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“Superior performance meets ergonomics - an innovative turntable ladder design is born.“

third quarter 2017 issue 107

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I N T E R N A T I O N A L

I N D E P E N D E N T

I N T E L L I G E N C E

The ensemble approach PPE is more than just the sum of its parts

The Magirus Turntable Ladder design. The innovative evolutionary control stand and state-of-the-art construction not only offer many new functions and more space, but also a powerful, glare-free LED lighting concept – for significantly more on-the-job safety and ergonomics. At Magirus, firefighters just like you put their entire experience and passion into building the world‘s best equipment for your operations.

www.magirusgroup.com

10 - 13 October 2017, London UK


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CONTENTS

FIRE & RESCUE Editor Ann-Marie Knegt am.knegt@hgluk.com +44 (0) 1935 374001 Managing Editor Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain j.sanchez@hgluk.com +44 (0) 1935 374011 Group Sales Manager Kelly Francis k.francis@hgluk.com +44 (0) 207 973 4666

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Production Tim Malone t.malone@hgluk.com +44 (0) 1935 374014 Managing Director Bill Butler Published Quarterly by

A division of the Hemming Group Ltd,

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Artwork by Graphic Examples Ltd, Sherborne Printed in England by Latimer Trend & Co Ltd, Plymouth DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in FIRE & RESCUE are not necessarily those of Hemming Information Services. F&R is in no way responsible or legally liable for any statements, picture captions, reports or technical anomalies made by authors in their commissioned articles.

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4 News

professionals since their commercial introduction.

10 Events 12 PPE: the ensemble approach The next ten years of product development for firefighter boots, gloves and helmets may depend as much on our approach to firefighting as it does on technological advances. 18 New approach to occupational health Safety Region Haaglanden in The Netherlands has taken considerable steps to ensure the safety of its firefighters, developing a stringent policy designed to protect operational staff from the harmful effects of combustion products. 20 Foam: Management of PFAS-contaminated sites Is it possible to achieve closure on sites contaminated by PFAS? If so, how? This was the question addressed by Dr Peter Nadebaum of GHD at a seminar in London in July. 25 Foam: the hardware story Jerry Borowski of The Solberg Company provides a guide to the four categories of foam hardware components that have evolved to meet the needs of fire safety

30 Pumps: flaking in the high volume hose An automatic high-volume hose recovery unit for easy recovery after large-scale incidents has been developed by Hytrans Fire Systems. 32 Wildfire pumps A new upgrade on a portable pump has been specifically designed to meet the needs of wildland firefighters facing fires of ever-growing size and intensity. 34 Wildfire: TICs for spotting hotspots New research using thermal imaging cameras is improving our understanding of how forest fires behave and has the potential to aid firefighters in containment and mop up. 38 Wildfire response lessons learnt Portugal suffered its most devastating wildfire in June 2017, which led to the deaths of 64 people. F&R highlights both the challenges faced by firefighters and the possible failings in the incident response management 42 Project Phalanx A new operational concept for responding to active shooter

and mass casualty incidents could improve interoperability and save lives by ensuring victims receive medical attention sooner 46 Realistic Hazmat training A new development is transforming training for hazmat technicians, enabling instructors to replicate real-life scenarios in a way that was just not possible before. 50 Belgrade Airport profile F&R profiles the firefighters at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, Serbia. 52 Mutual aid models A recent conference on mutual aid outlined the benefits to governments and industry from public-private partnership models. 55 Cooperative response A new partnership is underway in Hampshire, UK, that will see local police and firefighters work together to search for high-risk missing persons. 56 Reform agenda The UK Government’s Fire Reform Agenda will lead to the formation of a standards body for the fire and rescue services in England. Front cover artwork designed by: Darren Small, www.facebook. com/darrensmallphotography/

AIRPORT FIRE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

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THIRD QUARTER 2017 < FIRE & RESCUE <

3


NEWS

EDITOR’s Comment

personal TIC from Seek

W

th the current focus on preventing occupational diseases in firefighters we are often reminded of the importance of correctly maintaining firefighting garments. What is usually forgotten, however, is that PPE should be regarded as a system that will be at its most effective when all the components are working together. Helmets, boots, gloves and hoods are all essential items when it comes to protecting firefighters from the hazards of the job. However, currently these are sold separately and it is up to each fire service to select and purchase each item individually. As Rick Markley highlights in his excellent article on page 12, what is missing is an ensemble approach to PPE that focuses on achieving the best protection through the effective interaction of each element of the PPE ensemble. Boots, gloves and helmets should definitely not be seen as 'accessories', as Karen Lehtonen, Lion’s vice president of innovation and product management, so accurately states at the start of the article. This may begin to change as growing evidence has linked firefighting activities to a higher risk of cancer, and recent studies have shown that a firefighter’s head, throat and neck are especially susceptible to particulates from fire combustion. This being the case, experts expect that protection from particulates will become a major theme in the development of PPE standards going forward. Ann-Marie Knegt, editor

analytical risk assessment tool for aviation sector A free-of-charge, analytical risk assessment system is to be presented by the Airport Fire Officers Association and Simtrainer UK during a one-day workshop to be held at the Hilton, Manchester Airport, on 5 October 2017. Analytical Risk Assessment (ARA) is the result of collaboration between a group of airport fire services in the UK. The aim was to create a risk assessment system that was quick and easy to use while recognising the restrictions in time and resources that affect airport responders at incidents. The new protocol has been designed to act as an aide to memory as well as to assist safety officers in completing tasks in line with current national operational guidance. The ARA is software-based and will contain ready-to-use aviation-based risk assessments that will be shared with other airports free of charge. ARA is set to be further developed to cover hazmat, rail, RTCs, and generic incidents. The software is freely available and includes the option to sync to multiple devices for just GB£8.00 (US$10) per month. Specific risk-assessment modules have been produced in military fast jet (BAE Warton); HRET (Liverpool); water rescue (London City Airport); and helicopters (Boscombe Down). During the workshops, attendees will learn how to apply a protocol that ensures competent and safe practice during an incident. The day will also provide recommendations and tackle issues of non-compliance. Attendees will learn how to fill in the ARA form as well as how to change the content of one of the protocols. The use of software for carrying out command assessments will also be explained. The workshop will include the opportunity to use the software on tablets and will conclude with a short exercise. For more information about the workshop contact Ian Webb at ian.webb@baesystems.com.

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Seek Thermal is aiming to make thermal imaging cameras affordable for all firefighters with the launch of its high-resolution personal TI, Reveal Firepro. The Reveal Firepro is Seek’s most advanced handheld thermal imaging camera to date, combining a high-performance 320 x 240 thermal sensor, durable IP67 rating, and a wide, 32° field of view. It also features intuitive software, a powerful 300-lumen LED flashlight and a range of colour filters and temperature measurement tools. The camera is designed to improve the safety and operational effectiveness of firefighters and is ideal for locating casualties, identifying hazards, and personal navigation. According to Seek, it has also been developed to make it affordable for fire departments to equip each and every one of their firefighters with a TIC. ‘The new Reveal Firepro builds on Seek Thermal’s history of developing high-quality, affordable thermal imaging products,’ said Tim LeBeau of Seek Thermal. ‘Thermal imaging is a critical technology for aiding in search and rescue, finding hot spots, and visualising hazards invisible to the human eye. We believe every firefighter should have access to this technology to fight fires safer, smarter, and faster.’

