Training & Education
Dräger has launched a range of solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams as part of its Health for the Firefighter campaign. Dräger have worked in partnership with Harstra instruments, a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The launch follows a study undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which demonstrated a self-contai...
Apollo Fire Detectors, has launched a new market insight program to help them continue to deliver innovative fire safety products and high standards of customer service. The Apollo Advisor Network encourages customers, installers and partners to share their experiences within the industry and the challenges they face. Registration is online and captures background on their company and individual responsibilities. Exclusive training access After signing up, Advisors have access to exclusive tr...
Designed with facilities managers and nominated Responsible Persons in mind, the guide has been created to be a trusted source of safety and compliance information. It is free for any business to download and use to review their own fire doors. In 2019, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme found that 76% of fire doors inspected were condemned as not fit for purpose, with excessive gaps, damaged smoke seals and poorly adjusted door closers the top reasons for failings. Fire door safety The research...
Should firefighters and other first responders be exempt from requirements that they wear face masks to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? The City Council of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, seems to think so. They are proposing an amendment to exempt first responders from complying with the city’s face mask ordinance. Amendment to Exempt first responders from face mask rule Specifically, the proposed amendment states, “Exempted from the requirements of the ordinance r...
Hannover Fairs USA, subsidiary of Deutsche Messe, announced it has made the decision to postpone its U.S. launch of INTERSCHUTZ USA until October 2021. The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 14-17, 2020 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Organizers worked closely with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), and the City of Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Fire Department to evaluate the situation and make the...
Eunomia has convened a consortium to explore the costs of, and potential measures to prevent, fires which are being started by Lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries in waste. Fires in waste electronics are estimated to be growing: the incidence of fires in waste company Veolia’s refuse trucks are up 37.5% since 2017, and these are thought to have been caused by Li-ion batteries. Major cause of waste fires Li-ion batteries are found in a variety of consumer IT and electronics products and are o...
New aerial ladders that are more responsive to drive, faster to set up and with greater rescue capabilities are soon to hit the streets of London as the Brigade continues to improve its ability to deal with high rise incidents. Twelve new 32 meter appliances known as turntable ladders are part of the aerial replacement project and have many improvements on the existing fleet, the biggest being that the ladder articulates, allowing for greater maneuverability. The articulating top section means that down London’s narrow streets the turntable ladder can now set up closer to the building than previous aerial appliances. thermal imaging camera The new engines will be highly visible on London’s streets with its bright yellow ladder, bumpers and fenders The reach obtained can also means that the machines can be placed further away and overcome obstacles which would have problematic previously. The new turntable ladders are swift and responsive to drive and can reach their top working height within a minute from the moment of arrival at an incident. Other features include a detachable thermal imaging camera, improved stretcher capabilities all of which will enhance the company’s operations at height. They will also improve the capabilities for lighting and observation of emergencies from above, giving incident commanders greater knowledge from the sky. Turntable ladders are used by the Brigade for a wide range of tasks such as aerial water towers to put water on buildings from height, rescues, high level lighting and as observation platforms. The new engines will be highly visible on London’s streets with its bright yellow ladder, bumpers and fenders. open air training It also has driver aides like pre-emptive braking and lane change technology. London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “Our new aerial ladders are more responsive, quicker to set up and improve our ability to fight fires and rescue people from height. Our determination to get these working on London’s streets despite the challenges COVID-19 has given us shows our commitment to improve our response, especially at high rise incidents.” Training has been able to start on the new turntable ladders due to the hard work of Brigade staff and in close liaison with the Fire Brigades Union to make sure it can be done safely during the pandemic. The courses were completely revamped to make sure safe procedures are in place including the wearing of masks during driver training, increased open air training and regular sanitation of delegates hands and the machines. aerial ladder platform The Brigade will soon have three 64 meter ladders and they will be the tallest in the country Internal training venues were found quickly to make sure staff didn’t need to travel long distances and the risk to those involved could be reduced. Firefighters have also been incredibly flexible, attending courses at short notice to make sure the vehicles become operational as soon as possible. The Brigade’s training provider Babcock have made additional machines for training available so that multiple venues can be used, allowing for increased training while maintaining social distancing. In addition to these new 32 meter turntable ladders, the Brigade will soon have three 64 meter ladders and they will be the tallest in the country. Following tests and operational training the appliances are expected to be in service in the New Year. London Fire Brigade currently uses two main types of aerial appliance: the aerial ladder platform and the turntable ladder. present operational fleet The present operational fleet consists of four turntable ladders and seven aerial ladder platforms, plus four others used as reserve appliances for training. When the replacement project is completed the Brigade will only use turntable ladders. The new M32L-AS Ladders are manufactured by Magirus in Germany and as a first for LFB, are mounted on a Scania Lowline 360hp chassis.
BAFE FireQual Ltd is pleased to announce that they have appointed Nic Preston as the FireQual Qualifications Manager from 1st September 2020. Nic has over 14 years of experience in the training and development sector with a proven ability in quality assurance demonstrated in several roles influencing training environments within the UK. His most recent roles have been developing and implementing growth strategies as Chief Executive of SFEDI Awards, the Awarding Organization for enterprise development. Alongside this he has also been responsible for their compliance with regulatory systems across the UK and was the Responsible Officer for their systems for learners and training centers. Nationally recognized qualifications Nic said “Introducing a range of high quality nationally recognized qualifications for the betterment of fire protection services and staff within the fire safety industry will be a rewarding task. FireQual has huge potential to make the industry safer and demonstrably more competent and I look forward to the challenge this offers.” Although FireQual is a new venture, it builds on the vast array of knowledge and expertise within the sector" “Although FireQual is a new venture, it builds on the vast array of knowledge and expertise within the sector both within BAFE and through our valued external partners who continue to support this new endeavor as we move forward. I welcome the opportunity to work with a range of excellent industry partners, training organizations and their candidates to build new relationships and opportunities as we move forward.” BAFE licensed Certification Bodies Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, added “We believe FireQual is being entrusted in very good hands with Nic. His experience will be invaluable in the development of this Awarding Organization. This is a big opportunity to develop individual skills to ensure that competence remains at the forefront of the fire safety industry. We are pursuing this because we know that it is the right thing to do in the interest of life safety.” The BAFE Fire Safety Register is delighted to announce that Chris Auger, currently the BAFE Head of Schemes, has been promoted to Director of Schemes, with responsibility for the organization and development of existing and new schemes, together with our quality assurance and complaints management. He will have the vital day to day support role with BAFE licensed Certification Bodies. Wide range of influencers Organizational competency and evidence of individual expertise remains the forefront of this discussion" Chris continues to do a first class job with his work on the Hackitt Working Groups and other stakeholders, especially to promote the value of Third Party Certification and competence, which is now gaining much stronger traction, with the support of UKAS. He has brought a much stronger profile for BAFE amongst a wide range of influencers across the construction sector. Chris commented: “The BAFE Competence schemes continue to grow and develop, with registrations rising even during the lockdown period. We are grateful to Companies and Certification Bodies for continuing to recognize the importance of Third-Party Certification and finding new methods to ensure compliance. We have a number of new initiatives to support the industry, specifiers and end users and I am delighted to be taking on this role.” “With the development of FireQual there will also be a genuine prospect to include accredited technician competence into more of our Company schemes, which will be considered by our dedicated Scheme Monitoring Groups. This will consider all appropriate training and qualifications available, not just FireQual. Organizational competency and evidence of individual expertise remains the forefront of this discussion.”
