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Port Authority training exercise focuses on opening of the 9/11 Memorial

The PATH train station located below One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial were the focus of a simulated crisis last week at TEEX’s Emergency Operations Training Center (EOTC). 

$10.8 million contract signed for Security Training Program in Abu Dhabi

TEEX Public Safety & Security (PS&S) has signed a $10.8 million contract with Power Training of the United Arab Emirates to provide a Security Training Program (STP) to members of the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA) in Abu Dhabi.

New training facility opens in Dordrecht

Haagen recently completed construction of a full-scale industrial emergency training facility in Dordrecht, The Netherlands. The result is a multi-scenario training complex that incorporates industrial, petrochemical, and commercial fire simulations to provide intensely realistic hands-on training for both industrial and municipal fire brigades.

FIA announces training programme for 2011

The UK's Fire Industry Association (FIA) has announced its training programme for 2011, providing a wide range of courses to offer those working within the many areas of fire safety with the knowledge and the practical skills to ensure they are up to date with all the latest industry developments.

SOP for high-rise response

What elements are essential to successfully position an aerial ladder vehicle? That is the main question that two professional firefighters from Germany – Jan Ole Unger (Feuerwehr Hamburg) and Nils Beneke (Feuerwehr Hannover) – were looking to answer in their search for a simple and secure way of operating turntable ladder and hydraulic aerial platform vehicles. And it looks like they’ve found a solution, reports Ann-Marie Knegt.

Reviving old techniques

With an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads and the increasing focus for vehicle rescues by the fire and rescue services, the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation revisits an old technique that could provide the answer to problems facing crews dealing with modern-day vehicles.

Exercise Orion - snapshots of a disaster

Held from September 7-9, 2010, Exercise Orion was the largest civil resilience exercise ever to be held in Europe, with participating teams from the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UAE. All teams took part in this multi-agency disaster exercise to test the capabilities and resilience of the European Civil Response Mechanism. Ann-Marie Knegt reports from the scene.

Sharing ideas - saving lives

A large delegation of senior fire and rescue officials from the UK was invited to Charlotte (North Carolina) for a week-long master class in water rescue, writes David Lane, a fire, water and marine safety consultant, and former senior UK fire officer. This masterclass is one of a series facilitated over some years with the UK’s Chief Fire Officers Association, working with fire and emergency management professionals from the US, with the aim of developing flood response and major incident management principles.

Compartment firefighting: carbonaceous or LPG systems?

Compartment firefighting is one of the most challenging and dangerous aspects of modern firefighting. Training for such environments often involves exposure to conditions and risks that have to be carefully controlled whilst preparing firefighters for the conditions they will experience at incidents. Gary Fleming, an expert in compartment firefighting, weighs the pros and cons of the two primary methods of training.

Master class in rescue action!

Another all-action Master Class is being held in Charlotte, NC (USA), October 2-9 this year, where we always receive the warmest of welcomes from Charlotte FD Chief Jon Hannan and Charlotte CityManager Kurt Walton, writes David Lane of fire, water rescue and marine safety consultants Lane, Jefferies & Associates.

ADMS trains Miami International Airport's ARFF drivers

Using ADMS HRET (High Reach Extendable Turret) simulator, ETC staff have trained 10 ARFF (Airport Rescue Fire Fighting) drivers on the vehicle operation of an ARFF truck including HRET at Miami International Airport's (MIA) fire department.

An alternative approach

In this issue’s comment, UKRO (UK Rescue Organisation) looks at a suggested alternative technique that could be utilised when dealing with RTC’s, and aims to provide guidance to considerations that should be made in relation to hazards and risk management.

Making the best of HVP assets

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in the south of England organised Specialist Response Week in September 2009, which responders from the UK and Europe attended to take advantage of a multitude of practical workshops in different disciplines.

How to: apply glass management film during vehicle extrication

Packexe SMASH, a new innovation in time critical glass management, secures glass for controlled vehicle extrication. The self-adhesive film holds glass fragments in place, protecting both the casualty and rescue teams from further injury.

