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Bird bound for Kashagan

Jo Bird has long been recognised as a leading manufacturer of GRP storage cabinets for firefighting and lifesaving equipment in some of the most inhospitable climates in the world. The company’s latest order involves 24 insulated and heated cabinets that will house hydrants at the monumental Kashagan oil project in Kazakhstan. IFJ visited Jo Bird to find out more

Linked beneath the sea

Eurotunnel, the operator of the world’s longest undersea tunnel and one of its busiest rail routes, has chosen Sepura’s new STP8000 hand-held TETRA radio for its communications in emergency operations.

Sensing the heat airside

Thermal imaging cameras are increasingly finding their way into airport firefighting brigades where their applications are numerous, as Biggin Hill found out.

Large-area flame and smoke detection

George Privalov and James A Lynch of axonX introduce video image fire and smoke detection (VID) technology as it applies to industrial applications; present three case studies of companies who have successfully implemented the technology; and highlight the advantages and limitations of the system in each installation.

A watchful eye on power

Increasingly CCTV-based video smoke detection (VSD) is being relied upon in today’s power stations, including seven that are operated by the Irish Republic’s main generating company ESB, keeping a watchful eye on turbine halls. Ian Moore, MD of D-Tec, explains more.

Building the common operational picture – live

Modern response agencies are faced with an increasingly difficult choice: maintain tried and trusted systems for situational reporting over radio, through exchange of liaison officers, or through centralised briefings – and risk not knowing enough quickly enough – or adopt incident management technology which risks facing their decision makers with information overload.

London – on the alert but not alarmed

Since 9/11, fire departments in major cities around the world have had to decide how to enhance and improve their role to respond effectively against a growing terrorist threat. But what have different brigades done to leverage their existing capabilities and add new ones? In this the first of a series, Fire and Rescue magazine spoke with Gary Dobson, London Fire Brigade’s Director of Operational Policy and Training.

Protecting the rescuer

Gerald M Dworkin of Lifesaving Resources explains NFPA 1670 and the importance of PPE in the context of the Fire Department of Keene City, New Hampshire.

Handled with care

Oursourcing emergency response operations can be an easy and cost-effective way of protecting a facility to the highest possible standards. Ann-Marie Knegt talked to two industry experts who live and breathe industrial fire safety and security.

Fire extinction with less water

Where water is a limited resource or when lower water volumes are an engineering necessity, specialist extinguishing systems such as the Fire Attack System made by ABC MacIntosh can prove invaluable.

Concentrate – a precious resource

Not having the right foam proportioning equipment could seriously hurt your bottom line.

A different perspective

Tom Cortina of the Fire Fighting Foam Coalition puts forward an alternative view on the Norwegian State Pollution Control Agency’s report on polyfluorinated organic compounds.

Foam and the environment

Dr Roger Klein explains the potential environmental implications of the Norwegian Pollution Control Agency’s studies on polyfluorinated organic compounds at four fire training facilities in Norway.

Contaminated firewater –protecting the environment

Last month the Norwegian StatePollution Control Agency publishedthe results of studies it had carriedout on polyfluorinated organiccompounds at four fire trainingfacilities in Norway. Dr Roger Kleinexplains the potential environmental implications as regards the use of fluorinated foam concentrates.

London calls in USAR kit


London Fire Brigade has taken delivery of 660 sets of specialist jackets and trousers for its 330-strong USAR team. Is this the beginning of a wider trend for more specialised rescue wear? F&Rvisits London.

At the heart of the rescue

Over 69,000 people were killed during the earthquake  that occurred on May 12, 2008, in Sichuan province,  and which measured around 8.0 on the Richter Scale.  It led to possibly the greatest rescue effort in modern  history as regards structural collapse incidents.  F&R interviewed the China Earthquake Administration,  one of the many agencies involved in the response.

At the heart of the rescue



Over 69,000 people were killed during the earthquake that occurred on May 12, 2008, in Sichuan province,
and which measured around 8.0 on the Richter Scale. It led to possibly the greatest rescue effort in modern
history as regards structural collapse incidents. F&R interviewed the China Earthquake Administration, one of the many agencies involved in the response.

Evacuation via electromagnetic induction power

If the definition of a highrise is 12 floors or more, then statistics show that there are currently over 120,000 highrise buildings around the world today. Firefighters and fire safety engineers alike are crying out for a risk-free way to handle evacuations from these types of buildings. Help is on the way, because Paul Monks of Dutch-based RVES is developing LifeSlide, a revolutionary new product that will put evacuees safely back on the ground in a matter of minutes.

