The chance to extinguish conflagrations on a refinery replica with live fires are few and far between for many firefighters. However, the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a member of The Texas A&M University System, recently turned one of its fire training props into the most in-depth chemical complex emergency replication scenes available today.

NEW SOUTH WALES FIRE BRIGADE: The NSW Fire Brigade has three specialist Hazardous Materials Response Units operating from Sydney (Greenacre), Newcastle and Shellharbour. They have advanced capabilities in detection of toxic industrial chemicals, volatile substances and chemical warfare agents.

A definition of a competent person is someone who “having regard to the task that he or she is required to perform, and taking account of the size and/or hazards of the undertaking or establishment in which he or she undertakes work, he or she possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work to be undertaken.”

Class B foams are used to fight fires involving liquid hydrocarbon fuels and may also need to be alcohol-resistant (AR) for polar solvents, such as methanol or MEK. Aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) containing fluorosurfactants revolutionised this area of fire service operations when they were first introduced in the 1960s.

Thomas Peter, Deputy Chief, Field Co-ordination Support Section of the Emergency Services Branch for OCHA (Office of the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs) of the United Nations in Geneva, feels that very many countries that are affected by a disaster do not know what rescue teams can deliver, a problem made worse by language issues. It is his task on a daily basis to combat this problem and find solutions acceptable to every party involved.

A magnet for climber and trippers alike, the Mount Shasta wilderness area in Northern California, USA, serves a perfect example of a location where people often get into trouble. Greg Emere talks to F&R about some classic incidents which have occurred there.

Foam manufacturers have developed fluorosurfactant-free foams (FSFF) that have no long term detrimental environmental impact. There are numerous areas of application for this type of product, in particular with the European fire and rescue services.

Bjorn Geeves is the CEO of Verfification Institute Ltd. previously IMI-International Measuring Institute, a certified statutory service supplier specialised in on-site inspection and measurements of Low Location Lighting (LLL) systems onboard ship. Before the IS0 15370 for LLL systems went into action, ship operators had to comply with the IMO Res. A.752(18), which is part of the SOLAS regulations.

An important element of the Buncefield industrial response was Lindsey Oil Refinery’s EV2 foam tender holding 11,000 litres of foam liquid. It carried two Knowsley dual-geared monitors which provided an output of 3,600 lpm from a foam branchpipe. They played an essential role in actively ‘knocking down’ some of the oil fires and creating strategic gaps for other fire teams to enter the area.

The Europe, Africa and Middle East Manager for Williams Fire & Hazard Control Inc, one of the world’s leading industrial firefighting companies, Kelvin Hardingham told IFJ:

Almost four months ago, the fuels depots at Buncefield near Hemel Hempstead represented the UK’s fifth largest fuel distribution centres, used by BP, BPA and HOSL ( a joint venture between Total and Texaco. On December 11th, 2005, a severe explosion led to the loss of around 7.7 million gallons of oil, motor spirit and aviation fuel.

TETRA, or Terrestrial Trunked Radio, is currently being introduced across the UK and the Channel Islands to replace current analogue radio systems. F&R considers the implications of this development.

The release of people from collapsed structures is heavily dependent on the organisation at the disaster scene. Ann-Marie Knegt discussed the issues USAR teams face with OCHA’s rescue expert Chief Thomas Peter and Dutch USAR team leader Rob Brons in the light of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

Cumbrian firefighters avert city tragedy.

Firefighters are expected to be brave and resourceful in the face of adversity. In this most unusual fire, Carlisle’s city firefighters have all won commendations for exceptional work. 10 members of Carlisle Fire Brigade commended for bravery last month.

In a newsletter published in October 2006 from an American special interest group of foam manufacturers, the aquatic toxicity of firefighting foams is discussed.

There should be no doubts that the blasts and fires at the Buncefield oil terminal, just outside Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on the 11th December 2005 will be discussed and the outcomes debated for many years to come.

With the emergence of a new Class ‘B’ foam technology it is time for the industrial firefighting industry to examine the benefits of this technology,  Solberg Scandinavian AS has been involved with the manufacture of fire-fighting foams since the 1980s.

It was five years ago that 3M announced (May 2000, shortly before InterSchutz 2000) that the company was withdrawing from fluorosurfactant manufacture using perfluorooctanyl sulphonate (PFOS) chemistry.

The recent DDA and EN54 directive has once again placed emphasis on the importance of ensuring safety and warning systems are up to standard.  Not only that, but there is also now a need for companies to install more versatile systems that can cater for both the visually and audibly impaired.

Halon 1301 and Halon 1211 were once regarded as the ‘wonder remedy’ when they were introduced in the 1960s. They were ‘clean agents’ which did not leave any corrosive or abrasive residues after use, unlike water, dry chemicals and foams which were associated with secondary non-fire damage.

The peace of a quiet morning on Sunday, December 11th, 2005, was shattered by a series of explosions at Buncefield, an oil depot  located just north of London - initiating the biggest fire of its type seen in Europe since 1945.

After the disaster in New Orleans the emergency services -with the co-operation of the military- had to pump 250 billion gallons out of the city. Clearly, a disaster like this only serves to underscore the importance of having the right pump for the right job, argues Pete Perkins.

Hurricane Katrina and its effect on the Gulf Coast is now widely regarded as one of the worst disasters ever to have struck the United States, not least because of the great confusion about what actually was going on. F&R’s Ann-Marie Knegt talked to Brian Inglis, Taskforce leader of the Vancouver US&R Team.

Industry must still brace itself for the two months remaining of the 2005 Hurricane Season - but it has already been one of the most memorable and costliest years in living memory.

  • Operation Florian

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Company Profiles

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

Calendar

  • 18 April, 2018, 9:00 - 19 April, 2018eRIC