Retention has long been a challenge for many volunteer and combination fire and EMS departments, yet little research has been done on the subject. volunteer fire service retention Thanks to support from a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has conducted a study to identify institutional drivers that cause volunteers to leave, the differing perceptions between leadership, current volunteers and former volunteers and what can be done to positively impact retention. The research was conducted in three phases over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020 The research was conducted in three phases over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020. The first phase included interviews with current and former volunteers as well as department leadership. SAFER work group feedback This was followed by a synthesis session and feedback from the NVFC’s SAFER work group, which consists of representative from several national fire and emergency service organizations. The final phase was a quantitative survey of over 1,000 current and former volunteers as well as current department leadership. “We know that many volunteer fire departments struggle with retaining volunteers, but much of our knowledge about why volunteers leave is based on anecdotal evidence,” said NVFC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Lee, who oversees the organization’s SAFER grant. Improving volunteer retention rate Sarah adds, “With this research, we now have data to back up the hypotheses. We also have a better idea of what areas to focus on to help departments overcome the challenges and improve their retention rates.” Some of the key findings from the quantitative research include the following: There is a disconnect between why former volunteers say they left a fire department versus what current leadership thinks are the reasons why volunteers leave. Current volunteers who have considered leaving but did not said their main reason for staying was their desire to give back to the community and help people. When asked what could have a positive impact on volunteer retention, both current and former volunteers cited mentorship programs, giving out awards/honors to members when they reach service milestones, conducting stay interviews with volunteers who have lapsed attendance and conducting exit interviews, when a volunteer leaves the department, as among their top choices. The majority of department leadership (74%) said their department either had a general sense of retention but no specific way of measuring it or no clear definition of retention at all. NVFC’s ‘Make Me A Firefighter’ campaign The NVFC will use the data from this research to develop tools and resources designed to help departments better understand and meet the retention challenges they face. The research was conducted as part of the NVFC’s ‘Make Me A Firefighter’ campaign, a SAFER-funded program that helps volunteer and combination fire departments recruit and retain volunteers. The campaign includes a department portal filled with free tools and resources to help departments increase their staffing and a public site where prospective volunteers can find a local fire service opportunity.
Dräger, a pioneer in medical and safety technology, is launching its ‘Health for the Firefighter’ campaign to support fire services in driving the cultural changes that are required to protect firefighter health. Impact of exposure The launch follows a survey of UK firefighters that found considerable concern over the impact of exposure to contaminants on long-term health. Some 84% admitted they were concerned about the risk of cancer – a disease highlighted in some scientific reports to be the cause of death within the service. The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) reports that nearly two out of three (61%) firefighter line-of-duty deaths between 2002 and 2017 were caused by cancer. Embedded carcinogens in any equipment can easily be absorbed by the men and women using it. Robust hygiene processes We need to move away from firefighters wearing dirty kit like a badge of honor" The survey by Dräger also found that more than two thirds (68%) of firefighters fear the impact of COVID-19 on their long-term health, a point picked up by Brian Hesler, Consultant and Specialist Advisor at Draeger Safety UK and former Chief Fire Officer for the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service: “The COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing fears over cancer, have highlighted the critical importance of hygiene, and a significant cultural change is required. We need to move away from firefighters wearing dirty kit like a badge of honor that proves their hard work and value, to understanding that clean and well-maintained kit supported by detailed and robust hygiene processes that mitigate every contact with contaminants are essential. One firefighter surveyed said ‘they had always been a bit blasé about invisible contaminants’. This has got to change.” Detailed hygiene processes The Health for the Firefighter campaign will support the fire services in helping to communicate and provide training on the importance of detailed hygiene processes; from the handling and storage of masks and breathing apparatus (BA) equipment through to the subsequent cleaning of the kit after an incident has occurred. It will also provide bespoke workshop solutions that guide the potentially contaminated kit from entering the station, to washing and drying processes through to leaving the station to be used again. In addition to providing detailed advice for manual washing processes including on detergent use and drying techniques, Dräger is the first company in the Emergency Services space to launch specialist BA and mask cleaning equipment and dedicated solutions, including mechanical washing systems that provide complete consistency in washing temperatures, the amount of detergent used, speed and temperature of drying – which can all work together to disinfect contaminants and to protect the longevity of the kit. Mechanical equipment washing However, only 23% said that the pandemic had significantly changed their approach to cleaning equipment Support also encompasses logistical support for installation, the ongoing maintenance of equipment and the quantity of stock required. The survey revealed the most important factors in combating firefighter concerns over contaminants were the cleaning of masks with 97% rating this as very or extremely important, closely followed by the cleaning of BA equipment (95%) and cleaning of PPE (94%). While manual cleaning of equipment is still generally the norm within UK Fire Services, the survey revealed three quarters (75%) believed that mechanical equipment washing would improve their health, and 80% agreed that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic more emphasis should be placed on cleaning equipment and hygiene control. However, only 23% said that the pandemic had significantly changed their approach to cleaning equipment. Responsibility to innovate solutions “There is obvious concern over cleaning of equipment following the pandemic,” adds Brian. “One surveyed firefighter said ‘they clean to the best of their ability’ – the point is that a person’s ability should not be a factor in the cleaning process.” “Consistency has to be key and manufacturers of medical and safety technology products have a responsibility to innovate solutions that support change. We are not here to tell brigades how to operate, rather to provide a range of solutions that support them and their firefighters’ health.”
BAFE and the FIA announced the acquisition of the FIA AO by BAFE FireQual Ltd. BAFE strongly believe this will be a significant opportunity for the fire industry to develop an exciting range of accredited qualifications to meet the demand for quality assurance of individual skill and expertise required by the industry. This necessity was heightened by the Grenfell tragedy and its subsequent reports outlined by Dame Judith Hackitt and the Competency Steering Group. Dame Judith Hackitt stated: “The lack of a coherent approach to competence levels and experience required – or professional qualifications where these may be necessary – and how these qualifications and experience should be evidenced so that they are clearly understood by all those operating within the system.” - 5.2 Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report. Board of Directors FireQual will operate as a separate wholly-owned subsidiary of BAFE, with its own Board of Directors, and will be led by a newly appointed Qualifications Manager who has a wide experience at a senior level in the qualifications sector. The FireQual Board currently is made up of Chairman Lewis Ramsay - former Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Scottish Fire & Rescue, Pauline Traetto - previous Executive Director of BRE Academy, Douglas Barnett - Chairman of BAFE and Stephen Adams - BAFE Chief Executive. For full clarity FireQual will only offer exams and qualifications – neither BAFE nor FireQual will be delivering any training. FireQual will be working with licensed training organizations (including the FIA) who will offer the approved syllabuses to their learners. BAFE consider this separation from training and exams/invigilation, as currently operated at BAFE with the BS 5306 fire extinguisher exam, is important to deliver independent quality assurance of this process. Certification Bodies Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented, “There are natural synergies that will occur along with the BAFE ethos of Third Party Certification for companies delivered through licensed [UKAS Accredited] Certification Bodies. We believe that the introduction of accredited qualifications will only enhance the BAFE company schemes. These are not to be thought of as one or the other however, BAFE will continue to monitor company assurance of specific service competency which holds important value. FireQual will develop qualifications for individual expertise for specific services, whether the candidate works for a BAFE Registered Company or not.” Following the acquisition, the FIA AO will continue to deliver their exams until FireQual has established the necessary systems and delivery processes. FireQual aim to make this transition as quickly as possible with all the requirements for OFQUAL and the equivalent standards in Scotland and Wales under way. Fire safety industry qualifications FireQual will take the opportunity to contact a wide range of organizations that currently deliver training across all aspects of fire safety to consider the application of the new range of qualifications that we will be reviewing. FireQual welcomes any approaches to consider how this should develop and looks forward to collaborating with the industry to progress the future of individual qualifications for the fire safety industry.