Peli remote-area lighting system

A remote-area lighting system that is certified for use in every high-hazard environment has been launched by Peli. The 9455Z0 is the only such system to hold certifications for European ATEX Zone 0 (Cat. 1), IECEx ia and North American CI, D1. The compact 7.3kg portable area lighting system is easy to set up and its safety certifications make it suitable for working in the oil and gas sectors as well as in first response, pharmaceutical and other high-hazard industries. Its LEDs radiate 1,600 lumens on a high setting and 800 on low, the latter extending the run time by up to ten hours. Powered by a maintenance-free rechargeable battery, the system offers a 125º wide beam spread. It also features a telescoping mast that extends to 80cm, a 360º articulating light array and a wide handle for gloved-grip and transport. With an extremely durable, water-resistant (IP54) polymer construction, the 9455Z0 RALS is available in a safety yellow colour.

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nEws

app for fIrsT responders

survITeC survIval suITs

A free app that offers best practice, safety tips and emergency response information has been released by the NFPA for firefighters, EMS, command staff, and wildland fire personnel. The NFPA 1st Responder Connection App has been designed to place prevention, education, and response tools in the hands of emergency responders so that they can continue to perform at a high level and meet the changing needs of society. According to the NFPA, feedback from fire leaders and first responders over the past year has consistently pointed to the need for easy digital access via smartphone devices to NFPA resources, interactive tools and training. The result is an app that covers everything from the merging issues such as energy storage, alternative fuel vehicles and civil unrest; public and worker safety, including new fire hazards and confined space; and firefighter occupational health and wellness, covering contamination, cancer and cardiac issues. The app also addresses firefighting technology and data such as unmanned aerial systems, smart cities, biometrics and fire department tools; educational tools including safety bulletins, tip sheets, training and at-risk audience engagement; wildfire prevention and response; and standards and research. The 1st Responder Connection App can be downloaded free via Apple or Android.

Survitec will be showcasing its range of safety and survival suits at the Emergency Services Show at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20-21 September. Among the products on display will be a fire retardant version of the Crewsaver Crewfit XD workvest life jacket designed for rescue workers, welders, and anyone requiring protection from sparks and embers. This is available in both 150N and 275N bladder sizes, Hammar automatic and manual inflation options, and harness and non-harness attachment, and offers a comprehensive life jacket range to allow customers to select the vest that best meets their individual operational needs. Visitors to the show will also be able to see Survitec’s Sonics CBRN Bio-Skin suit, which is designed to be worn close to the skin under uniform garments. It is made from a lightweight, breathable stretch fabric that provides enhanced mobility, comfort, and protection in a CBRN environment. According to Survitec, this offers wearers significant weight/bulk, thermal, comfort and protective benefits over traditional carbon-based materials. The Sonics Milpod will also be present at the show. This is a specialist man-portable stretcher used for extraction and treatment of a casualty in a CBRN environment. The system ensures that the first responder team, aircraft or vehicle used for the extraction are not contaminated.

Interschutz 2020 website and event programme in development Interschutz 2020, the international trade fair for fire and rescue services, civil protection, safety and security will open its doors from 15-20 June 2020 at Hanover Fair in Germany. The German Fire Service Association, the German Fire Protection Association and the event organiser Deutsche Messe are set to develop interschutz.de, a website for the exhibition that will provide updates on the latest news and product updates related to firefighting, rescue, fire protection, disaster relief and safety and security. The website will expand the international reach of Interschutz said Dr Andreas Gruchow from organiser Deutsche Messe, and will highlight everything that this comprehensive, international fire exhibition has to offer to visitors and exhibitors. ‘Planning for Interschutz 2020 has got off to a very constructive start,’ said Dirk Aschenbrenner, president of the German Fire Protection Association. ‘I have no doubt that the show will be more than just a carbon copy of the highly successful Interschutz 2015 – it will also represent a further advance to fulfil the requirements of exhibitors and visitors from this dynamic sector.’ An event programme that will showcase the latest innovations and proven technologies is currently being put together, and the 2020 event will also focus on new developments and upgrades to existing products and technologies. Last Interschutz was held in June 2015 and received 1,500 exhibitors and 157,000 visitors.

Retroflex® COFAB Line Visibly safest performing retro-reflective trims! Specifically designed for firefighting garments: • High retro-reflective values for greater safety • Strong and durable! • The only trim on the market that still delivers safe reflection rates after many cleaning cycles • Breathable due to perforations Certified: EN-ISO20471 & EN469 - Wash: 50 x ISO6330 & ISO15797 +31 (0)487 56 03 33

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news

NFPA to develop risk assessment tool for high-rise fire incidents In the light of a recent series of fires in high-rise buildings with combustible facades and cladding, including the Grenfell Tower fire in London, UK, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has initiated a project to develop a fire-risk assessment tool for these types of buildings to assist local authorities globally with fire safety in their communities. This project builds on previous NFPA work which was started over the past few years and is related to growing concerns about fire risks associated with combustible wall insulation components and cladding. 'NFPA is committed to helping communities respond to current fire threats,' said Jim Pauley, NFPA president. 'Given several recent tragic high-rise fires, this resource couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be more needed or timely.' The risk assessment tool will help authorities having jurisdiction prioritise mitigation by incorporating a methodology that identifies key variables such as wall materials and building fire protection systems. The risk assessment tool helps characterise these variables in terms of risk or mitigation potential and incorporates them into an engineering-based risk model. The project will be conducted by a global engineering team whose work will be overseen by an advisory panel of global stakeholders and experts. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. 'The deadly fires that have occurred around the globe reflect a need to recommit and promote a full system of fire prevention, protection and education in order to help save lives and reduce loss,' said Pauley. 'At NFPA, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing all we can to support and provide jurisdictions with the tools they need to assess risk and deliver the level of safety people expect and deserve.

Critical infrastructure protection event Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience North America has announced the conference programme for its inaugural event, to be held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 5-7 December 2017. The event will bring together leading stakeholders from industry, operators, agencies and governments to discuss issues related to securing the critical physical and virtual national infrastructure of North America that is under threat from increasing levels of international terrorism and climate change. Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21): Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience advances a national policy to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure for the 16 defined sectors whose assets, systems, and networks are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety. The CIPRNA conference programme outlines the issues and challenges facing the CNI sector, CIP professionals, government agencies, operators of CNI and emergency responders. Topics include developing greater resilience in CNI, PPP and collaboration in CIP and CIIP, critical infrastructure interdependencies, emerging threats on CNI, standards and best practice in CIP and resilience, enhancing preparedness and response capabilities, technologies to detect and protect, cyber security legislation, cybersecurity threats and trends, cyber defence strategies for CII, and operationalising resilience. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will also be hosting a workshop on long-term power failure that will focus specifically on enhancing local level response and the interaction and coordination of local and state agencies and private sector partnerships to a long-term power outage. For more details on the event visit www.ciprna-expo.com or download the preliminary conference programme guide at www.ciprna-expo.com/PSG.