Anticipating hazards in industry

Major industrial accidents have a huge impact on legislation. Ann-Marie Knegt met Thierry Tixier and Xavier Quayzin of APSYS, a risk assesment company that specialises in the high-risk industry.

Better PPE protection for workers

There is very little information on heat and flame protective PPE available to users other than from manufacturers and suppliers who naturally promote their products for sale. As a result, such information is restricted to the direction of the products that are being promoted, and the knowledge (or lack of it) of the sales person trying to promote it. Alec Feldman of Fulcrum Consultants, the executive arm of JOIFF, writes about some JOIFF initiatives taken recently to counter this potentially dangerous status quo.

Fire protection challenge

After it became known that Halon was to be decommissioned in Europe on 31/12/2003, a large refinery (let’s call it “Refinery1”) in the south of the Netherlands was required to find a replacement fire protection and detection system for its 30 floating roof tanks.

LASTFIRE illuminates the next steps

Recognising the need to have validated data on the risks associated with fires in large, open top floating roof storage tanks, 16 oil companies joined together to form a project group to thoroughly investigate these facilities. The project was known as LASTFIRE.

10 fluoro-free years

For the fire protection and fire prevention industries, the last decade has certainly witnessed some major events and change that will impact on these business sectors for the next decade to come. Here are just a few of the events that have introduced change in ABC MacIntosh since 1999 and all of the following have caused our business to pause and assess the implications for future development.

Made-to-measure foams

The chemists at Hamburg-based company Dr Sthamer have been developing speciality foams for specific risks for a long time, explains Jan Knappert (International Sales Director), which is why the organisation has developed a clear idea of the type of information required to develop a specification that fully meets the requirements specified.

Fire in the galley duct

In ships and marine technology fire extinguishing systems for protection of galley deep-fat cooking equipment are becoming particularly popular. Over the past 10 years the use of more efficient cooking appliances and the increased use of vegetable cooking oils has increased the level of risk. Heating cooking oil to its auto-ignition temperature (around 365 °C) can lead to a very intense fire  that is very difficult to extinguish and which can involve the inside of the hood and exhaust duct – usually covered with grease and dust – resulting in an uncontrolled fire in the galley area.

Marine and offshore water mist solutions

Water mist is an old technology, and physics shows the obvious characteristic where small droplets evaporate faster than large droplets. However, the attempts to use water mist for fire fighting purposes in the 1930s and the 1950s were not as successful as one might think.

Be heard with your BA

Could your BA equipment interfere with your portable digital radio? According to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), it could do – and in the US work is continuing to isolate the problem and find technical ways to resolve it. Fire services take note.

Latest tools for HGV RTCs

Jan-Pieter Maarschalk, General Manager of a rescue tool manufacturer, outlines some of the latest tools for HGV RTCs.

Challenges facing RTC responders

Colin Davies, Training Instructor – Specialist Operations Group, Fire Service College (UK), talks about some of the challenges facing RTC responders.

Heavyweight approach for truck RTCs

As the pressure on Europe’s infrastructure increases so do the number of RTCs that involve HGVs. Three experts provide some recommendations – including equipment tips – for these supersize incidents.

Cardiac arrest report

A set of annual statistics published by the United States Fire Administration has shown that out of 118 firefighter fatalities in 2007 at least 52 were as a result of heart attacks.

Moving in the right direction

Kevin Sykes of the University of Chester is Professor of Occupational Health & Fitness and Director of the international postgraduate Centre for Exercise and Nutrition Science. Firefighter fitness is getting better, he says, but the conundrum of who should take responsibility (employer or individual) still remains.

One for all!

Three months ago saw the final phase of the Integrated Clothing Project (ICP), at last bringing a national procurement strategy to the fire services. One contracted supplier, Bristol Uniforms, is now on hand to supply and maintain a comprehensive clothing range to all the UK’s firefighters, via the central procurement body Firebuy. F&R puts some questions to Roger Startin, MD of Bristol Uniforms, and Steve Taylor, Work Stream Director at Firebuy.

EU responders combine forces against flooding

The EU FloodCommand project, a joint venture between three European Union countries – the UK (Maritime and Coastguard Agency), Ireland (Irish Coast Guard) and Sweden (Swedish Rescue Services Agency) – was initiated in early 2007 with the aim of improving pan-European response to massive coastal inundation from tidal floods, storm surges and tsunamis. The project was co-funded by the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Commission and Vector Command Ltd (a developer of command and control, training and exercising systems for emergency services and agencies), and launched at an inaugural conference in May 2007.

