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Cyanide in house fires – be aware

Atmospheric monitoring study reveals dangerous levels of cyanide in house fire smoke – by Nic Lacey, Crew Commander at the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, UK.

Video: Positive Pressure Attack

In this video crews initiate PPA by first taking ample exhaust where the fire is already exhausting. Observe the area at the attack entrance above the cone of air from the fan. This area is called the barometer of interior conditions. If this area does not clear of thick smoke or flame the fire and building circumstances does not support safe PPA. If this area clears attack crews have enough exhaust to safely use PPA and make there way to the fire area with little smoke impeding their progress.

Push me pull you

Ziegler Croatia, Daughter Company of German Ziegler has recently delivered a new vehicle specifically built for tunnel evacuation. The new truck was specifically built upon the request of the BINA Istra Fire Department in Croatia, writes Sinisa Jembrih, from Zagreb Fire Department, Croatia

“Merkur” Tunnel rescue vehicle, the world premiere with two heads

The world’s first electric drive tunnel rescue vehicle “Merkur” with two driver cabs has now been officially launched. Firefighter from all over the world experienced the “Merkur” live during a simulated fire rescue in the Croatian Ucka Tunnel on Friday the 29th of June.

Spanish firefighting in focus

The Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME – Military Emergency Unit) was created to support civilian emergency services in extreme cases and it has proved itself time and time again against a backdrop of a civilian service paralised by unique working conditions – but could it be under threat? George Potter reports from Spain.

Rihanna evacuated from hotel after fire in lift shaft

Pop superstar Rihanna was one of 300 guests evacuated from a hotel on Whitehall Place, SW1 after a small fire in a lift shaft. 

Guidance for aircraft incidents for municipal firefighters

F&R provides a rare glimpse into how West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service District Commander Peter Martin put together Fire and Rescue Service Operational Guidance - Aircraft Incidents: a document that had not been updated for over a decade.

Going inside – strategies to eliminate risk during interior firefighting operations

Paul Grimwood highlights the risk factors that impact on survivability during interior firefighting operations. When firefighters are deployed to the interior of a fire involved building for fire attack, search and rescue operations or as support to crews working ahead or above them, there are several risk critical factors that may impact upon their ability to survive such a hostile environment

Facing new extrication challenges – new vehicle technology (NVT)

New vehicle technology (NVT) can seem intimidating, since not all rescuers can afford the latest tools with extra cutting performance. Aaron Heller, Fire Captain of the Hamilton Township Fire District #9 and co-owner of On Scene Training Associates, emphasizes that NVT is in no way insurmountable with a basic set of rescue equipment, and the right extrication procedures and strategies.

Exercise Shannon - exclusive preview

A major UK multiagency exercise is to take place in the south coast home of multiple top tier COMAH sites on 4-5 May.

Risk aversion in the fire service: report released today

The 2008 Galston Mine Incident report provides an independent assessment of the circumstances surrounding the death of Alison Hume who fell down a disused mine shaft in Galston on 26 July 2008.

ARFF and the control and rescue gap: why risk assessment is not risk aversion

Aviation rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) is characterised by a different timescale and set of priorities to normal civilian fire fighting. Time is of the essence. It is essential to minimise the delay between controlling the fire and carrying out any rescue of passengers and crew. The overall operational window is short by other fire fighting standards, writes Roger Klein.

Israeli Fire Service integrates 26 new Ziegler trucks into its fleet

During a festive ceremony the Israeli Fire Brigade officially incorporated 26 new Ziegler water/foam tenders Type TLF 20/30-3 into its fleet.

Break and enter – fire services switch to tactical forcible entry tools

Modern buildings are designed to keep people out – making the job harder for the fire service to get in. Luckily, manufacturers are coming to the rescue by launching dedicated tool sets that open doors and break locks with accuracy.   

Game changers in ARFF technology

Ann-Marie Knegt visits the Royal Dutch Air force Training Academy to see a newhigh-tech ARFF vehicle that could influence future ICAO and NATO standards.