Rob Lane, General Manager Kidde Fire Trainers; Jörg Winkler, Director Sales Europe Kidde Fire Trainers; Ziad Al-Roshood, President FSA-KSA; James Jordano, VP Global Fire Products UTC Fire & Security
Kidde Fire Trainers to support new training facility in Saudi Arabia

Fire Science Academy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (FSA-KSA) signs Memorandum of Understanding with Kidde Fire Trainers for the support in developing a Fire Training Facility in Jubail.

Certification-based tank fire training course at TEEX

Emergencies dealing with tank fires are a stressful time for everyone involved, including the owner of the facility and surrounding communities. Although this is an infrequent occurrence for most fire chiefs, just one event is enough to leave a lasting impression, writes Gordon Lohmeyer, Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Private Sector Program Director.

Foam training for industry

Industrial fire brigades need to be trained in the use of Class B foam for hydrocarbon-type fires as well as alcohol-resistant variants, writes Dr Roger Klein.

Shoot the lance safely

Simulator training for the use of high reach extendable turrets is soon to be available for Rosenbauer vehicles.

Kuwaitis train on Bristol’s fire rig

F&R reports from Bristol International Airport’s fire ground where a team of airport fire officers prepared a range of fire scenarios for the Kuwait Fire Service Department (KFSD) team on the Boeing 767-size fire rig.

New York to the last detail

Advanced simulation software will be used by the City of New York to train for large-scale incidents.

Blue light training on CCTV

A growing number of fire and rescue services are now unlocking the benefits of in-vehicle CCTV as an integral part of safety-critical blue light training, writes Jeremy Coleman, Sales Manager, Traffic Safety Systems (TSS).

Foam training is crucial

Training with foam is a crucial part of a modern firefighter’s array of tools and one that should not be neglected, explains Luc Jacobs of Solberg Foam.

A BTR response for all


Groningen Airport Eelde’s fire service in the north of the Netherlands has implemented a new way of responding to incidents which gains precious seconds for responders – Basic Tactical Reponse (BTR).

Fighting the bush fire war

Experience from major emergencies around the world, including the recent bushfires in Australia, reconfirms the need for applying distributed C4I (Command, Control, Communications Computing and Information) technologies for managing large scale fire and multi-agency events. Stephen Prendergast of VectorCommand looks at the development of the Command Support System (CSS), an advanced interoperable, distributed C4I system being developed by his company for the London Fire Brigade and a growing number of UK, Australian, international fire services and emergency agencies.

Evaluating competence

At the cutting-edge of industrial fire training a systematic approach and some world-class facilities are required. With 35,000 students per year going through Falck Risc’s gates in Rotterdam, it must be doing something.

A multidisciplinarian platform

Last year the Rotterdam-based company VSTEP successfully launched a new training tool called RescueSim IIM (Industrial Incident Management). This is a virtual scenario based training tool, which enables industrial response teams to exercise in a virtual environment, saving cost and reducing hazards.

HOTA tips for training

HOTA offers two state of-the-art emergency response suites where incident managers can exercise disaster scenarios in the most realistic manner possible, explains General Manager of HOTA, Linda Ellis. “We can replicate any type of disaster an offshore installation might face, ranging from minor gas release, explosion and fire to full evacuation of the platform.

Check out Qasar for BA training

Who said firefighting training is tough? Shropshire firefighters are doing their BA and guideline exercises at a Qasar centre.

How to...choose your ideal SCBA

BA equipment is not cheap but it could save your life, so getting the right kit is vital. Regina Jenatschke, Product Manager Safety Products, MSA, gives her view on factors to consider when choosing your SCBA.

Attitude is all

Heather Wright, co-founding director of Leading Light, believes that to be a fit and able firefighter requires looking after the mental as well as the physical aspects of the body. Ensuring you have the right mindset is another key way to ensuring you are operating at the best of your abilities.

Larry Collins from Los Angeles County Fire Department (USAR Task Force 103) still keeps some ice cream in the refrigerator

Captain Larry Collins has been working for the LA County Fire Department for 28 years, the last 16 years assigned to the department’s central Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) unit. In this time he has come to understand that his staff have to be fit enough to cope with the use of heavy machinery and dealing with potentially traumatic roadside incidents. As such the importance of finding time for exercise is something that the company takes very seriously, “On the urban search and rescue company, our schedule is packed full of training, emergency responses to technical rescues and multi-alarm fires, meetings, public displays of rescue apparatus, and emergency simulation exercises.  So our normal routine for exercising is often interrupted. 