Gas-based fire suppression systems - a market perspective for North America

As environmental concerns gain momentum in the industry, their domino effect is witnessed across industry sectors and markets. The fire suppression industry is not immune from these concerns, writes Konkana Khaund, Research Analyst, Environment and Building Technologies Practice, for Frost and Sullivan North America.

Purposeful protection - proportioning systems

Much has been written and reported about the effects of fire water run-off from large scale fire incidents. The problem isn’t new and there have been several landmark fires over the years to remind us that without careful planning disaster can strike – Allied Colloids, Bradford 1992, Sandoz, Basel 1986 and Buncefield, 2005 are seen as the worst case benchmarks for such incidents. Of course, Buncefield didn’t just force a reappraisal of groundwater contamination, it also highlighted the need to reappraise the risk assessments underpinning the approach to firefighting in storage depots. This article will focus on how foam proportioning itself can become part of the review process so that foam discharge is kept to the minimum whilst maximising firefighting capability and cost effectiveness.

One-strike firefighting capability

Dallas Forth Worth is one of the largest airports in the US. It therefore requires a first line of attack that is able to respond within three minutes. Ann-Marie Knegt interviewed Jessie Gentry, Division Commander Fire Operations, about the new firefighting giants that were recently acquired by the airport.

Rethinking the solution to mass casualty decon

Dr. Howard Levitin, MD, FACEP is the president and founder of US company DQE, a hazmat decon supplier that began eighteen years ago as a research project into emergency preparedness. Levitin became interested in the role of hospitals in a hazardous materials incident after being confronted with two contaminated patients while working the night shift in the emergency department. While researching the methodology for handling contaminated patients in the ED he met a firefighter who was working to improve the design, quality, and dependability of portable decontamination equipment. They joined forces and the result is DQE.

Steps to the rescue

The history of Ulm and Iveco Magirus has been interwoven since Conrad Dietrich Magirus, Fire Commander of the City – and one of the founding fathers of the German fire service – invented the turntable ladder in 1872. 
Ann Marie visited Iveco to find out the latest developments.

Hats off to EN 443

The new EN 443:2007 firefighter’s helmet standard is expected to be fully approved by all member states at any moment. Fire & Rescue talks to Hans Detzlhofer of Rosenbauer about the new standard.

Big savings with a Mutual

UK Fire and Rescue Authorities can typically spend up to £500,000 a year on insurance – a significant drain on any authority’s limited budget. In an attempt to save as much as possible on insurance premiums as well as finding a fairer, more tailored deal for the sector, a groundbreaking mutual was born.

LAFD rescue tool review for MVAs

At 12.06 hours on the 28th of May, 2007, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Command and Control Center dispatched a ‘Traffic Collision/Major 2’ response after receiving a report of an occupied passenger vehicle crushed beneath a tanker truck/trailer combination which was also leaking an unknown product. This was located on the Pomona Freeway twelve miles east of downtown Los Angeles, CA.

Aircrash Emergencies

Fire and emergency services who refuse to recognise the real possibility of a major air crash incident happening within their local airport or within their jurisdiction are leaving themselves wide open to numerous problems.

CFO Wilshire's published comments on JOIFF member Kelvin Hardingham were based on 'clear inaccuracies'

JOIFF would not wish to see this matter develop into one of needless tit-for-tat letter writing but we feel that due to the significant contribution from industry at the Buncefield incident, particularly from JOIFF Members, we would be failing in our duty to our members in not adding the necessary clarity to this matter which appears to be required.

Foam - there must be a proper application technique

Over the past decade, there has been a growing concern about the impact of foams on environment, due to scientific evidence of the detrimental effect of fluorinated compounds and their behaviour in the environment.

HazMat danger!

The petroleum and petrochemical industries have many hazards that can be briefly categorised.

Matching the foam to the fire

Jean-Marc Vandekerchove tells IFJ: “Our range of products is designed to provide the professional firefighter with the best, most effective extinguishing agent for all known fire hazards with a minimum impact on the environment and human exposure.”

Foam matters

One argument, posed by the question ‘what should be used in today’s foams? – is that there is currently no viable alternative to using fluorosurfactants in foam.
Environmental sensitivity to the operational use of large quantities of firefighting foam has increased dramatically post-Buncefield.

FDNY profile

Opened by Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta in late 2006, the $US17 million, state-of-the-art centre currently serves as the central command and information hub for all the FDNY.

One supplier for the UK?

One company and one company only was announced as the winner of the ICP, the Integrated Clothing Project, “the most rigorous and extensive research and evaluation process ever undertaken for a contract of this kind in the history of the fire and rescue service,” according to Firebuy, the procurement arm of the UK Fire & Rescue Service.