In October 1993, the American Heart Association appointed the Task Force on Automatic External Defibrillation. The task force was charged with conducting a conference on automatic external defibrillation, evaluating research needed for broader community use of automatic external defibrillators, and overseeing evaluation of the feasibility and desirability of their use by healthcare professionals and the lay public. In December 1994, a conference on public access defibrillation was held in Washington, DC. More than 300 persons attended, representing science, industry, the healthcare professions, law, and the federal government. During the meeting the participants reached a consensus on the general proposition of greater public access to defibrillation and the need for broad-based clinical research, public and professional education, and legislative reform. improving emergency cardiac care Following the conference, members of the task force, with input from others in the field of emergency cardiac care, wrote this statement, which was approved by the AHA Board of Directors in June 1995. Early bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and rapid defibrillation are the two major contributors to survival of adult victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The AHA supports efforts to provide prompt defibrillation to victims of cardiac arrest. In public access defibrillation, the technology of defibrillation is accessible to the community Automatic external defibrillation is one of the most promising methods for achieving rapid defibrillation. In public access defibrillation, the technology of defibrillation and training in its use are accessible to the community. The AHA believes that this is the next step in strengthening the chain of survival. Public access defibrillation will involve considerable societal change and will succeed only through the strong efforts of the AHA and others with a commitment to improving emergency cardiac care. broad public support Public access defibrillation will include: Performance of defibrillation by laypersons at home and by firefighters, police, security personnel, and non-physician care providers in the community. Exploration of the use of bystander-initiated automatic external defibrillation in rural communities and congested urban areas where resuscitation strategies have had little success. The AHA can also play a major role by: Increasing public awareness that defibrillation improves the rate of survival from an often-fatal condition that each day affects 1000 Americans. Ensuring that objective, current research data are used to guide implementation of these changes in performance and teaching of CPR. Working with medical manufacturers, legislators, and governmental agencies to promote safety and efficacy, reduce cost, and update training requirements to facilitate implementation of public access defibrillation. Broader use of automatic external defibrillators should also lead to readiness tests and features that deter both misuse and misapplications. Meaningful change will occur only with the broad public support that has traditionally characterized the AHA’s efforts in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
Like professional athletes, learning how to stay composed under pressure is key to performing your best in any situation. Whether it’s a dynamic incident you are commanding at work, an important staff or city council meeting, dealing with a difficult person or situations in your personal life, how you cope with pressure is one way you separate yourself from the pack. Learning how to stay composed under pressure is key to performing your best in any situation. We cannot allow our emotions to go through the roof every time we encounter stress or difficult situations. Situational Awareness can also be practiced as a "personal tool" when feeling stressed. Why is it some people thrive under the pressure? They go deeper in “the zone” while others get distracted and have a meltdown. How you interpret and deal with the pressure is what helps you succeed. Dealing with pressure Learning how to stay composed under pressure is key to performing your best in any situation Is your interpretation of pressure a challenge or a threat? Pressure comes from external sources, other's expectations, or your own expectations to perform well. They also come from our formative years and how we watched our parents handle them. You can view pressure situations in two ways: as a challenge that instills motivation or as a threat that instills anxiety. Here are a few techniques for staying composed when you start to feel the heat: Tap the Brakes Anxiety speeds up your behavior. When you feel tense, try to slow down. Be more deliberate without overanalyzing the situation. When you hurry you are prone to accidents. Breathe Deep Deep breathing is an excellent technique to reduce muscular tension and focus on something positive. Use abdominal breathing (breathe deeply through your abdominal cavity or stomach) to reduce tension. Be the Incident Commander (IC) of your emotions Anxiety increases when your self-talk is negative and self-defeating. An example of negative self-talk is, “I’m a choker, I can never perform well when I need to”, which increases anxiety and decreases self-confidence. Notice when your self-talk becomes negative and learn to switch your inner voice to positive self-talk. You are the IC, so give yourself some words of encouragement. Deep breathing is an excellent technique to reduce muscular tension and focus on something positive Change Your Tactics and Strategy Anxiety or feelings or threat make you focus internally on your pounding heart, rapid breathing, and sweaty palms, which further increases anxiety. Offensive strategy. This internal focus is not a good type of focus for execution. Defensive Strategy. Great execution flows from being focused externally on the environment and reacting to the situation. Shift your attention externally to what is in front of you. Focus on the process of execution instead of the fear of failing. Use it to Your Advantage The excitement or fear you experience when under pressure can help you if you interpret it as a friend and not a threat. Always remember, nothing lasts forever... You are the incident commander!
Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in fires in England, according to UK Home Office statistics. And while around three million fire doors are installed in the UK every year, a lack of understanding during operation, maintenance and management of fire doors is still apparent. In this article, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland, will address this issue. Importance of fire doors Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire door hardware remains a significant area of concern. In May 2018, an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by dame Judith Hackitt, have been published. The review highlighted a range of issues, but the message stood clear, the UK’s current approach to fire safety in buildings is not functioning as intended and a new, holistic approach to fire safety is required. Review of fire inspections In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors In all fire inspections, there is a responsibility from the building owner to include checks on the fire doors. However, there is no legal requirement for them to complete any recommended upgrades or repairs, or to prove that they have done so. This represents a major problem, as doors that do not perform to the required standard could compromise a building’s safety and put occupants at risk. Ultimately, this could lead to liability being assigned back to the building owner or facilities manager. Need to maintain fire safety standards Fire safety is only properly maintained if standards and checks are carried out throughout the lifecycle of the product and building. This is best addressed through regular inspection, maintenance and the replacement of products when required. A review by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed the most common fire door faults, ranging from missing fire or smoke seals, to unsuitable hinges and damage to the door leaf itself. Any one of these issues can render a fire door useless and can seriously impede a door’s capability to protect people from harm. Door leaf and frame maintenance Fire door hardware is often not afforded the attention it requires and is left mismanaged throughout its service life. So what needs to be done to ensure fire door hardware is working as expected? Naturally, the door leaf should not be damaged, warped or twisted, and it is vital to ensure the fire door closes correctly around all parts of the frame, with no distortion between the stiles, top and frame. Gaps between the door and leaf must not be greater than those specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet, typically around 3 to 4mm all the way round. Importance of door closers A door closer ensures a fire door returns to its fully closed position and the door seals correctly in the door frame A door closer ensures a fire door always returns to its fully closed position and makes sure that the door seals correctly in the door frame, when not in use. There are three steps to ensuring these components are working correctly. First, open the door fully and check that it closes without dragging across the floor. Next, open it to approximately 5-10 degrees and again check that it fully closes, engaging any latch or seal. Finally, check the door closing speed is approximately five seconds from a 90 degree angle, ensuring the door does not slam shut. Intumescent fire and smoke seals Fire and smoke seals should be in good condition, fit the full length of the door and be secure in the groove. If seals are badly fitted, damaged or painted, then they must be replaced with exactly the same size and intumescent material that was originally specified. If the smoke seals have to be replaced, then they should be fitted in one continuous length, if possible. To ensure hinges are in good condition, check for visible wear, dark marks or stains around the hinge knuckle that could indicate wear and impending failure. Hinges must be strong enough to carry the door mass, plus robust enough to work efficiently no matter the level of usage. The hinges should be firmly screwed into the door and frame, ensuring that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing at any time. Intumescent pads should also be used with hinges, as these are required for the door to get its appropriate fire rating. Locks and lever handles To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use Wiping any metal dust deposits off the handles will help ensure that the latch-bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the keep during use. To measure a handle’s condition, one needs to ensure the lock lever fully returns to a horizontal position after use. If it does not, the lever may, at best, need adjusting or lubricating. At worst, it may need replacing, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, ensure the lock case is protected by intumescent material. Maintaining record of fire door inspection No matter the component, a record of inspection and maintenance should be kept for all door hardware. Furthermore, those responsible for ensuring the fire safety of a site should encourage others to report any issues with any of the door components. Faults should be fixed as soon as possible, using the correct and fire-rated components. To check the compatibility of components, always consult the fire certificate data sheet or contact the manufacturer.