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The influence of leadership on fire service safety culture Organisational safety studies have shown significant impact leadership has on safety culture. A safety-specific transformational leadership style in particular shows evidence of promoting positive safety outcomes. A study carried out by the International Association of Fire Chiefs through a partnership with the US Fire Administration recently explored the differences between transformational and passive leadership styles in relationship to safety culture and safety behaviour outcomes in a sample of firefighters. Their findings provide guidance for public administrators, fire service administrators, and company officers to strengthen firefighter safety outcomes. Ways in which company officers and fire department leaders can reinforce a safety culture through safety-specific leadership tactics include demonstrating model safety behaviours, emphasising safety over risk taking, leading by example; communicating safety expectations and showing concern for firefighter safety and well-being. The study found that when these actions are taken, firefighters believe their leaders are committed to their safety and they respond by performing in a manner that enhances safety. An additional takeaway from the research relates to passive leaders. According to the study, a passive leader can have harmful effects on fire service safety culture and weaken safety performance. Passive leaders are generally those who fail to make decisions that are important to firefighter safety, fail to intervene in safety issues, and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take action until something goes wrong. The research article is available through the FEMA library by contacting: netclrc@fema.dhs.gov.

A+A show celebrates 35 years The occupational health and safety conference and exhibition A+A will be held from 17-20 of October in Dusseldorf, Germany. This event celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, and it will feature 350 experts with a background in politics, and health and safety practice. They will deliver talks on social developments, planned reforms in national and European policy, technical and organisational innovations as well as current scientific findings. One of the central themes will be dealing with carcinogenic hazardous substances. This falls within efforts to combat occupational cancer as part of an EU-wide campaign. The 12 lecture series of the A+A Congress will offer simultaneous transations in German and English. For more information abou the event please visit www.aplusa.de.

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news

Panthers head for Gibraltar

Gibraltar Airport Fire Service has ordered four new Panther crash tenders from Rosenbauer UK. Three new 6×6 trucks and one 4×4 Panther will be delivered in early 2018, all incorporating Euro VI engines. The three 6×6 Panthers are to include the ‘Stinger’ high reach extendable turret and rear-steer axles to ensure maximal efficiency in deployment and ability. ‘The team and I are extremely excited to be working with Gibraltar Airport on this project,’ said Rosenbauer UK managing director Oliver North. ‘We are also equally excited at the prospect of delivering the pinnacle of ARFF machines, at the absolute cutting edge of technology. Any Panther from Rosenbauer is world-class in its own right, but Gibraltar’s specification, including the ‘Stinger’ HRET, makes these appliances all the more special.’ North concluded: ‘We now look forward to executing an efficient build programme specific to Gibraltar’s high expectations, and are confident in completing a wholly successful project to the highest possible standard.’

Magirus delivers 100 new fire engines to the national fire department of Chile Magirus has completed two large orders for 100 fire engines from Chile’s national fire department, the Junta Nacional de Bomberos de Chile. The first tank pumper order for 23 TLF 4000, C4 Semiurbano vehicles was placed in October 2016 for fire departments in the Bío Bío region. This was followed by an additional order for vehicles for national use, including 32 TLF 4000, C4 Semiurbano vehicles, 16 TLF 4000 all-wheel, C4 Semiurbano vehicles and 29 TLF 3000 C5 Forest forest firefighting vehicles. All the fire engines were built on Iveco Eurocargo chassis and have powerful 220 kW (299 hp) engines. With its all-steel crew cabin, the C4 Semiurbano is designed for a fire brigade team of one plus eight. The majority of these were ordered with the 160E30 model in the 4x2 variant. The remaining 16 all-wheel, twin-tyre, 150E30W fire engines ensure better driving in rough terrain. All vehicles have a large, external water tank with a capacity of 4,000 litres and a Magirus MPN230 centrifugal pump with a capacity of 3,000 litres per minute with 10 bar. The Junta Nacional de Bomberos also ordered 29 Magirus C5 wildland firefighting vehicles. In the past, Chile’s national fire department has had to fight large forest fires and at the beginning of this year fire destroyed an area of over 370,000 hectares – four times the size of Berlin. The C5 single-tyre, all-wheel vehicles, built on the 150E30 WS Eurocargo chassis, were ordered specifically for such operations. The technical firefighting structure includes a 3,000-litre tank and the powerful Magirus MPN 230 pump together with reliable self-protection for vehicle and crew. ‘Magirus offers a very flexible vehicle and superstructure concept that is ideal for

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new Driver training truck

A driver training vehicle that can be used for conventional truck training and fire appliance training as well as functioning as an incident support unit has been developed by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. The vehicle is based on a Scania P 320 DB4x2 chassis equipped with a Scania safety crew cab, and its development is the outcome of a detailed examination of operational needs. ‘Previously, we relied on a regular truck for Category C training with trainees then progressied to one of our frontline fire appliances for emergency fire appliance driver (EFAD) training,’ explains Rory Coulter, head of logistics for Surrey FRS. ‘Now, one truck serves both purposes, with the added bonus that we have an additional vehicle which can be used as a frontline incident support unit as and when needed.’ In addition to providing training for its firefighters and on-call firefighters, Surrey FRS also has a number of contracts to train drivers from other emergency services. In addition to Category C and EFAD training, Surrey's training is accredited by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. This enables successful trainees to gain automatic membership to the Institute. The FRS already has 31 Scania vehicles in its fleet – 24 water tenders, three tankers, two aerial platforms, and two training vehicles. The new training vehicle is based on an 18-tonne, 320-horsepower Scania chassis. The all-steel,five-seat Scania crew cab has a computer and monitor in front of the three rear seats, which enables this area of the vehicle to be used as a mobile training room so instruction can be given to trainees without returning to the classroom.

operations on motorways and in rural or urban areas,’ said JNBC vice president Raúl Morales. ‘The agile fire engine covers so many operational areas and reliably replenishes extinguishing water whenever necessary.’ The vehicle shipment to from Germany to Chile is already underway by sea. The official delivery to the Chilean fire departments will take place following their arrival.

