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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.

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.