With many businesses and facilities re-opening sites following the Coronavirus lockdown, fire safety may not seem high on the list to other worries and responsibilities. But here, Mandy Bowden, Fire Business Development Manager at Comelit Group UK, led by fire industry bodies, demonstrates why it must be a priority, ensuring installation of systems is guided by best practice in accordance with the development, and fire safety measures are maintained and regularly tested to ensure compliance. Fire safety is too often neglected. And in the midst of returning to work and implementing necessary fever screening solutions and social distancing policies, it may even fall further down the necessary requirements, for businesses who are naturally eager to open and ‘get going.’ Providing Fire Safety But the Government and leading authoritative fire industry bodies have made it absolutely clear that, “Coronavirus is not an excuse for disregarding your responsibilities and businesses must ensure that they have an adequate amount of competent people to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.” Above all else, fire detection is there to save lives; but the way in which systems are presented, will depend on their surroundings. For many facilities it involves more than the best choice of products and services. It also requires compliance to standards, currently changing in light of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and a need to consider the environment that it serves to keep safe. fire detection technology It is crucial that buildings are fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection Style of a fire detection system would be considered a priority for a hospitality environment, including hotel and restaurant facilities, to blend with the aesthetics and not impact on the ambience created. In any leisure facilities such as a Gym, it is essential fire detection measures and systems are in place that will provide customers, employees and the premises itself, with sufficient prevention against fire at all times. To keep up with demand, a system needs to be simple to install and operational as quickly as possible for the benefit of members and staff. However, a manufacturing vicinity will require latest fire detection technology to ensure the safety of its building, its specialist products and all personnel who operate on site. Similarly, an art studio is a specialist consideration when it comes to fire safety, especially with the use of different materials and substances in every day works by the artists on site. ensure ultra-Reliable protection Both temporary and permanent healthcare facilities in this period have undoubtedly been key to fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, and experienced an expediential increased demand for patient care. With more people to treat and protect, those working or residing within these spaces have to be considered at greater risk in the event of a fire emergency. It is crucial that these buildings have been and continue to be fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection. And the same is true for care homes, a vulnerable group in the fight against coronavirus. They require critical and reliable, functioning fire detection equipment that presents high performance protection, avoiding false alarms to prevent moving elderly residents unnecessarily. In each of these scenarios, the need to act quickly is paramount. Fire Detection Operations Fire safety must be kept a priority to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully In healthcare, immediacy is a common theme through the industry, be it providing treatment or responding to a patient’s symptoms. This is no different in fire safety, with detection systems requiring an ease of use, by anyone operating on site. In businesses returning to work ‘post-lockdown’ the appointed Fire Marshalls and responsible persons may not be the ones returning to office locations, so others need to be trained with simple to operate solutions. In summary, fire safety must be kept a priority, arguably now more than ever to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully, and with an obligation of care to workers coming back to operating establishments. By understanding these environments and choosing systems accordingly, duty holders can ensure they reduce risks across their premises and maintain a safe ‘new normal’. multi-Sensor detectors Comelit presents its third-party accredited family of ATENA and ERACLE fire detection and fire alarm systems, which offers a diverse portfolio of intelligent, addressable products that are feature-rich, easy to install, simple to operate and offer incomparable reliability. Tested to rigorous standards, the range encompasses smoke, heat and multi-sensor detectors as well as IP rated devices including sounders and callpoints, alongside accessories to complete installations. To support the installer, we have product specific basic and advanced commissioning training courses, together with a full suite of calculation tools for our ATENA addressable systems for both loop loading and battery standby calculations, helping to identify possible issues prior to installation. Comelit is a proud member of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) that insists on third-party certification; as a clear sign of a company’s quality. All demonstrating that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK. All signs that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK.
The biggest risk of property damage and injury from wildfires comes at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which is defined as areas where structures and the built environment begin to intermingle with wildland vegetation. More and more such areas are being created as humans move near wildland areas to take advantage of their natural beauty and privacy. As a result, fire departments are fighting more fires along the interface, and there is a greater need for citizens living in these areas to be aware of the dangers of wildfires and to be prepared. ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents that live in areas at risk of wildland fires. A program of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ offers the tools and resources for fire departments to provide more understanding of the risk of wildland fires and the actions residents should take to reduce the risk. The program seeks to help residents to be ‘Ready’ with preparedness understanding, ‘Set’ with situational awareness when fire threatens and to ‘Go’, that is, to leave early when a fire starts. Enhancing situational awareness via notification systems The ‘Ready’ tenet focuses on establishing understanding of the wildland fire threat and how it can be mitigated. The ‘Set’ tenet focuses on heightening situational awareness through notification systems and warnings (such as Red Flag Warnings). The ‘Go’ tenet calls on residents to leave early and emphasizes that waiting until the last moment can increase danger and impede response. However, the RSG! program does not supersede state and local practices regarding how and when people evacuate an area. In the end, evacuation is a local issue. Wildland fire education efforts The RSG! program is complementary to and collaborates with Firewise USA and other existing wildland fire education efforts, including Living with Fire, Take Responsibility, FireSmart, Fire Safe Councils, Project Wildfire, and others. RSG! materials include ‘Your Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide’, a national video, PowerPoint presentation template, press releases, media article templates and local meeting handouts. The RSG! program materials can be adapted to local needs. Many states and localities have customized the materials by adding local department and agency logos, landscape pictures, and text about past fires. Wildland-urban interface (WUI) The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is not so much a place as a set of conditions that are conducive to spread of wildfire The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is not so much a place as a set of conditions that are conducive to spread of wildfire. Conditions include the type and distribution of vegetation, proximity of vegetation to other structures, climate and weather patterns, fire history, topography and access. Embers from wildfires can be carried by the wind more than a mile away. They are the leading cause of home fires resulting from nearby wildfires. Embers fall or are wind-driven into receptive fuels and structures, often going undetected. As the fire front passes, embers may ignite fires that spread from home to home in a neighborhood. Wildland fire programs Through the International Association of Fire Chiefs' wildland fire programs, the organization raises awareness of wildland fire risks by educating members, residents, landowners and managers, local officials and planners. The IAFC provides resources and information that support local departments’ outreach efforts and serve as a voice for local government on a national level.