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news

virtual training tool for emergency logistics from XVR

A new training tool from XVR Simulation aims to improve multi-agency response by facilitating virtual training in emergency logistics and interagency collaboration in a bespoke, localised setting. The latest simulator launch from XVR enables incident commanders to train in one of the most important skills they need – how to manage an incident with scarce resources. The UK’s Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme was established to improve multi-agency response through guidelines and training. XVR Resource Management is XVR Simulation’s response to this objective, giving incident commanders the opportunity to practice emergency logistics management in an immersive virtual environment rather than by setting up costly and time consuming regionwide exercises. ‘Training in a virtual learning environment is both faster and more cost effective,’ explains Rindert Reitsma marketing manager fror XVR. ‘The simulator features realistic, geo-specific characteristics, constraints, and logistical challenges that reflect the real-life conditions of the

user’s area.’ Resource Management uses all relevant regional data such as the actual number of hospitals, fire stations and other locations, including the actual stationed resources. Instructors can freely create any type of incident anywhere in the region to match their learning objective. A limited number of people such as medical staff and rescue personnel, equipment and vehicles are available, all of which can be deployed to a single location. ‘In a Resource Management exercise, the participant takes on the role as key decision maker in the incident command chain,’ explained Reitsma. ‘The participant is able to allocate staff and materials to the incident location, dispatch staff and resources to various tasks like extinguishing fires and performing triage, and decide whether to treat casualties on location or transport them to a hospital.’ Because the incident scenario features realistic transport and dispatch times, participants are forced to incorporate accurate logistical constraints to their decisions. ‘What makes XVR Resource Management so effective is the realistic representation of the country or region in which the exercise takes place. Distances and deployment times between emergency stations, ambulance units, the incident location and the available resources are determined according to the local situation.’ To ensure the participant gets the best possible learning experience, exercises are led by an instructor who is able to inject interventions in the form of location-specific hazards and incidents, such as floods and traffic jams. The Country Fire Authority in Victoria, Australia, is already using Resource Management. For the CFA’s Aaron Stockton, the ease of setting up exercises has been one of the key benefits. ‘Before using this system we had to spend hours calculating vehicle response times for every exercise and action the participant took. Now, all we have to do is enter the starting and end point, and the programme sorts everything out.’ The CFA is only one of a number of emergency services throughout the world that are using Resource Management. Others include the Fire Service and Disaster Management College of Rheinland Pfalz in Germany and the Estonian Academy for Safety and Security.

NE W PELI 9455Z0 REMOTE ARE A LIGHT ING SYSTEM (R ALS) Atex Zone 0 / IECEx ia / CI, D1 Safety Certifications

T HE WORLD’S F IRST S AFE T Y-CERT IF IED R A LS FOR GLOB AL USE

The World’s first Remote Area Lighting System that holds three global safety certifications: The European ATEX Zone 0 (Cat. 1), IECEx ia and North American CI, D1. The 9455Z0 is the safest RALS available in the market and the perfect choice for working in hazardous areas, regardless of your location in the world. With 1.600 lumens and a run time of up to 10 hours, it offers a wide beam spread of 125º that illuminates the entire area preventing workplace injuries. Nothing protects like Peli!

A+A 2017 - Hall 6 • Stand 6H09 EMEA HEADQUARTERS: Peli Products, S.L.U. • Spain • Tel +34 93 467 4999 All trademarks are registered and/or unregistered trademarks of Pelican Products, Inc., its affiliates and/or subsidiaries. See Peli.com for full warranty details.

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E V E N T S

2 0 1 7

10-13 OCTOBER, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FOR AIRPORTS SUMMIT, LONDON, UK

20-21 SEPTEMBER, EMERGENCY SERVICES SHOW, NEC, BIRMINGHAM, UK The Emergency Services Show offers fire and rescue personnel and industrial brigades from around the world access to the best expertise, equipment, and support networks to prepare for future incidents and keep the public safe. Terrorism and search and rescue are among the topics planned for the Lessons Learnt Theatre (sponsored by UCLan PROTECT), where emergency services and partner agencies will share their experiences of responding to real incidents. Experts from the National CBRN Centre will talk about operational responses to suspected CBRN incidents, and British Red Cross will talk about its response to the Grenfell Tower fire in London. Paul Murphy, director of training at Mayday Rescue, and Mounir Mustafa, head of the Syria Civil Defense, will present a seminar on USAR in conflict environments. West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) will be running extrication and first aid and trauma challenges, providing an arena for some of the UK’s best rescue personnel to develop their proficiency levels in all areas of road traffic collision rescue. Running alongside the challenges will be a CPD-accredited road safety seminar programme. Around the exhibition, visitors will be able to see and handle the latest kit and discuss their needs with more than 400 suppliers. In the networking hub of the show, The Collaboration Zone, over 80 voluntary groups, charities, and NGOs will be sharing details of the support they offer to the sector. Entry to the exhibition and seminars is free, as is parking. The NEC is linked to Birmingham International rail station and Birmingham Airport and is directly accessible from the UK motorway network. To register for free entry visit www.emergencyuk.com

27-28 SEPTEMBER, FLOOD EXPO, EXCEL, LONDON, UK The Flood Expo is the world’s largest exhibition and conference designed to showcase the latest innovations that further the way flooding is predicted, prevented, and managed. The show features over 200 suppliers, 100 CPD-accredited seminars, interactive debates, live demonstrations on the River Thames, one-to-one advice from industry experts, networking opportunities, and much more. Guests can also filter between areas dedicated to flood prediction, flood prevention, flood management, flood rescue, and more, as well as visiting the Marine and Coastal Civil Engineering Expo and the Contamination Expo Series next door. Admission to the event is free. For more information visit the event website at www.thefloodexpo.co.uk.

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✜ FIRE & RESCUE ✜ THIRD QUARTER 2017

How to prepare for and avoid emergencies at airports will be the focus of the 2017 Emergency Management for Airports Summit. The event will also cover how to provide support for affected passengers and airport stakeholders as well as how to resume airport operations as quickly as possible after an incident. Participants at the event can expect a packed programme featuring case study presentations on planning for, responding to and recovering from emergencies associated with bomb threats, mass shooting, marauding attacks, firefighting and aircraft rescue, and hangar and terminal fires. Best practice will be shared by speakers from a wide range of international airports, including Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, Brussels Airport, Munich Airport, Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, ICAO, Cathay Pacific, Airpol, Amsterdam Airport, Dubai Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Copenhagen Airport, and Malta International Airport. Several organisations will share firefighting mitigation measures, including responses to recent incidents, including an aircraft accident, hangar fire and terminal fire. They will also execute a full-scale exercise designed to increase an airport’s capacity to handle an aircraft emergency. Attendees will be able to watch unreleased footage on preparing for, managing and restoring airport operations after ‘aircraft accident imminent’ at one of the workshops. In addition, global emergency planners will share proven strategies for enhancing crisis communication, executing emergency exercises, providing welfare arrangements for passengers, resilience building and business continuity plans. Speakers will present proven strategies to increase emergency preparedness, respond safely and rapidly to any emergency, and minimise interruptions to airports after an incident. The event is targeted at airport emergency planners, airport fire and police, local fire and police airline emergency planners, terminal/airside operations and airport emergency medical services. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. To secure early bird prices or enquire about group discounted rates, email enquiry@equip-global.com with the event title in the subject line. Alternatively, visit the website at equip-global.com/emergencymanagement-for-airports-summit-2017-uk.