FEMA: breaking the repetitive disaster damage scenario

FEMA/Commonwealth share costs of steps taken during rebuilding that will lessen impact of future disasters

Department of Homeland Security (US): 2012 preparedness grants for major disasters

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has posted FY 2012 grant guidance and application kits for seven DHS preparedness grant programs totalLing over $1.3 billion.

Increasing efficiency – the case for rapid response vehicles

Through effective vehicle conversions, fire services can allocate resource dependent on the task and rationalise their operations.  Andy Harris, specialist vehicle sales manager at UK company Bott, explains how.

Fire fighting machines

Remote controlled vehicles have now attended over 50 UK hazardous materials incidents in the last five years, writes QnetiQ Senior Project Engineer and Technical Lead for Project GHOST, Kenneth A Pink.

New nozzle hose solution saves time and manpower during response

Fire brigadier Herbert Fettweis of Duesseldorf, Germany has developed the new ICONOS nozzle hose for safe and cost effective firefighting of waste dump fires, and wildfires. Herbert designed the hose because in his experience valuable manpower was often wasted during these types of incidents, where people were just simply standing somewhere while pouring water down on the same spot. 

New rescue pumper for South Australia County Fire Service

Fraser Engineering, based in New Zealand, has recently delivered a new rescue pumper to the South Australia County Fire Service. The vehicle is now operational in Morphett Vale, located in the suburbs of Adelaide, and is based on a CFS Iveco Eurocargo Pumper.

Firefighters urge caution during ‘severe cold weather’

‘We’ve recently heard of people putting heaters and hairdryers in their beds to stay warm and this is a disaster waiting to happen” – Dave Brown, Assistant Commissioner for Operations and Mobilising, London Fire Brigade.

Melting SCBA facepiece lenses

NIST releases report into ‘what is often considered the weakest component of a firefighter’s ensemble in high heat conditions.’

Fire Protection Research Foundation publishes report on CAFS

‘Capabilities and limitations of compressed air foam systems (CAFS) for structural firefighting’ includes a summary of a workshop held in December at the Montgomery County Public Service Training Academy, Rockville (MD).

CSB recommendations from propane explosion result in life-saving change

Statement by Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso marks five-year anniversary of the tragedy that claimed the lives of two responders and two propane technicians (safety video also available).

Merino wool makes a comeback in the firefighting industry

For centuries wool had been the fibre of choice for clothing worn by soldiers, police, firemen and search and rescue teams because of wools natural protective properties and its versatility over a wide range of extreme environments but over recent years these benefits have been forgotten, that is until now.

Hong Kong takes delivery of a specially adapted aerial ladder platform with crane

Italian-based company, CTE has delivered a new aerial ladder vehicle that also carries an Effer crane to Hong Kong Fire Brigade.

IFRM appoints new advisory board

The International Fire Relief Mission recently named five fire-industry professionals from various disciplines to serve three-year terms on its advisory board. The board members will help IFRM achieve its goal of improving firefighter safety by providing donated fire and EMS equipment to firefighters in developing countries. The new advisory board members are Robb Chapman, William “Jim” Dunn, Jennifer Jesty, Wayne Martin, and Christina Spoons.

Australian foam forum – a point of view

Mike Willson of Willson Consulting (Australia) attended the 1st National Foam Forum & Workshop in Adelaide. He outlines his reactions to some of the many issues raised during the conference.

AviAssist Foundation completes first training at Kilimanjaro Airport

The AviAssist Foundation, the charity that aims to educate and train African firefighters in ARFF, has completed its first annual airport rescue and fire fighting training in Africa. Firefifghters from two African countries participated in this practical training at our partner host airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.

Case study: volume pumping pioneers

Former Chief fire officer Jacques Baudewijn was one of the first in Belgium to pioneer the use of high volume pumps.

Know your PPE?

There is much information on clothing for firefighters but sadly much of it is neither accurate nor even useful, says Ian Moses: the bottom line is that it’s all about protection.

Clear-cut response

Compartment fires present a range of risks to the firefighter. The dangers of the combustion gases, radiant heat and explosions are but some of the deadly hazards faced by responders. Nowhere is this more apparent than onboard a ship, and in particular on a Corvette, as built for the Swedish Navy for surface to surface warfare, mine countermeasures (MCM) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Ann-Marie Knegt reports on a versatile extinguishing system that is enhancing safety and fire response for Sweden’s Navy.