Crowd management can be critical in a fire emergency – or in almost any other emergency situation. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has undertaken a project to develop a computerized tool to provide data and situational awareness about crowds based on computer vision analysis of video. Crowds have become an unusual occurrence during the COVID-19 pandemic, but sooner or later, life will be returning to normal. When it does, the safety consequences of poor crowd management will again become top-of-mind for many in the emergency response fields. Preventing trampling incidents With AI Crowds can change rapidly during an emergency, and emergency responders must act quickly to respond to changes in crowd density, movement and other behaviors. Crowd dynamics can have tragic consequences in cases such as trampling or crushing incidentsThe FPRF project has developed a proof-of-concept framework for “data-informed crowd management and support.” The low-cost, open-source framework highlights collection, analysis, visualization and reporting of crowd movement to inform and direct crowd and evacuation strategies in near-real-time. Crowd dynamics can have tragic consequences in cases such as trampling or crushing incidents, violence, or if there are insufficient exits. In the worst cases, injuries and deaths can occur. A real-time crowd management tool can help to neutralize these potentially dangerous situations. Deep-learning computer vision and video image recognition (using artificial intelligence [AI]) are the technologies that enable the project. The tools can be applied to live video, to manage an event in real-time; or to recorded video to evaluate crowd activity as part of the event-planning process. The deep-learning capability is called congested scene recognition, or CSR, which both counts the number of individuals in a crowd and identifies their spatial distribution. Algorithms evaluate crowd movement Modern technologies and algorithms evaluate crowd movement over time in high-risk spaces. Users may upload a still image, and the tool will evaluate the crowd count in a given area. For a video feed, the system can capture individual frames at a user-defined interval (1 to 30 seconds) or manually. Crowd counts are then graphed and displayed to identify crowd density trendsThe model then evaluates the frame, predicts the count and provides a crowd density heat map within about 5 seconds. Crowd counts are then graphed and displayed to identify crowd density trends. Early trials have been promising, according to the researchers. The research project is led by the FPRF and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) with funding through a U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fire Grant. So far, the proof-of-concept tool has been created, and testing this fall will evaluate how well it works on an array of venues, how well it estimates crowd counts, and the feasibility of full-scale implementation. A final report will include the programming code associated with the tool and guidance on how it can be implemented. Use of open-source platforms and general-purpose programming languages ensures the source code for the crowd management tool is freely available, and thus inexpensive. Anticipating behavior is crucial Researchers on the project note that crowds are not the problem, but rather the problem is incomplete understanding of the anticipated behavior of crowds and the inability to respond quickly. There are many variables, including the venue itselfThere are many variables, including the venue itself, and internal and external factors such as the purpose, organization and emotional nature of the crowd. The NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, includes regulatory requirement for managing large crowds. According to the code, crowd managers are responsible for understanding crowd dynamics, management techniques, and the venue’s emergency response plan, among other factors, according to NFPA. To prepare for large events, crowd managers must evaluate specific actions necessary for various situations, anticipated occupancy levels, the adequacy of ingress and egress, and expected human behavior.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), promoting safety comes from a joint effort of knowledge, preparation, oversight and vigilance. The ‘Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem’ includes eight elements, as listed by NFPA, and weakness in any of the eight creates conditions that foster risk. A recent NFPA report includes examples, drawn from current events, that illustrate the importance of each element of the Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem. Government responsibilities Citizens expect their governments at all levels to create a regulatory environment in which laws, policies and spending priorities are dictated by public safety needs. Safety laws were unenforced and/or code violations slipped through the cracks in several recent incidents. Five children died August 11, 2019, when an overloaded extension cord running beneath a couch caught fire in an Erie, Pennsylvania, private home operating a daycare. In Washington, D.C., on August 18, 2019, a 40-year-old man and a 7-year old boy died in a fire. The single-family home was filled with code violations and was likely operating as an illegal rental. Development and Use of Current Codes The latest codes and standards establish minimum levels of safety to protect people and property The latest codes and standards establish minimum levels of safety to protect people and property, and they must evolve to reflect the changing world. Flames consumed Notre-Dame de Paris on April 15, 2019, and it appears the historic cathedral was not following current codes developed to ensure heritage sites can be enjoyed by future generations. There was no layered protection through alarms, sprinklers, and compartmentation, for instance. In another example, data analyzed from the 2018 Camp Fire wildfire, which destroyed much of Paradise, California, demonstrates the value of building codes. Among 350 single-family homes built after a stronger building code came into force, just over half were undamaged. In contrast, only 18% of the 12,100 homes built before the 2008 building code changes escaped damage, according to data analysis by publisher McClatchy. NFPA Referenced Standards Providing guidance to designers, installers, facility operators, and enforcers, referenced standards are a fundamental part of life safety. Fires are a regular occurrence in buildings under construction, renovation and demolition, despite standards aimed at preventing them. From 2013 to 2017, there was an estimated average of 3,840 fires per year in structures under construction. NFPA’s Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations requires site operators to mitigate fire risks. Noncompliance was also a major factor in the 2017 Grenfell fire in the United Kingdom. The aluminum cladding that wrapped the outside of the high-rise apartment building, which did not follow referenced standards, contributed to the disaster. Investment in Safety Money and resources must be allocated to reduce losses from fire and related hazards Money and resources must be allocated to reduce losses from fire and related hazards. A lack of fire sprinklers in a 25-story high-rise apartment building in Minneapolis contributed to deaths and injuries when a fire ripped through the building in November 2019. Five people died and three others were hospitalized. Investment in the form of fire sprinklers would have also made a difference in containing a massive fire in North Shore, Wisconsin, at the Bayside apartment complex in March 2019. One hundred people were left homeless. Skilled Workforce and Code Compliance Ongoing training and professional development maximize skills of people who work in the fire and life safety fields. Personnel lacked familiarity with the fire suppression system recently at a warehouse distribution center for a British online supermarket. Their decision to shut off the sprinkler system for five minutes enabled the fire to grow beyond containment capabilities, costing the company over $120 million and 400 jobs. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The places where people live and work are only as safe as the code compliance in place before, during and after construction. Firefighters in Natick, Mass., had to battle a massive blaze in a strip mall from the outside. They could not douse the fire from inside the building because of ‘hidden void spaces,’ created through multiple non-compliant remodels of the 100-year-old structure. Preparedness and Emergency Response The alert system also lets people know the actions they should take to stay safe Prioritizing and investing money in preparedness and response capabilities before, during and after an emergency helps first responders meet community needs. Australia’s 2019 bushfire season benefited from lessons learned after the horrific Black Saturday fire in 2009, where 173 people were killed. A centralized wildfire alert system now communicates to the public the location of the fire and provides an estimate of when it might reach a new location. The alert system also lets people know the actions they should take to stay safe. The new warning system likely saved lives in the 2019 wildfire season. Informed Public Education People take extra safety measures if they have the information they need and understand the risks and consequences. The Honolulu Fire Department created a provocative ad campaign showing a young child, comfortably in his bed. The narrator explains that he is not sleeping but dying as smoke fills the home with no smoke alarms to wake the family. Such messages help to educate the public about the dangers of fire and needed prevention.