17-18 OCTOBER, FIREFIGHTING FOAM - A CRISIS OR A CROSSROADS?, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Organised by Lastfire and the FER Fire Brigade, this international firefighting foam summit will review the current situation related to the selection, use, and management of foams used in firefighting and the options for future policies. Specifically, it will look at a 'cradle to grave' approach to lifetime foam managment that balances performance with environmental consequences. The event is aimed at firefighters from all sectors, including municipal, industrial, and aviation, and in addition to a review of the issues, topics will include current and pending legislation, foam performance requirements, current research and testing of new foam formulations, minimising usage in testing and training, and containment, disposal, and remediation. Speakers at the event include Niall Ramsden from Lastfire, Fay Purvis, past chairman of the NFPA 11 Foam Systems Committee, Mark Scanlon, HSE team manager at the Energy Institute, Rod Rutledge from Caltex Australia Petroleum, Ian Ross from Arcadis, and Graeme Day, fire service regulation and oversight manager at Heathrow Airport. For more information and booking contact info@lastfire.org.

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ppe

Strategic ensemble The next ten years of product development for firefighter boots, gloves and helmets may depend as much on our approach to firefighting as it does on technological advances, reports Rick Markley.

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Lion's Primus gloves are heat-resistant, flexible, and durable, featuring a leather outer shell for protection against thermal assaults, cuts, and sharp objects.

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here was a time, not that long ago, when firefighting helmets, boots and gloves were little more than ancillary items. In fact, personal protective equipment expert Karen Lehtonen says they were seen as ‘accessories’. ‘I get mad when someone in our organisation calls them accessories. An accessory to me is something you don’t need. You try to fight a fire without those things; they are not accessories.’ Lehtonen is Lion’s vice president of innovation and product management and was previously involved in testing PPE. All told, she has more than 25 years of experience studying, testing and developing firefighter protective gear. She says there was a dramatic attitude shift regarding these items sometime in the late 1990s. Since then gloves, boots and helmets have improved, albeit at a slower pace than other pieces of kit. When trying to predict the future development of items such as boots, gloves or helmets, understanding the market’s prevailing attitude is a good starting point. In North America, one of the driving forces behind market attitude and, ultimately, product offerings is the body of standards issued by the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA committees draft, revise and vote on firefighting equipment and training requirement standards. The committees are made up of firefighters, equipment

< FIRE & RESCUE < third QUARTER 2017

manufacturers, representatives from relevant associations and agencies, and other subject experts. While the standards have no regulatory backing in the way a mandate from the federal government would, most standards are adhered to by fire equipment manufacturers in North America and by most municipalities overseeing fire departments. The standards are evaluated and revised every five years. NFPA 1971, which covers firefighter boots, helmets and gloves, was set to have its 2018 revision voted on in August. Lehtonen and other experts say not to expect anything more than subtle changes to these items in the next edition of the NFPA 1971 standard. ‘Changes in the standard were rather lacklustre in terms of driving innovations for firefighter protective ensemble elements, including boots, gloves and helmets,’ says Jeffrey Stull, who serves on the NFPA 1971 committee. Stull, along with his wife Grace, operates International Personal Protection and authored the book, PPE Made Easy. ‘Until standards open up to incentivise innovative product technology, significant changes in these products may be hampered.’ Robert Freese, Globe’s senior vice president of marketing, knows a bit about the evolution of firefighting PPE – his great grandfather is credited with inventing the first set of PPE in 1887. He says the NFPA is a cautious, conservative body that

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ppe

Lion's Commander firefighting boots are designed to match the anatomical shape of the heel.

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requires proof before enacting changes. ‘If you look inside the NFPA standards, there’s an attempt not to be design restrictive, because that stifles modernisation and change. But there is also a conservativism in that we don’t want to allow any product on the marketplace that could possibly jeopardise firefighter health and safety.’ One example of a recent revision that firefighters and departments pushed for and NFPA was a change agent for was NFPA-approved hoods that act as a barrier to cancercausing particulate matter. This came on the heels of growing evidence linking firefighting activities to cancers and to recent studies showing that the firefighter’s head, throat and neck are especially susceptible to particulates from fire combustion. And it is in this area of particulate protection that the industry could see the greatest impetus for development for firefighting boots, gloves and helmets when the 2023 version of NFPA 1971 is compiled. ‘Protection from particulates could end up being a major theme of the next [NFPA 1971] edition, and not just for hoods,’ says Mark Williams, a 20-year glove product specialist for Gore. Gore makes barrier linings found in many firefighter boot and glove models. When researchers looked at particulate matter on the skin near the hood, they found that when subjects removed their gloves they had a lot of particulates on their hands. Another area that Lehtonen says may get a closer look is where the glove meets the coat cuff, the boot meets the pant

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cuff, and the helmet meets the collar. These interface areas have drawn attention from coat and pant makers and that attention may turn to the boot, glove and helmet side of the interface. It may not be manufacturers’ number-one priority, but it will be up there, she says. One of the challenges will be making interfaces that work equally well across product lines. Stull has also long been a proponent of manufacturers adopting a full-ensemble approach to firefighter PPE. ‘One of the big gaps in personal protective equipment for firefighters is the lack of an ensemble approach,’ Stull says. ‘Items of the ensemble including garments, helmets, hoods, gloves and footwear are sold separately, and it is up to the individual fire departments to judiciously select and integrate these items for effective protection. Levels of protection among the different elements are not commensurate, and thus there can be gaps in protection or ineffective interfaces.’ Additionally, experts believe this focus on cancer-causing agents will lead to a greater emphasis on cleaning PPE. And that is likely to play a role in the evolution of boots, gloves and helmets. ‘This may require rethinking of some aspects of the clothing, because repeated laundering of gear is likely to result in shorter lifespans,’ says Stull. ‘You start to hear people ask if they should take their headband out and clean it,’ Lehtonen says. ‘You never heard anybody talking about taking their headband out before. There are guys on the NFPA committee who have had cancerous cells removed right around where their headband was. Is it the headband? We don’t know.’ For firefighting gloves, product engineers will continue to fight the dexterity versus insulation battle. The more thermal protection the glove offers, the less mobility it gives users and vice versa. PPE experts expect we will see incremental improvements in glove dexterity over the coming ten years. ‘We can get there a lot easier with some of the materials that are now available, and by using gloves that are 3D-designed with more pieces versus just a front and a back,’ Lehtonen says. ‘I think we’ll easily be there within the next five to ten years.’ Freese says that a hybrid or layered-system approach may be the best course for providing protection and dexterity in gloves. He points to the military and its adoption of high-protection gloves worn over high-dexterity gloves in aircraft firefighting. When less protection and more dexterity is needed, the outer glove is removed. ‘Some of the European gloves are much more flexible than the US gloves. I think they are heading in the right direction,’ Freese says. ‘We’re still steeped in the notion that it is a firefighting glove and its primary function is to protect the hand against heat. Maybe there need to be different gloves or layered-glove systems because we can’t do parts of the job in terms of operating extrication tools and that sort of thing as well as we should with a structural firefighting glove.’ Certainly one practical problem with a layered-glove concept would be enforcement. That is, making sure firefighters are wearing the right glove for the right job. When it comes to barrier technology, Williams says he doesn’t anticipate much change over the next ten years because there just isn’t much room to improve upon the existing product. ‘How do you make an insulation material that’s there when you need it and not when you don’t? That violates the laws of physics. Manufacturers are not holding back on this.’ Stull says it will take a manufacturing breakthrough to realise a major change in firefighting gloves. ‘The only way that gloves could be radically improved would be the

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Lion's classic American firefighting helmet enjoys great popularity among firefighters for its iconic design.

