently upgraded its entire fire detection and alarm (FD&A) system to a fully integrated Gent Vigilon Compact solution, that incorporates more than 50 S-Quad VADs throughout the multi-use building. Visual Alarm Technology Warwick Council had expressed interest in the use of Gent’s new technology during the initial meetings with Gent approved System Integrator, Fire Safe Services Ltd. Steven Dowell, Fire Safe Services Ltd said: “The existing FD&A system had a three minute delay utilizing beacon only devices. As the Royal Spa Centre is a public building that is in continuous use, Warwick Council felt it was important to use the latest visual alarm technology to protect the hundreds of visitors, its employees and the historic building.” Triggering Key Individual “The innovative solution we installed incorporated Gent’s brand new S-Quad VADs with voice sounders and we programmed the system to keep the three minute delay. During the first alert, the specific solution was set to trigger key individual beacons throughout the building to act as a staff alert.” The new S-Quad VADs meet all of the requirements of the latest EN54-23 standards “After the three minute delay, or in the event of a second device being activated, the system was then programmed to give a full evacuation signal, so all of the VADs will activate and the sounders would be used to advise occupants to leave the building.” The new S-Quad VADs meet all of the requirements of the latest EN54-23 standards and have been designed to help alert occupants in noisy environments and the hard of hearing. Reducing Valuable Installation Time The devices combine Gent’s renowned sensor, sounder and speech technology with high efficiency EN54-23 certified visual alarms. As these functions are incorporated into one single device, S-Quad continues to provide the most cost-effective option and helps to reduce valuable installation time. Neil Towers, Business Manager, Gent by Honeywell said: “We are delighted that there has been another successful installation of our unique S-Quad visual alarms. We’re confident that the outstanding performance of the new S-Quad range will match the quality of performance taking center stage at the Royal Spa Centre. Our solution will ensure that every visitor can be safe and protected and enjoy the diverse range of entertainment the venue has to offer.”
Peterborough firefighters were buzzing to help a local project to enhance the environment for bees. Last week on Monday the firefighters from Green Watch at Dogsthorpe Fire Station attended an environmental initiative called Jimmy’s Bee’s at the newly built Connect Park in Millfield, Peterborough. Building Relationships With Local Residents The crew joined volunteers from the community to dig the grass up, sew and plant wildflower seeds in order to create a fantastic haven for bees. The project was commissioned by Channel 4 due to the third of Britain’s bee species declining since 1980. Planting the wildflower seeds allows bees and other insects to pollinate. Station Commander Matt Murdoch, the officer in charge of Dogsthorpe Fire Station, said: “A key part of being a firefighter is to be an active part of the local community. This allows us to ensure we are reaching the most vulnerable people to help keep them safe. Projects like this are a great way for our crews to pitch in and help the community, as well as make useful links and build relationships with local residents.”
Round table discussion
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?