A huge new Amazon fulfillment center on the outskirts of Bristol has installed Vimpex Smart+Guard tough polycarbonate hinged protective covers to protect the building’s alarm call points from accidental or malicious activation, which could trigger costly building evacuations resulting in lost production and missed logistical connections. Life and fire protection system Amazon’s new 500,000 sq. feet fulfillment center at Severn Beach is designed to ensure that more people in the Bristol region receive next-day deliveries. When it is fully operational in September the center will employ around 1,000 people and will be equipped with advanced robotics technology to help lift and move products around the plant. Fire detection specialists AFS (AFS Holdings), engaged to engineer and install a whole life protection system at the fulfillment center site, fitted Vimpex Smart+Guard covers to all the relevant manual call points across the site to protect the system from malicious activation. Smart+Guard protective cover Smart+Guard, manufactured in the UK by Vimpex, is a tough hinged protective cover Smart+Guard, manufactured in the UK by Vimpex, is a tough hinged protective cover that can be easily installed over a range of emergency switches and other devices to provide protection from vandalism, accidental damage or misuse that can cause unwanted alarms. Misuse of manual call points or pull stations resulting in false or nuisance alarms is a costly and troublesome interruption to business continuity. BS 5839 – The British Standard for Fire Alarm Installations recommends the use of manual call point covers in vulnerable areas to mitigate against false alarms. Vimpex Limited’s Managing Director, James Jones, commented, “When we acquired the SmartGuard range of products and merged production of the range into our operations, we knew there was massive scope for developing the business. This is evidenced by the growing list of high-profile end users now specifying the product for use in their facilities.” Fire alarm and detection systems specialist James adds, “The recent news that Amazon has installed the product into their newest fulfillment center in Bristol is testament to our great levels of customer service and our willingness to go that extra mile for our customers.” Vimpex is Europe’s renowned independent manufacturer and distributor of high quality fire evacuation and alarm system products for installers, distributors and OEM manufacturers. The company is also a specialist in the supply of technical rescue and PPE equipment for UK fire, rescue, police, military and emergency services teams.
Getac, a globally renowned rugged mobile computing manufacturer, has come to the aid of the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) with the donation of powerful rugged mobile devices, along with accompanying accessories from its partners. The new solutions replace the CBMRT’s original IT equipment, which was lost during a devastating fire at its base of operations in Merthyr Tydfil, and provide a significant technology upgrade in the process. Rugged mobile devices The Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) is a voluntary organization covering the Central Brecon Beacons, including South Wales’ highest mountain, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Corn Du, as well as the Ystradfellte waterfalls. Getac donated the ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and F110 fully rugged Windows tablets The CBMRT responds to over 120 incidents a year, with rescues often taking place in extremely challenging conditions. Many areas of the national park are also very remote, which can make effective coordination between rescue teams difficult without the right equipment. Getac donated the ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and F110 fully rugged Windows tablets, both of which feature a host of innovative technologies that greatly enhance the CBMRT's capabilities during time-sensitive operations. Integrated with Lumibond touchscreen technology Getac’s revolutionary Lumibond touchscreen technology means rescuers can view and operate the devices in all weather conditions, from bright sunlight to heavy rain, and even while wearing gloves. The powerful inbuilt 4G LTE connectivity also enables team members to remotely log-in to the SARCALL incident management platform from any location, where they can liaise with other rescue parties, coordinate searches and provide real-time updates. Vehicle docking stations Secure vehicle docking stations with compact and robust Zirkona mounting brackets were also donated by Gamber-Johnson, while Lind Electronics provided high-quality, rugged vehicle power adaptors that together meet the requirements of the most demanding and harsh environments. These have been used to create fully integrated solutions in both the front and rear of the CBMRT’s three new response vehicles, allowing the devices to be safely used when in transit, then detached and taken into the field once teams are at the scene of an incident. Getac tablets Mountain rescue can be hard on equipment, but Getac tablets and accompanying accessories perform flawlessly" “When we’re trying to locate a person in need of our help, the last thing we want to worry about is our devices,” said Penny Brockman, Team Leader, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team. Penny adds, “Mountain rescue can be very hard on equipment, but our Getac tablets and accompanying accessories perform flawlessly in even the toughest conditions, meaning we can stay focused on the task at hand, which is saving lives.” Technology in frontline emergency response “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in frontline emergency response and when the CBMRT lost all of its equipment in the fire, both we and our partners were more than happy to step in,” said Chris Bye, President, Getac UK Ltd. Chris adds, “With the new rugged solutions in place, rescue teams have everything they need to communicate and coordinate effectively in the field, giving the best possible chance of success.”
An addressable fire system from Advanced has been chosen to protect an international school in Myanmar, thanks to its EN-54 approval and integrated false alarm management solution. The 2-loop Axis EN system was installed after the British International School Yangon specified an EN-54 approved system to protect facilities, including; classrooms, music studios, laboratories, libraries and its five-hundred seat theatre. False alarm management Authorized Advanced distributor, Technology Enabled Solutions (TES) Myanmar, was responsible for the programming and configuration of the fire system as well as integrating it with over 300 devices. As part of the project, TES Myanmar also configured the comprehensive false alarm management software, AlarmCalm. A key challenge for the school was to prevent false alarms that were a significant cause of disruption" Aung Myo Han, General Manager at TES Myanmar Co., Ltd, said: “A key challenge for the school was to prevent false alarms that were a significant cause of disruption for staff and pupils. As a false alarm management solution, the flexibility of AlarmCalm made cause-and-effect programming easy to set up and configure to the specific requirements of the building.” Best-In-Class Solution “Advanced’s quality, ease of installation and local technical support make it an obvious choice for installers, who specialize its solutions time and time again.” AlarmCalm software comes as standard with any Axis EN and MxPro 5 fire system, taking advantage of Advanced’s high-speed robust panels and networks to offer a best-in-class solution for managing verification and investigation delays to outputs. It allows the false alarm management strategy for a site to be refined precisely and to take account of occupants’ needs and area usage. It also includes the optional AlarmCalm button - a loop device that allows residents or trained staff to indicate whether they believe a signal in their area is due to a false alarm. Single-Panel installations Le Thanh Tin, Regional Sales Manager for South East Asia, said: “Our Axis EN system has been certified by FM Approvals to the EN-54 standard and is relied upon across the world to deliver superior protection to a wide range of sites, including educational facilities. These include single-panel installations in schools, through to multi-panel networks, securing numerous academic departments spread across vast university campuses.” AlarmCalm radically reduces these incidents and their impact and can be configured to all manner of sites" “The disruption and distress caused by false alarms has long been a major issue for the fire industry. AlarmCalm radically reduces these incidents and their impact and can be configured to all manner of sites.” Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects all manner of sites across South East Asia including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, University of Macau and Hong Kong Central Library. Intelligent fire systems Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Advanced is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease of use of its products see Advanced specified in locations all over 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.