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introduction of a completely different moisture barrier system as part of the glove construction.Current flat-film barrier technology simply results in bulky gloves because glove moisture barriers and liners do not readily integrate with the leather or fabric shells.’ When it comes to boots, the experts agree that the big challenge is removing weight without compromising protection. That’s important as a recent study showed that heavier firefighting boots change how firefighters walk and increase their incidence of injury. ‘We’re looking at protection from outside and comfort from inside,’ says Jon Buchwald, Gore’s footwear product specialist. ‘From the inside, we look at moisture management and improving breathability. There’s not much we can do to reduce the weight of the boot.’ Substituting lighter composite materials for steel to provide puncture and crush protection is an encouraging development in the quest to remove weight from boots, according to Lehtonen. And the experts do agree that leather is vastly superior to rubber and long for the day when the rubber firefighting boot is only seen in museums. ‘I’d like to see rubber boots go away,’ Lehtonen says. But to get there, manufacturers will have to overcome the perception of higher cost. And getting fire departments to buy a more expensive boot comes down to convincing them to look at cost of ownership versus cost of purchase. The real 800-pound gorilla in the US fire service room is the helmet. The tall crown and wide brim are as recognisable and

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iconic as the cowboy hat and as beloved as apple pie. ‘The traditional helmet is going to take a long time to die,’ Freese says. ‘People will crucify me for saying this, but it really isn’t the best design for what we encounter today.’ Not only that, but experts say that the iconic, traditional design is hindering helmet advances. How face and eye protection is better integrated into the European-style helmet is just one example. ‘Overcoming the iconic look of the US fire helmet will be a challenge for those manufacturers that attempt to combine new features as part of the helmet,’ Stull says. ‘The opportunity for changes comes with the integration of other features not typically applied in helmets. For example, certain types of electronics including sensors may be better suited on the helmet than the SCBA. Traditional style helmets, particularly those based on leather, remain an inefficient design.’ ‘There’s not a lot you can do until firefighters are ready to accept a different look,’ Lehtonen says. ‘That’s how you are going to get different and better protection. I’d love to say we’ll be there in ten to 15 years, but I’m not sure we will.’ In the end, whether it is the cost of boots, the look of a helmet or the fear of getting cancer, firefighter attitudes will drive changes to PPE. For Freese, the attitudes that will give momentum to PPE development spring from how firefighters set out to do their job. That means looking at the expanded activities firefighters must do and how PPE helps or hinders those roles. It also means taking a hard look at the approach to fighting fires. And many think that moving from a universal, most-hazard standard model to one where levels of protection can be selected based on local risk and needs assessments could help with PPE development. ‘We are in the incipient stages of understanding exposures from things such as carcinogens from particles and smoke,’ Freese says. ‘Products will have a part to play in limiting these exposures. But, it is going to be tactical procedures and guidelines and our approach to extinguishing the fire that will have the most impact. ‘We don’t really need to put firefighters in the smoke and up close,' he adds. 'The fire doesn’t really care if you are squirting water on it from four feet away or if you are squirting water on it through a window or a doorway.’ And how those major attitude shifts play out will have a direct influence on what our next generation of boots, gloves and helmets can and cannot do.

About the Author:

Rick Markley is the former editor-inchief of Firerescue1 and a fire chief, volunteer firefighter, and fire investigator. He serves on the board of directors of the International Fire Relief Mission, a humanitarian aid organisation that delivers unused fire and EMS equipment to firefighters in developing countries. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications and a masters of fine arts. He has logged more than 15 years as an editor-in-chief and has written numerous articles on firefighting. He can be reached at Rick.Markley11@gmail1.com.

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Keeping it clean service issued a tender for new firefighting garments that had to comply with the latest in occupational hygiene standards. The order for 1.600 garments has been delivered in the first half of 2017. Arwin van de Zande is in charge of procurement at Safety Region Haaglanden. He explains: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Protecting our staff from the disastrous effects of exposure to combustion products including soot, smoke and ultra-fine particles was a priority when we issued this tender. We especially paid attention to the breathability of the garments, and they had to be easy to clean. We also chose a light khaki colour so we can quickly see if PPE is dirty and needs to be washed.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The pockets and Velcro on the garments have been designed specifically to minimise the ability of dirt and soot to bind to the garments and to ensure it will wash off easily when rinsed. Due to the occupational safety regime Haaglanden has implemented, there was also a requirement for the garments to be washed at least 60 times during the life of the contract, and this affected the choice of retro-reflective strip that could be used. It is extremely important for the firefighters who rely on these garments that critical components such as the reflective tape do not degrade during these cycles. The Cofab91 AR Triple Trim manufactured by Dutch producer Retroflex was chosen for this particular project. Cofab is an aramid-based tape that uses glass-bead retro-

A dedicated decon vehicle for ppe

Safety Region Haaglanden in The Netherlands has taken considerable steps to ensure the safety of its firefighters, developing a stringent policy designed to protect operational staff from the harmful effects of combustion products, reports Ann-Marie Knegt.

F

irefighters and fire and rescue organisations around the world are becoming more aware of the need to implement intensive cleaning and maintenance regimes for firefighting garments in order to protect staff from the damaging effect of ultra-fine particulates and chemicals found in soot and smoke. Safety Region Haaglanden is no exception, and based on modern research into the health impacts of ultra-fine particulates and occupational hazards, the fire service decided to implement a stringent occupational hygiene protocol. The procurement of PPE and firefighting kit was an essential part of this process, and during the last quarter of 2016, the fire

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Safety Region Haaglanden in the west of The Netherlands has established one of the most progressive occupational hygiene regimes in the world. Not only has the fire and rescue service specified the latest firefighting kit, but it has also developed a new dedicated vehicle for collecting decontaminated clothing and equipment at an incident and supplying crew with clean gear. The Basic Decontamination Unit has a special compartment for storing the dirty clothing. Contained in a special bag, the clothing is then taken to the station where the bags are put in the washing machine. After a while the clothing falls out of the bag by itself and the clothing is washed and dried in a conventional manner. Safety Region Haaglanden has its own washing facility and special cleaning programmes for garments, which have been agreed with the clothing supplier. The fire and rescue service also has a special wash cycle that can be used for cleaning extremely contaminated clothing.

