Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
AFF and the environment:

Since 2000 and 3M’s announcement to phase out its PFOS-based fluorochemicals business, every year has brought its load of bad news over the fate of this peculiar class of compounds. But let’s get back to the past six years.

HazMat training in chemical complexes

The chance to extinguish conflagrations on a refinery replica with live fires are few and far between for many firefighters. However, the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a member of The Texas A&M University System, recently turned one of its fire training props into the most in-depth chemical complex emergency replication scenes available today.

HazMat Profile

NEW SOUTH WALES FIRE BRIGADE: The NSW Fire Brigade has three specialist Hazardous Materials Response Units operating from Sydney (Greenacre), Newcastle and Shellharbour. They have advanced capabilities in detection of toxic industrial chemicals, volatile substances and chemical warfare agents.

JOIFF and the importance of Competency based training

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.”

Firefighting foam

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.

Structuring international disaster co-operation

Thomas Peter, Deputy Chief, Field Co-ordination Support Section of the Emergency Services Branch for OCHA (Office of the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs) of the United Nations in Geneva, feels that very many countries that are affected by a disaster do not know what rescue teams can deliver, a problem made worse by language issues. It is his task on a daily basis to combat this problem and find solutions acceptable to every party involved.

Cliff & mountain rescue – taking the high ground.

A magnet for climber and trippers alike, the Mount Shasta wilderness area in Northern California, USA, serves a perfect example of a location where people often get into trouble. Greg Emere talks to F&R about some classic incidents which have occurred there.

Safe & effective disposal of foam

Foam manufacturers have developed fluorosurfactant-free foams (FSFF) that have no long term detrimental environmental impact. There are numerous areas of application for this type of product, in particular with the European fire and rescue services.

Enlightenment about photoluminescence

Bjorn Geeves is the CEO of Verfification Institute Ltd. previously IMI-International Measuring Institute, a certified statutory service supplier specialised in on-site inspection and measurements of Low Location Lighting (LLL) systems onboard ship. Before the IS0 15370 for LLL systems went into action, ship operators had to comply with the IMO Res. A.752(18), which is part of the SOLAS regulations.


An important element of the Buncefield industrial response was Lindsey Oil Refinery’s EV2 foam tender holding 11,000 litres of foam liquid. It carried two Knowsley dual-geared monitors which provided an output of 3,600 lpm from a foam branchpipe. They played an essential role in actively ‘knocking down’ some of the oil fires and creating strategic gaps for other fire teams to enter the area.

In the teeth of the fire

The Europe, Africa and Middle East Manager for Williams Fire & Hazard Control Inc, one of the world’s leading industrial firefighting companies, Kelvin Hardingham told IFJ:

Fire, water & pollution

Almost four months ago, the fuels depots at Buncefield near Hemel Hempstead represented the UK’s fifth largest fuel distribution centres, used by BP, BPA and HOSL ( a joint venture between Total and Texaco. On December 11th, 2005, a severe explosion led to the loss of around 7.7 million gallons of oil, motor spirit and aviation fuel.

Fire Service communications

TETRA, or Terrestrial Trunked Radio, is currently being introduced across the UK and the Channel Islands to replace current analogue radio systems. F&R considers the implications of this development.

Structuring collapse response – the new international disaster series

The release of people from collapsed structures is heavily dependent on the organisation at the disaster scene. Ann-Marie Knegt discussed the issues USAR teams face with OCHA’s rescue expert Chief Thomas Peter and Dutch USAR team leader Rob Brons in the light of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

Fire at Istanbul's Ataturk International

Cumbrian firefighters avert city tragedy.

Cumbrian firefighters avert city tragedy

Firefighters are expected to be brave and resourceful in the face of adversity. In this most unusual fire, Carlisle’s city firefighters have all won commendations for exceptional work. 10 members of Carlisle Fire Brigade commended for bravery last month.

Aquatic toxicity of firefighting foams

In a newsletter published in October 2006 from an American special interest group of foam manufacturers, the aquatic toxicity of firefighting foams is discussed.


There should be no doubts that the blasts and fires at the Buncefield oil terminal, just outside Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on the 11th December 2005 will be discussed and the outcomes debated for many years to come.

New HPSF technology

With the emergence of a new Class ‘B’ foam technology it is time for the industrial firefighting industry to examine the benefits of this technology,  Solberg Scandinavian AS has been involved with the manufacture of fire-fighting foams since the 1980s.

Firefighting foams: fire or runoff

It was five years ago that 3M announced (May 2000, shortly before InterSchutz 2000) that the company was withdrawing from fluorosurfactant manufacture using perfluorooctanyl sulphonate (PFOS) chemistry.

See, hear

The recent DDA and EN54 directive has once again placed emphasis on the importance of ensuring safety and warning systems are up to standard.  Not only that, but there is also now a need for companies to install more versatile systems that can cater for both the visually and audibly impaired.

Gaseous extinguishing systems

Halon 1301 and Halon 1211 were once regarded as the ‘wonder remedy’ when they were introduced in the 1960s. They were ‘clean agents’ which did not leave any corrosive or abrasive residues after use, unlike water, dry chemicals and foams which were associated with secondary non-fire damage.

Hazmat disasters

The peace of a quiet morning on Sunday, December 11th, 2005, was shattered by a series of explosions at Buncefield, an oil depot  located just north of London - initiating the biggest fire of its type seen in Europe since 1945.

Fixed & portable pumps

After the disaster in New Orleans the emergency services -with the co-operation of the military- had to pump 250 billion gallons out of the city. Clearly, a disaster like this only serves to underscore the importance of having the right pump for the right job, argues Pete Perkins.

Hurricane Katrina - what really happened?

Hurricane Katrina and its effect on the Gulf Coast is now widely regarded as one of the worst disasters ever to have struck the United States, not least because of the great confusion about what actually was going on. F&R’s Ann-Marie Knegt talked to Brian Inglis, Taskforce leader of the Vancouver US&R Team.

Refinery protection

Industry must still brace itself for the two months remaining of the 2005 Hurricane Season - but it has already been one of the most memorable and costliest years in living memory.