This year, Rosenbauer will deliver a total of 15 aerial rescue devices of various kinds to different Australian fire service organizations. In addition to vehicles from the L32A-XS and B32 standard series, these will include hydraulic platforms with a working height of over 40 m and compact aerial ladders with a rescue height of 24 m. All aerial rescue devices have been constructed on Scania chassis (6x4 or 8x4) and designed as multi-function or First Attack vehicles, which - some with full firefighting equipment on board - are already equipped for every application: rescue, firefighting and technical assistance. Extensive water technology A completely new development is the L24C FA, deliveries of which to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Emergency Services Agency and to the Tasmania Fire Service are identical in construction. The C in the type designation stands for Compact, for two reasons: on the one hand, it has a pivot mounting that does not protrude beyond the vehicle contour when rotated 360°, while on the other the three-part ladder set is 120 mm lower than its four-part counterpart. This makes the L24C FA ideal for deployments in urban areas and in Australia's increasingly densely populated inner cities. It can also drive through lower restricted headroom areas and its full range of functions can be used in confined spaces. Another advantage of the compact pivot mounting is the possibility of installing extensive water technology without significantly increasing the vehicle's dimensions. Foam proportioning system Rosenbauer supplies multi-functional B42 2.0 hydraulic platforms to the ACT Emergency Services Agency Both aerial ladders are equipped with a pump, foam proportioning system, tanks for water (1,800 or 1,500 l) and foam compound (200 or 200+50 l), waterway (Telescopic Waterway System - TWS), cage monitor and fast attack. Rosenbauer supplies multi-functional B42 2.0 hydraulic platforms to the ACT Emergency Services Agency and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. The vehicles have a four-part ladder set with a one-piece cage boom, and reach a working height of 42 m. They can also be braced to a width of 7.75 m, which means that they can reach a throw range of over 30 m (extended reach). Risers for electricity (230/400 V), breathing air (4 bottles on the pivot mounting) and extinguishing agent (TWS) ensure that all media is available for all types of deployments in the rescue cage. The Queensland vehicles are also fitted with an on-board pump and tank. Corrosion-Resistant gunmetal design The hydraulic platform's rescue cage has a live load of 500 kg, can carry up to 5 people, and is equipped with a remote-controlled water turret, pressure outlets, a camera system (zoom and infrared camera) on the pan/tilt head and a high-voltage warning device. Automatic functions such as the Target Memory System (TMS) for repeating previously traveled routes, and the automatic retraction of the rescue cage (ARF) from positions with no line of sight make it easier to control the equipment. A rescue ladder attached to the arm set ensures the second escape route. In addition to the new hydraulic platforms, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have also put new aerial ladders into service. These are vehicles of the L32A-XS 3.0 P/FA type, with a firefighting pump with corrosion-resistant gunmetal design and foam proportioning system installed in the middle. Disaster protection organization In addition, QFES can rely on another 32,000 volunteers to fight bush and vegetation fires Tanks for 1,200 liters of water and 200 liters of foam compound are housed in the equipment compartments over the rear axle, with extinguishing agent being discharged either via pressure outlets or via a remote-controlled water turret mounted on the cage. The turret is connected directly to the pump via the TWS, which means that the FA ladders can immediately be put to use for extinguishing work, and can therefore be used as an initial attack vehicle. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is a broad-based fire service and disaster protection organization with around 2,200 ‘recruit firefighters’, comparable to European full-time emergency crews, and a further 2,000 volunteer firefighters (‘auxiliary firefighters’). In addition, QFES can rely on another 32,000 volunteers to fight bush and vegetation fires. Emergency crew members The operational area of the QFES covers 1.7 million km (about five times the size of Germany), inhabited by around 4.95 million people. The Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency is the emergency response organization for fire, rescue and disaster protection for the capital Canberra (around 416,000 inhabitants), and the capital territory (2,358 km). It has around 2,200 operational members, with a fire service composed of over 330 emergency crew members and a fleet of 35 vehicles. The Tasmania Fire Service is responsible for the island of the same name to the south of the Australian mainland, with an area of 68,400 km (main and secondary islands) and around 534,300 inhabitants. The fire service operates 230 fire stations, with only those in the cities of Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie being staffed around the clock. It has a total of 6,000 members, including around 250 professional and 4,800 volunteer firefighters.
Rajant and Dejero’s Technology Springs into Action in the Battle Against a 420-Acre Wildfire on the Santa Barbara County Coast. A wind-driven brush fire triggered evacuations after breaking out along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, California. On a sunny afternoon in mid-October 2019, the heat from the sun combined with winds gusting up to 40 mph through the quiet foothills of El Capitán Canyon, sparking a wind-whipped, vegetation brush fire in the overly dry desert hills. The blaze, dubbed the ‘Real Fire,’ quickly charred 420 acres while threatening more than 100 structures that sat along the Gaviota Coast before firefighters and emergency crews were aware of the fire and able to gain an upper hand on the wild blaze. Wind-Driven bush fire Coincidentally, Rajant and Dejero had just arrived in Santa Barbara for a demonstration with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Shortly after the fire broke out, word reached the emergency services and crews from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, and other agencies who immediately dispatched their teams to contain the blaze before it spread further. The climate in the canyon at the time of the blaze was considered ‘critical fire weather’ with its dangerously dry grass and wind gusts. These conditions only encouraged the wind-driven bush fire to spread swiftly through the foothills on the north side of Highway 101 near El Capitán State Beach, California and east over the ridge. A good stretch of the 101 Freeway had to be shut down immediately—in both directions—and Amtrak routes through the area were canceled. Total communications solution At the peak of the fire, helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts attacked the flames from the air with retardant and water drops Visitors at nearby ranches, campgrounds, beaches, and resorts were evacuated, and a warning was given to residents living in the nearby Dos Pueblos, Refugio, and Winchester Canyons. At the peak of the fire, helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts attacked the flames from the air with retardant and water drops, while dozens of engines, along with bulldozers and hand-crews, fought it from the ground. At about that same time the fire broke out, teams from Rajant and Dejero, along with subject matter expert Bruce Arvizu from the Department Homeland Security, had arrived in Santa Barbara. Together, they were prepared to deliver a live safety demo to the Santa Barbara County fire chief on how the companies can together provide the total communications solution. Improved spectrum efficiency The planned public safety demo was also to show how the blending of Rajant’s technology with Dejero Smart Blending Technology (SBT) eliminates drops and gaps—a solution comprised of mesh radio communications, blended cellular, and satellite technologies to bridge the communication gap in remote locations where signals are often weak or lost. While LTE networks provide high bandwidth, lower latency, and improved spectrum efficiency, LTE can also become spotty and drop signals in remote locations and other areas. Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology (SBT) fills in these gaps in the Wide Area Network by seamlessly blending any available LTE with SAT comms to guarantee a connection for the responding teams. Signal continuity becomes even more challenging in valleys, around mountains, and along coastlines, which becomes mission critical when emergency services are responding. Continuous and reliable connection More than 200 firefighters were on site fighting the fire with reinforcing containment lines of helicopters Rajant’s mesh radio technology bridges the gaps in these local areas. When the three technologies are used together, a continuous and reliable connection is provided, ensuring that communications between the responding agencies and their teams in the field are not lost. Meanwhile at the El Capitán canyon, more than 200 firefighters were on site fighting the fire with reinforcing containment lines of helicopters and drones in the air and 30-ton bulldozers on the ground cutting out ‘catlines’ and uprooting vegetation, thus eliminating the fire’s fuel. By plowing through the flames, brush, and trees with the dozers, the emergency crews saved valuable manpower and shortened the fire’s reach and life. When fighting fires with bulldozers, it is critical for the commander in control to receive data from each dozer to manage fighting the fire collectively as a team and to track each dozer individually. Critical local data Rajant and Dejero quickly proposed to the fire chief the benefits of their combined technology at a time of crisis and asked to allow Rajant and Dejero to modify their presentation from a demo to a real life exercise. “Our county firefighters are willing to do whatever it takes to get that job done. When we do our after-action review, the successes and failures always come out. And we like to capitalize on our successes.” said Daniel Bertucelli, County Fire Captain Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Rajant BreadCrumbs® can be mounted to the bulldozers so the critical local data could be transmitted while other situational data and mapping could be revived in the field. Dejero SBT would power the Microsoft Tactical Truck and provide the bridge from the field to the command post over cellular and SAT networks, during this actual emergency situation. Combined firefighting attacks More than 400 acres had burned with no structures damaged and no reported injuries Notably, the SAT comms on the vehicle was to be powered by Kymeta’s flat-panel dish technology, enabling true ‘comms on the move’ to best leverage Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh®. The updated mission was green lighted. On Friday morning, Rajant and Dejero meet with the fire squad at the command control center. Rajant BreadCrumbs and camera systems were mounted to dozers while the Microsoft mobile comms truck, with the Dejero GateWay on-board, maintained a close, but safe, proximity to the dozers to provide LTE. The firefighters manning the bulldozers were able to communicate in the valley when normally they could not. Data was sent from the bulldozers to the van to the internet where the command control center could receive the video feed. The real-life demo was a success. The combined firefighting attacks on the blaze gained the upper hand and went from a 20-percent containment on Thursday evening to 50-percent by Friday afternoon. By Monday, the Real Fire was 100% contained. More than 400 acres had burned with no structures damaged and no reported injuries. Evacuations were lifted for all areas.