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reflective technology, and it is based on a similar material to that used in bulletproof vests. The tape also offers a high level of breathability and washability. ‘Cofab91 AR Triple Trim is a lightweight tape that will retain its retro-reflective performance even over 100 washes,’ says Allart Scholts, owner of Retroflex. ‘The product will retain its reflective and fire resistant properties when conventional products are starting to lose these capabilities and may have to be replaced during the life cycle of the garment. This is one of the only types of tape on the market that can make this claim.’ Cofab91-AR Triple Trim has been certified according to 100 cycles ISO6330 (60°C) and 50 wash and dry cycles according to ISO15797 (75°C).

Bristol Uniforms Protecting the world’s firefighters

Stricter PPE maintenance regimes Scholts explains that there is a growing tendency on an international level towards stricter PPE maintenance regimes, and that fire services around the world are calling for garments that are resistant to a higher number of washing cycles. This includes the individual components of garments such as retroreflective tape. Scholts expects that current methods of cleaning firefighting gear will change considerably in the next few years. ‘Health and safety considerations will change the whole way fire services deal with PPE, and this will include the frequency of washing and the instructions that come with a garment.’ Retroflex is constantly developing its products to keep ahead of these changes. ‘We have to stay on our toes to create retroreflective tapes that fulfil changing fire service requirements internationally. For firefighters, retro-reflective strips are most important when they attend incidents at night such as road collisions, when they need to maintain a high level of visibility at all times.’

With its products used by firefighters in over 110 countries Bristol is a global leader in the design, specification and manufacture of firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE). With world class quality its products and support services are delivered through 70 specialist distributors throughout the world underpinned by a dominant share of its home UK market. Bristol Uniforms Ltd, Wathen Street, Staple Hill, Bristol BS16 5LL, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)117 956 3101 enquiries@bristoluniforms.com www.bristoluniforms.com third QUArter 2017 < FIRE & RESCUE <

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FOAM

A proportional response

Is it possible to achieve closure on sites contaminated by PFAS? If so, how? This was the question addressed by Dr Peter Nadebaum of GHD at a seminar in London in July chaired by Dr Paul Nathanial of Land Quality Management. Lotte Debell reports.

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Use of aqueous film-forming foams in firefighting activities is associated with a number of PFAS contaminated sites currently under investigation in the US and Australia. ©Shutterstock

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s some of the major concentration sources for PFAS contamination are associated with firefighting and the use of aqueous film-forming foams, it is an issue for public and private fire and rescue services across the world. This has been underlined by recent cases in Australia and the US, where not just the contamination itself but also the alleged slow response and/or lack of transparency by the agencies or authorities involved has led to a proliferation of class actions that could run on for years. The emotive nature of PFAS contamination when it spreads off-site and affects neighbouring communities is just one of the challenges faced by the actors in these unfolding dramas, and is a warning to others of the need to be proactive about potential contamination. Other complications include uncertainties and ongoing debate over this class of man-made chemicals, from how many there are and how best to test for them to understanding their effects on human health. Where do you set limits for tolerable daily intake? How do you reconcile the need to protect human health and the environment with the commercial realities of dealing with contamination? If the cost of treating contaminated sites is too high because ‘acceptable’ levels are too low to achieve, what happens then? The question of how to determine a proportional response in each case is critical to achieving an acceptable outcome. This was the central question addressed by Dr Nadebaum. He began by addressing ‘the PFAS problem’, namely that

< FIRE & RESCUE < third QUARTER 2017

this is a new group of chemicals that consists of many different compounds about which so much is still unknown. They are classed as Persistent Organic Pollutants that are bioaccumulative (in humans and animals), toxic and soluble. It is these properties that fuel fear in affected communities and those affected by occupational exposure, such as firefighters. Part of the problem is that because they are new, criteria are still being established. And the criteria that do exist for the most common PFAS, such as PFOS and PFOA, vary widely across the world. ‘In some jurisdictions these are very low, especially for water,’ said Dr Nadebaum, ‘sometimes below the level of detection. This makes it difficult to establish the level of precaution that needs to be taken.’ They are also everywhere – widely found in the environment and people, and present in all manner of commercial and industrial goods and processes. The widespread use of AFFF foams at facilities with Class B fire protection response capabilities means PFAS are commonly found at airports, major hazard facilities, and fire service sites, but they are also found in sewage biosolids, effluent and landfill sites and present in soil, concrete, ground and surface water, and sediments. To top it off, treatment is difficult, and the scarcity of criteria for acceptance and/or disposal makes management difficult – how do you know what is safe, what can be managed, and what doesn’t need management? How do you decide on the appropriate, responsible approach?

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FOAM

Some newer foam formulations may be PFAS-free but still contain other fluorinated constituents that can change via oxidation into carboxylates, such as PFOA. ©Shutterstock

‘An evidence-based, risk-based approach is required to assess and respond to contamination in the environment,’ Dr Nadebaum argued. However, he warned against adopting very conservative criteria out of excessive precaution as this could hinder rather than help overall remediation efforts. The bioaccumulative nature of some PFAS can lead to high accumulations in organisms, leading to concerns over possible effects. And the presence and accumulation of these chemicals across the environment can lead to multiple pathways of exposure. For example, they can be present in soil, in plants grown in that soil, and in water. Fears around the toxicity of PFAS chemicals and their effects, combined with their solubility and ability to migrate long distances, leads regulatory agencies to take a precautionary approach when aiming for ‘no adverse effect’. The problem does not stop there. The sheer number of compounds – possibly up to 3,000 – makes the question ‘what are we dealing with?’ difficult to answer. Then there’s the problem of precursors – other fluorinated constituents that appear in newer foam formulations that can change via oxidation into carboxylates (such as PFOA). This could further complicate the feasibility of compliance, which is already difficult because PFAS are resistant to degradation and destruction is difficult. ‘It’s probable that in-situ destruction of PFOS source areas is not feasible,’ said Dr Nadebaum.

