The largest mobile fire fighting system in the southern hemisphere is now installed at Caltex Oil Refinery, Lytton, Brisbane (Australia). Jose Sanchez de Muniain speaks with Ian Mortleman, Emergency Response Specialist.

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) issues safety alert following an explosion.

Figure 1A: bus fire during tests carried out for the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority. Picture by Jari Antinluoma, Composite Media AB.

New fuels are emerging to replace fossil fuels. The overall benefits are great, but with new technical developments new risks emerge. As a consequence of an accident that involved natural gas buses in Helsingborg, Sweden, SP Fire Technology, an international testing institute based in Sweden, performed evacuation tests where the driver was found to be the key factor, write Glenn Appel, Johan Lindström and Fredrik Rosén (SP).

Company ignored years of smaller, similar incidents in electric arc furnace, says CSB.

CSB technical report on Chevron 2012 pipe rupture and fire compiled in cooperation with California division of OSHA.

In September, at the end of his first day at La Boisselle WW1 tunnel site, where he’d been training archaeologists and a BBC film crew in the use of breathing apparatus, Kevin James stood under the shower and shook with emotion for five minutes.

Critical conclusions and recommendations published by the National Transportation Safety Board

Professor Ed Galea, University of Greenwich.

Did you know that only 38% of people register the presence of an emergency exit sign during an emergency evacuation? IFJ talks to Professor Ed Galea, evacuation modelling specialist at the University of Greenwich, about Project Getaway and the latest developments in evacuation.

The US-based Coalition for Responsible Fire Protection continues to make inroads since its inception around a year ago: a European chapter is planned and some tangible projects promise to define what being ‘green’ will mean in practice for the fire industry.

CSB held a public meeting November 16, 2011, in Gallatin, Tennessee, to release findings and draft recommendations into three combustible iron dust related accidents that occurred at the Hoeganaes Plant in 2011.

"Experimenting with danger" focusses on CSB case study on Texas Tech University accident; laboratory deaths at UCLA and Dartmouth 

Thousands of people attend the various football matches that take place each week across the length and breadth of the UK. As its popularity has increased, attendances have risen and today’s football stadiums are modern, comfortable spaces where people of all ages gather to support their teams.

The CareMalta Group is Malta's largest private care provider and operates six facilities across the island. The company employs a team of over 500 highly qualified personnel who are focused on providing quality care services and facilities management.

Investing in safety and security at Kotoka International Airport is paying off in many ways, writes Charles Hanson Adu. Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is principally managed by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), a progeny of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority of Ghana which now assumes regulatory function at KIA. The KIA is fast establishing itself as one of the busiest airports in West Africa.  It has one South-West/North-East runway (21/03) measuring 3,410 meters.

A safe outcome in High-rise response relies heavily on the fire resisting performance of interior compartments in tall buildings, writes Paul Grimwood, Principal Fire Safety Advisor for Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters who parachute into wildland fires may sound like something out of an action movie, but they exist. Special report from British Columbia by emergency planning consultant Paul Dixon.

The report by the US Chemical Safety Board cites a need for emergency drills and the following of pressure vessel codes.

The planned expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the largest and most prestigious hydraulic engineering projects in decades. With over $3.48 billion at stake, remote locations, and a frenetic 24/7 work schedule, the challenges for vehicle suppression specialists are considerable. We joined Ardent on the front line.

A smart solution that enables crews to respond to incidents with fewer people while saving time and money is now sweeping across Europe, reports Ann-Marie Knegt.

In today’s built environment, a compartment fire develops quickly. Synthetic materials used in furnishings and interior finish have a much higher heat of combustion and heat release rate than the natural materials found in the built environment of the 1950s and 1960s. When a compartment fire develops, buoyant, hot smoke and entrained air form a layer at the ceiling and begin to fill the compartment. As the depth of the layer increases, the hot smoke and air begins to flow out through the opening into adjacent compartments, writes Chief Edward E Hartin, (MS, EFO, MIFireE, CFO) of Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue in the State of Washington, US, and owner of CFBT-US, LLC, an international fire behaviour training and related consulting service.