Panattoni Park Nottingham is a landmark development for the UK’s pioneer speculative developer, Panattoni, comprising of three separate units that span 55 acres of prime location in Eastwood, Nottingham. As the developer of logistics solutions across Europe, Panattoni is experienced in delivering efficient buildings that support each individual client in achieving optimum operational productivity throughout each stage of the supply chain. As part of this commitment, Hörmann UK is its official supplier of loading bay solutions, recently installing over 100 loading bays along with a significant number of level access doors and fire exit doors at Panattoni Park Nottingham. Impressive warehousing proposition The 715,000 sq. ft. development features three warehouses that offer direct access to the M1 motorway, with one unit already taken by one the UK’s largest parcel delivery companies. Of the remaining two units, Nottingham550 is a 551,031 sq. ft. crossdocked warehouse, while Nottingham89 is a 89,073 sq. ft. warehouse. All three units are in an ideal location to serve the Midlands, the North and national markets. Nottingham550 offers an impressive warehousing proposition for Panattoni’s potential clients, designed as a crossdocked warehouse and distribution unit that allows for a separate goods in and goods out facility. The innovative design improves both the efficiency and output of the hub as the number of vehicles that can be loaded and unloaded is potentially doubled. 70 of Hörmann UK’s loading bays were installed throughout the warehouse, supported by eight additional double deck loading bays to further support Panattoni’s clients in maximizing operational output. Increased thermal efficiency The double deck dock shelters will enable clients to transport goods in and out of the warehouse Panattoni specified eight of Hörmann UK’s double deck dock shelters throughout the site in response to the continued increase for logistics companies to use vehicle fleets of various sizes to adequately meet customer demand. The double deck dock shelters will enable clients to transport goods in and out of the warehouse using larger double deck trucks, as well as standard sized heavy goods vehicles. For increased thermal efficiency, the double deck docks are fitted with secondary electric roller blind top flaps to provide an efficient seal on smaller vehicles when using the bay. The 70 standard deck loading bays were chosen to support Panattoni in providing its clients with a quality of product on which their business can depend, offering outstanding levels of quality and durability, whilst also featuring insulated sectional panels for an impressive Uvalue of 0.5/Wm².K. Comprehensive thermal efficiency The standard and double deck loading bays were installed with Hörmann UK’s telescopic lip dock levelers, featuring a 1metre lip to provide an optimal loading platform that offers precise bridging for a diverse range of vehicle types. The loading bays are also equipped with Hörmann UK’s LED external arrow traffic lights to signal to drivers when they can safely pull off from the bay, along with its LED trailer lights. Four Level Access Doors were also installed throughout the warehouse for enhanced functionality These light up the back of trailers when being loaded or unloaded, providing outstanding levels of safety for all individuals to deliver a first class service across all aspects of the supply chain operation. Four Level Access Doors were also installed throughout the warehouse for enhanced functionality, whilst also providing comprehensive thermal efficiency with a U-Value of 0.5/Wm².K due to its composite construction and insulated sectional panels. Enhanced force distribution The electronically operated doors are fitted with an anti-lift device and an interlocked heavy duty shoot bolt to provide first class security. 16 Fire Escape Doors were also supplied to provide clear fire escape throughout the warehouse. The second available unit, Nottingham89, is an industrial warehouse unit that reflects Panattoni’s continual investment in engineering improvement to provide a ‘best in class’ supply chain to its clients. As part of the development, nine of Hörmann UK’s single dock deck loading bays are installed throughout the warehouse. The loading bays are supplied with Hörmann UK’s hydraulic dock levelers with a hinged lip for an enhanced force distribution to facilitate quick and safe loading and unloading. One Level Access Door and seven Fire Exit Doors have also been specified throughout the site to offer potential clients the highest standard in warehousing solutions. Innovative loading solutions Developments such as Panattoni Park Nottingham are at the forefront of industry advancements" Fergie Taylor, Head of Development Delivery at Panattoni, said: “As one of the fastest growing developers in the world, we are committed to constructing the highest quality warehousing solutions for our clients. Panattoni Park Nottingham is a reflection of this as a standout development.” “Our impressive crossdocked site at Nottingham550 has been specifically designed to support potential clients in maximizing productivity and profits, whilst the double deck dock shelters reflect the current industry requirement for a wide range of delivery vehicle types. As our official supplier, Hörmann UK is dedicated to manufacturing and installing innovative loading solutions that ensure our clients operate safely, securely and efficiently.” Tom Langley, Projects Director at Hörmann UK, said: “Developments such as Panattoni Park Nottingham are at the forefront of industry advancements, utilizing and implementing a unique design that ensure each client’s operational output is maximized. We extremely proud to be an official partner of Panattoni, having delivered our loading solutions to six sites throughout 2019 already.”
Round table discussion
Equipment is an important element in fighting fires, and in keeping firefighters safe. But what new needs are driving the development of equipment? How can equipment expand its role in fighting fires, or in managing building occupancy and traffic flow for that matter? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in firefighting equipment?
When a fire or other emergency occurs in a building or facility, first responders depend on every available resource to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation and response. One element in any response plan is the facility’s physical security systems, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection. How can these systems contribute to an orderly response to a chaotic situation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of security systems in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation?