Who says PPE developments are few and far between? Today’s revelations include a truly ‘green’, Proban-treated FR garment, and the first non-gold PBI fibre outfit.

What does Robocop have in common with the average firefighter? At the moment not much, you might think, but if the cool gadgets currently being developed and trialled by the Paris Fire Brigade are anything to go by, then the firefighter of the future is going to be so technologically equipped that he’d make James Bond look like a kid with a leaky water pistol. Unlike Robocop, however, the firefighter will still look human and so will still be able to interact with people in distress.

Draeger Safety has been active in the industry since 1889. Since that time the company has built up considerable expertise with gas detection equipment and its installation. IFJ spoke to Ian White, Draeger’s UK product manager for fixed and portable gas detection and Jon Shine, the UK Sales manager.

The latest newly developed cabin extension  development from Netherlands-based Plastisol is designed for the Mercedes-Benz Econic. This vehicle is mainly used for specialised municipal purposes like crush-load lorries and ladder trucks.

MEDC has been designing and manufacturing alarm, signal, control and communications equipment since 1975. Over the years the company has specialised in a range of products designed for harsh environments and where there is a risk of explosion due to the presence of flammable atmospheres both offshore and onshore.

Comments Andy Shiner: “While water mist systems have been used for some time in industrial and certain types of commercial premises - and are also increasingly being used in maritime applications, the significant contribution they can make to fire safety is still not fully appreciated.”

There is a great debate raging worldwide over nozzles and application of water in the fire rooms.  What seems to be the best balance for interior structural fire attack is a solid bore nozzle or a combination nozzle always operated on straight stream. A 15/16th-inch solid bore nozzle will discharge 180 gpm onto the fire at 50 psi nozzle pressure assuming the water supply is adequate.

A good hose should be strong but flexible, resistant to both pressure and punctures and preferably lightweight.

Powered hydraulic tools have effectively revolutionised the process of penetrating aircraft fuselages in recent years. Energised by hydraulic fluid supplied through special hoses from a pump - although there are a few pumps which are operated by compressed air - most are powered by electric motors, petrol-powered motors or water pressure.

“Our ultra-compact positive pressure ventilation (PPV) smoke ventilator from French company Groupe Leader, the MT236 has the best airflow/size ratio on the market. Already the leader in its category in Europe, the MT 236 has become an essential tool for firefighters,” says Severine Badmington of Groupe Leader.

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.

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.”

Safety Managers in high-risk locations have wide-ranging responsibilities,” points out Steve Taylor. “In relation to fire protection, they need to understand not only the principles and technologies associated with fire detection, explosion protection and fire extinguishing, but also the vital role that portable fire extinguishers continue to play in preventing a ‘small’ fire from becoming a major conflagration.

President of Durasystems Barriers Inc, Craig Pickering, definitely feels his company has the answer to fire  blast resistance problems with a material called DuraSteel. He spoke to Aidan Turnbull while exhibiting this key product at the NFPA Show in Orlando, Florida in June:

Brian Cummins is the MD of Proline, a company which has developed its UK manufactured range of FM-approved and UL listed linear detection cables, accessories -including optional interface units - which can be simply integrated with all central fire alarm control panels and building management systems.

In use for well over a century now, sprinklers are required in all new highrise and underground buildings generally 75 feet (23 m) above or below fire department access, where the ability of firefighters to provide adequate hose streams to fires is limited.

Whichever way you look at it, the A380 is huge. The structural dimensions surpass those of all previous commercial aircraft. With two levels inside, the wide-bodied aircraft can accommodate an incredible 555 passengers in the standard seating configuration.

It was fortunate that no-one died when a similar accident happened to an American Trans Air DC-10 on the ground in Chicago in 1986, but the fact is that this hazmat lesson clearly wasn’t learned.

After an exhaustive market survey and technical evaluation, the Italian National Fire Administration has finally taken delivery of the first of four shipboard fire simulators supplied by Kidde Fire Trainers.  The simulators replicate the major challenges experienced in fighting shipboard fires in a safe and environmentally-sound manner. 

Question from an
industrial firefighter
Question: I heard that toxic gases and vapours from hazardous materials can get inside a self-contained breathing apparatus facepiece, even if you have a good seal between the mask and your face - is this true?

  • Operation Florian

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