In British Columbia, Canada’s Olympic province, the 2009 fire season surpassed 2003 as the worst fire season in recorded history, with more than 3,000 fires devouring 257,000 hectares, 40% of the Canadian total for the year. Other jurisdictions across the country experienced relatively few significant wildfires in 2009, allowing personnel, equipment and aircraft to be redeployed to BC. Paul Dixon, Emergency Planning Consultant, writes on lessons learned in 2009.

A single cubic foot of soil can weigh as much as 145 pounds and a typical cave-in can involve about 1.5 cubic yards of soil weighing approximately 4,000 pounds. After experiencing an increase in trench rescue operations, Chicago Fire Department came up with a world-class innovation that has considerably shortened rescue time: Ann Marie Knegt reports.

“Enough is enough” is most likely the reason why in the US it is forbidden to enter an unsecured trench or ditch, and there are strict regulations as a result of the deaths of many firefighters who perished while trying to save others. Although there are no current regulations in Europe, the same issues should be considered: Peter Schellekens from ResQtec takes a look at some of the basics.

Orcas Island – famous for whale spotting – needed a quick attack solution fleet of pumpers, but one that would comply with State Rating Bureau regulations. For two years Orcas Fire Departmentworked with Darley to find a solution and the unusual result is WASP, a new category of vehicle – the wildland attack structural protection vehicle.

At the end of April, just ten days after explosion and fire erupted on Deepwater Horizon, President Obama directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a thorough review of the event and to report, within 30 days, on what additional precautions and technologies, if any, might be required to improve the safety of oil and gas exploration and production operations on the outer continental shelf. This report has now been published and is likely to have significant repercussions for the long-term future of deepsea oil exploration.  

Common wisdom dictates that we do not take lifts (elevators) when evacuating buildings. However, a new ISO technical report reveals that lifts may be viable escape options, and provides a decision chart to help identify risks. 

The practice of using flammable natural gas to clean power plant piping, which led to the fatal explosion at Connecticut-based Kleen Energy on February 7, has been commonly used across the gas-fired power generating industry, US Chemical Safety Board investigators have said.

Study from FM Global and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition finds other environmental benefits too.

Where do responders turn to when they need immediate hazmat advice?

Jan Meertens, MD of the Netherlands-based International Centre for Emergency Techniques, highlights how the Sri Lankan Government has set up a genuinely integrated response system that can help save citizen’s lives in case of major international disasters.

The world’s leading authority on industrial rope access has published a freely downloadable code of practice for rope access.

BAA, the largest civil aviation firefighting service in the UK, is breaking new ground by becoming an accredited NVQ training provider for its management-level firefighters – and that’s just for starters. Industrial Fire Journal speaks with Chief Gary Moorshead about the challenges facing aviation emergency responders.   

Dennis Lim, Senior Airport Emergency Officer, writes on Changi Airport Group’s ARFF training approach.   

Industrial Fire Journal visits the UK’s Royal Air Force Fire Service at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre (DFTDC) Manston in Kent, to find out first hand what it takes to be a firefighter in some of the most challenging environments in the world – including battlefields.   

Aircraft rescue and firefighting requires the best foam available: AFFF.  Tom Cortina, Executive Director, Fire Fighting Foam Coalition, explains why. 

The main purpose of this study is to develop operational procedures for fire brigades in road tunnels. Although much progress has been achieved in various fields of fire safety in tunnels, very little attention has been paid specifically to firefighting in tunnels. 

The fourth northern hemisphere Tangent Link Aerial Firefighting Conference, held at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in the Winter Olympic city of Vancouver proved an attractive venue for North American Firefighters. Delegates attended also from Japan, Russia, Australia and four European countries, however the preponderance of 'in country' delegates reinforces the community demand for an annual conference on each side of the Atlantic. The Sheraton readily accommodated the close on 200 delegates and a record attendance of exhibitors who commented that these events are the only place where they can guarantee to meet everyone they wish to and that they prove beneficial in business terms. Dennis Brown, the Director of the Canadian Inter-Agency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) welcomed everyone to the Conference.