Emergency response for an aerotropolis city

The city of Ekurhuleni in the East Rand region of Gauteng, South Africa, is preparing to reposition itself as an aerotropolis city – Chief Fire Officer Joe Makhubalo explains what this means for his fire service.

Australian Aerial Firefighting Conference – Chairman’s report

The second Australian Aerial Firefighting conference was held in Melbourne Victoria on 25 August 2011 with a focus on best practice approaches to aerial firefighting, writes David Cant, Manager Aviation Services, South Australian Country Fire Service.

Chemical fire at Magnablend Inc forces evacuation - fire truck engulfed

A large fire at a chemical plant south of Dallas sent an enormous plume of smoke into the air and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in the city of Waxahachie.

North Sea platform concerns over coastguard cuts in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Proposals set out to cut the number of MCA staff and further plans suggest any key incident involving any North Sea oil platforms would be managed by senior MCA officers in the Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) that will be based nearly 400 miles away the Southampton/Portsmouth area.

CTE Lift supplies the first ever aerial ladder vehicle to Uzbekistan

Italian manufacturer of aerial truck mounted platforms, CTE Lift SpA is delivering its new B-FIRE 450 system mounted on a Tital firefighting vehicle. The telescopic boom is 45 metres high and can carry 450kg of payload in its basket, meaning it can carry four people carrying full PPE and additional equipment.

Cab stabilisation and driver’s seat management techniques

In this series concentrating on rescue techniques involving large goods vehicles/public service vehicles, Gareth Lloyd from UKRO (United Kingdom Rescue Organisation) looks at cab stabilisation and driver's seats.

Pioneering course to manage passenger transport emergency incidents

A unique new course to equip passenger transport and emergency professionals with the skills to deal with major incidents is being launched by the University of Wolverhampton in the UK.

Flood report makes waves

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers capture the world's first real-time data of a major flood event in an urban area.

New Rosenbauer truck designed for air transport

Rosenbauer launches a new air transportable response vehicle with off road capability for crisis response operations.

Life in the hot seat – Rita Dexter from the London Fire Brigade in profile

With a background in local government management, Rita Dexter is now the most senior women in the world’s largest fire and rescue service. Michael Burton talks to her about a career that began in Birmingham at the age of 16.

ETANKFIRE - Ethanol Tank Fire Fighting project

The use of ethanol is increasing rapidly worldwide and consequently the importance of appropriate ethanol production, handling, and storage operations is increasing as well. The ETANKFIRE project will provide a platform of knowledge ensuring proper investment in the fire protection of ethanol storage facilities. A full report on the recent ETANKFiRE Conference will be available in the next issue of Fire and Rescue magazine.

City of Mesa orders four Pierce Manufacturing Quantum aerial platforms

Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation company, has announced that it has received an order for three Quantum pumper vehicles and one Quantum aerial platform from the Mesa Fire Department in Mesa, Ariz. The Mesa Fire Department’s front line apparatus fleet will grow to include 33 Quantum pumpers and five Quantum aerials. The vehicles will be delivered beginning in January 2012.

How Missouri SAR teams dealt with the aftermath of Joplin Tornado - includes video

The weekend of May 22nd, 2011 proved to be an unusually busy and challenging for the rescue response resources in the State of Missouri, writes Tim Dorsey, Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Training West County EMS and Fire Protection District. 

International wildfire response agreement signed between @fire and Portugese town

@fire International, a disaster response agency based in Osnabruck in Germany, has signed an agreement to help protect the town of Villa Real in Northern Portugal against the constant threat of wildfires in the area.

Fire departments across Europe win free smoke generators

A leading manufacturer of fire and safety training tools has delivered next-generation redesigned smoke generators to competition winners.

FSA holds another successful wildland fire school

Many areas in the world are currently being devastated by record breaking wildland fires this season. To enable firefighters to respond to these fire, the University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy (FSA) hosted the BLM Rookie School and Wildland Fire Academy from June 5t-10, 2011.

ARFF training in Northumberland

Firefighters from Northumberland have demonstrated the benefits of a new training facility at Newcastle Airport.