Captain Kevin Klar, fitness for life coordinator at LA County Fire Department, explains why it pays to be fit.
Happy, healthy and here

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has been winning awards for its approach to fitness for a number of years, and today it is one of the leading brigades with regards to health and fitness in the UK.

Rushing in is not always good!

After responding to a number of flood events up and down the UK in the last two years – including 2007’s near-disastrous summer floods – Paul Gibson is adamant about one thing.

How to...move safely in shallow flood water

The most commonly seen risk-taking activity is untrained responders moving around in what they perceive to be low-risk water. This is often because they are simply not aware of the hazards lurking beneath the surface and in the water itself.

Learn from the wild side

Structure firefighting is among the most hazardous tasks, fraught with dangers both visible and hidden. In the fire service we constantly strive to improve the safety margin through better equipment, hazard recognition, training, standard operating procedures, and the Incident Command System (ICS). And progressive fire service leaders look to implement “best practices” wherever they are found.

Pushing you to the limit

In this next instalment of our search for the top fire instructors of the world we talk with Tony “Sledgehammer” Keane, of Washington Hall International Training Centre, in the UK.

JOIFF bursary – emergency management

JOIFF – the organisation for emergency services management – is offering up to £1,500 to the successful applicant of a new bursary award. And what’s more, the bursary is open to all.

Rope: keep it tight, keep it right

Since the days when man first moved his goods and chattels about he has needed to secure his load to prevent things falling off. As a young firefighter at training school I remember well being explained the virtues of the ‘Yachtsman’s purchase’ – a marvellous knot that allowed tension to be applied to the running end.

Responding to LNG vapour releases & fires

LNG is a cryogenic liquid stored at -162°C in special single- or double-lined insulated concrete tanks. Its composition varies between 83 and 99.5% methane with traces of ethane, propane and butane. As it vaporises the cold gas condenses moisture in the atmosphere into a white vapour cloud. It is in the vicinity of the edges of this cloud that ignition is most likely to occur, where the LNG reaches its flammability range of 5 to 14% in air. Although asphyxiating, the vapours are not explosive unless confined.

Innovative rescue

At least 65% of all fatalities during trench rescue operations are would-be rescuers. Secondary collapses cause many rescuers to be severely injured; though casualties are rescued alive from trenches, many die afterwards of hypothermia and crush syndrome.

A light at the end of the tunnel

Confined space rescue operations are not for the faint hearted. Even the most seasoned and toughened firefighters will sometimes be affected by claustrophobia. This is not, however, the most prominent danger here, say America’s top rescue professionals, James Hyles and Larry Collins.

PPV - having fresh breath confidence

Although the technical knowledge behind PPV techniques wasn’t widely available five years ago, it has certainly spread since then. Today, most fire departments are well-acquainted with the use and potential of PPV for small structural firefighting scenarios, such as those involving house fires and other small buildings.

Build it yourself!

Working in confined spaces can be one of the most dangerous tasks undertaken by industry firefighters. Confined space hazards can include problems with the atmosphere due to poor ventilation, access problems and poor light.

Preparing for the storm

Pete Gomez, Deputy Emergency Manager for Miami Department of Fire-Rescue and HazMat Co-ordinator for Florida-TF2 explains how this USAR team prepares for hurricane strikes.

Highrise training

Highrise firefighting is one of the most arduous challenges facing today’s firefighters and yet - until now - it’s been nearly impossible to get effective high level training scenarios to practice in.

Hazardous materials training

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.

Italian firefighters prepare for severe maritime emergencies

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. 

Problems & Solutions

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?

Problems & Solutions

F&R’s technical consultant in this problem solving feature is Kevin Mellott, a professional with over 32 years of experience in the field of public safety. Prior to founding ERASE Enterprises, Mr. Mellott was an Assistant Chief in the Department of Public Safety for the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Mellott also served as the City Fire Marshal. Internationallyrecognised as an expert in emergency response and disaster operations, he has been involved in special rescue operations since 1978 and has been selected as the lead instructor for numerous special rescue projects for the US military.