The major renovation and upgrade of the vast Sportpaleis Ahoy exhibition centre in Rotterdam provides an excellent example of how to overcome the problem of de-activated fire alarms whilst building work is underway - Tag Guard’s new Fire Alert provided the ideal solution.

John Frame has created and delivered LNG Fire Response training courses and also produced the original book LNG Fire Protection & Emergency Response, available from the IChemE.

The impact of the use of AFFF and AR-AFFF foam as an extinguishing agent worldwide cannot be underemphasised – but how do different countries approach its usage, and do viewpoints vary from country to country? Is the global community of firefighters singing from the same hymn sheet?

With all the attention focused on tunnel fire prevention and firefighting, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that if fewer vehicles caught fire, the problem would be greatly diminished. Nick Grant, EMEA Vice President and General Manager of Firetrace International, explains. 

Fire safety engineering is a bit of a misfit subject, fitting uneasily within the realms of engineering and technology. It cannot be pigeon holed as a pure engineering discipline as it incorporates a range of subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry and even psychology. It also utilizes principles from civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, writes the author of the British Standard Specification PAS 911, Paul Bryant.

The Health and Safety Executive has published a report that outlines the causes and consequences of catastrophic tank failure and examines the efficacy of bund overtopping prediction models such as SPLOT (SPreading Liquid Over Terrain), OVERTOP and LSMS.

John Campbell of Stena Drillmax writes about the unprecedented ongoing assessment of the emergency response capabilities in all semi-submersible drilling units and drill ships of Stena Drilling Ltd.

Eurotunnel, the operator of the world’s longest undersea tunnel and one of its busiest rail routes, has chosen Sepura’s new STP8000 hand-held TETRA radio for its communications in emergency operations.

Jo Bird has long been recognised as a leading manufacturer of GRP storage cabinets for firefighting and lifesaving equipment in some of the most inhospitable climates in the world. The company’s latest order involves 24 insulated and heated cabinets that will house hydrants at the monumental Kashagan oil project in Kazakhstan. IFJ visited Jo Bird to find out more

Increasingly CCTV-based video smoke detection (VSD) is being relied upon in today’s power stations, including seven that are operated by the Irish Republic’s main generating company ESB, keeping a watchful eye on turbine halls. Ian Moore, MD of D-Tec, explains more.

George Privalov and James A Lynch of axonX introduce video image fire and smoke detection (VID) technology as it applies to industrial applications; present three case studies of companies who have successfully implemented the technology; and highlight the advantages and limitations of the system in each installation.

Thermal imaging cameras are increasingly finding their way into airport firefighting brigades where their applications are numerous, as Biggin Hill found out.

Gerald M Dworkin of Lifesaving Resources explains NFPA 1670 and the importance of PPE in the context of the Fire Department of Keene City, New Hampshire.

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Company Profiles

DuPont™ Nomex®; Proven heat stress protection for firefighters

DuPont is the inventor and the world’s largest producer of high-performance materials and solutions with leading world brands such as DuPont™ Nomex®, Kevlar®, Teflon® and Tyvek®, providing personal protection, be it thermal, mechanical or chemical, to over 90 countries.

Solberg – the new standard in firefighting foam

Solberg is the one-stop resource for firefighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware. With our unique offering of environmentally sustainable fluorosurfactant and fluoropolymer-free foam concentrates, and traditional firefighting foam concentrates, Solberg leads the industry in firefighting foam innovation.

Holmatro - Mastering Power

Holmatro Rescue Equipment develops, manufactures, sells and services high-pressure hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical rescue equipment. With a comprehensive dealer network on all continents, manufacturing plants in the Netherlands (head office) and USA, and sales offices in China and UK, we supply our products and services to fire and rescue organizations all over the world.

Dr Sthamer - Hamburg: foam fights fire

Dr Sthamer – Hamburg, has been developing and manufacturing state-of-the art firefighting foams since the 1920’s. Having been founded in 1886 by Dr Richard Sthamer, we are still proudly owned and managed by the Sthamer family. Our base is still at the original site where we started in, on the banks of the Bille River in Hamburg Germany.

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