Site investigations

Human health risk assessment

Given all of the above, where do you start when investigating and dealing with site contamination? Initially this is fairly straightforward said Dr Nadebaum – conduct a site history and establish a preliminary conceptual site model. ‘This is the key to understanding the whole issue of PFAS. I would expect this to identify the main areas of residual contamination, the source areas, and potential for transport.’ It is on this point – the potential for migration off site – that things start to get complicated, as issues arise of not only how to investigate it but how far that investigation should extend. Most importantly, however, if there is a potential for off-site migration, said Dr Nadebaum. 'The site owner must act immediately to minimise migration. This will stand you in

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good stead if there are off-site problems. Act responsibly and proactively – not acting on known contamination is being used as a basis for litigation.’ When it comes to possible off-site impacts, do you estimate or measure? ‘This is the fundamental question,’ said Dr Nadebaum. ‘If you think you have a problem, go out and measure it. Some Australian regulatory agencies advocate this approach because adverse effects can occur at very low concentrations, therefore it is better to measure actual impacts than to predict them.’ But there are difficulties. This approach may involve, for example, sampling water, fish and other organisms in the food chain as well as groundwater. If this is used for gardening, it could lead to sampling garden produce, chickens, and eggs, etc. So you need to know how to interpret and respond to test results and the concentrations that would signal the need for further action, such as a prohibition on fishing or the use of groundwater. ‘These are extreme measures,’ said Dr Nadebaum. ‘If you start shutting things down it has significant implications.’ There may be reluctance to sample off-site because of the uncertainty of interpretation and the community concern and media attention that can result, but don’t do it and you could be in for trouble later, especially if earlier investigations recommended such work.

While the toxic effects of PFAS on humans are not yet fully understood for either acute or chronic exposure, the bioaccumulative properties of PFOS and its long half-life in humans (four to eight years) have led to the setting of maximum tolerable intake levels by international agencies. TDI levels for PFOS in drinking water in the UK and the US are lower than for mercury, for example. A human health risk assessment as part of a site investigation will involve testing soils, drinking water – possibly also ground and surface water – and accumulation in fish, if relevant. Since exposure to PFAS usually occurs through drinking water/groundwater and eating fish, animals and plants, exposure through soil ingestion is a lesser concern. However, when you consider other routes of exposure such as garden produce, this can drive down allowable concentrations in soil considerably. Allowable concentrations will also vary by land use. For example, there are stricter criteria for residential than for industrial land. ‘The higher permissible levels on an industrial site are assuming that there is no uptake from plant consumption, therefore PFOS soil contamination on a fire training site is unlikely to pose a health risk. The problem occurs if contamination migrates off site or the land is converted to residential use.’ When it comes to drinking water, the TDI will assume a certain percentage comes through water consumption. Dr Nadebaum explained that internationally it is not uncommon to assign 10% of TDI to water and assume the rest occurs through other routes. This is a precautionary assumption as other routes of exposure may account for much less than 90%. When considering ground and surface water, it is not just a case of measuring PFAS levels but also considering possible uses. For example, irrigation could lead to accumulation in soil and in plant crops and livestock. Water may also be used for cooking but not for eating, but variations in use between households will complicate the assessment. Assessing bioaccumulation in fish, if relevant, is even less clear cut. While PFOS traces in water can result in unacceptable concentrations in fish for human consumption,

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FOAM

indicative screening values are based on international estimates of bioaccumulation and assume a certain consumption of fish per person. Is consuming fish a risk? Dr Nadebaum suggests testing fish directly and taking into account actual consumption. ‘It may also be helpful to estimate dilution to show that concentrations in water will be very low. Sometimes if we look at the dilution, we may be able to say there is no problem.’ Another difficult question is whether to conduct blood sampling as part of the health risk assessment. This issue is fraught with controversy. Affected communities may want blood tests done, but because the results are difficult to interpret, health departments are often against it. And PFOS will always be found in people’s blood in varying concentrations because of exposure from a number of sources. It is difficult to relate results to a particular source.

Ecological risk assessment If the health risk assessment is complex, the ecological risk assessment is even more complicated. Different countries have adopted different approaches but the international consensus is that PFAS do pose an ecological risk. PFOS was declared a Persistent Organic Pollutant in 2010 under the Stockholm Convention, and various toxicological effects have been reported in laboratory tests for both PFOS and PFOA, including developmental and physiological effects in freshwater and marine creatures as well as land animals. For example, multigenerational fish exposure has shown a reduction in reproductive potential. An ERA will typically require a preliminary and more detailed assessment. The preliminary assessment is based on comparisons with screening values and involves: problem identification; receptor identification; exposure assessment; risk characterisation; and a toxicity assessment. If this indicates a concern, it can lead to a more detailed ERA. This is much more detailed, involving, for example, field studies, species identification, studies of ingestion and absorption, and migration modelling, etc. Dr Nadebaum advised that it is important to identify the key receptors rather than all receptors and added that toxicity data for local species is often not available for PFAS. When conducting the ERA, some screening levels may have been set by regulatory agencies and others may not, and those that exist will be dependent on the policy positions of agencies. For example, aquatic screening values may take into account protection of species or assumed levels of bioaccumulation. Both aquatic and soil values will take into account direct and indirect (uptake via the food chain) toxicity that can push down acceptable levels. And not all values may be relevant in every case. ‘Choosing screening values is not simple,’ said Dr Nadebaum. ‘Many values exist that may or may not be relevant to the particular exposure scenario. An experienced ecotoxicologist is required.’ While certain elements of an ERA for PFAS sites are well established and straightforward, methodologies for assessing exposure – particularly toxicity and risk characterisation – are developing fields. This means it is very difficult to assess the ecological impact on a site with any degree of certainty.

Remediation Finally, site management and remediation is another area of evolving knowledge, technology, and guidance. The overall objectives of such operations are to comply with regulatory requirements and achieve an acceptable level of risk, but Dr Nadebaum acknowledged that achieving ‘no adverse effects’

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might not always be possible. ‘We need to adopt a practical, responsible approach and draw on the principles of sustainable remediation.’ As an example, he explained how 1mg of PFOS in one litre of soil/aquifer/water would require a reduction of 50 times this value to meet acceptable soil criteria, but a much greater reduction to achieve acceptable fresh surface water criteria – possibly as much as five million times, depending on the criteria. ‘How do you remediate a site if such a huge reduction is required?’ These low values have significant implications, with the costs for PFOS destruction increasing as target concentrations are reduced. Assuming a thermal treatment is used, the cost to reduce soil concentration from 0.04 mg/kg to 0.01 mg/kg can be as high as AUS$4,000,000 per kg of PFOS destructed. ‘The return in terms of remediation and reduction of residual PFOS is fairly ineffective. You need to take a broad view and determine how money can be spent to achieve the best long-term result.’ There are a number of remedial responses available. Source treatment and containment offers long-term but not short-term risk reduction, while receptor protection/ interception/containment will reduce the risk more quickly but will see costs escalate in the long-term. Management (receptor control) can reduce risks faster and at lower cost but there may be an unacceptable long-term risk. Ultimately, sites may need multiple approaches, coupling management control with interception, source treatments and containment. Selection of appropriate treatments must consider risk to stakeholders of both the impact of remedial works and the condition of land and water after treatment. For example, is there a risk of future containment failure? It is also important to choose the most sustainable option that balances social, environmental, and economic factors. Dr Nadebaum closed by arguing that regulators need to consider what they ultimately want to achieve. ‘In one Australian State there are 300 sites under investigation. What will the financial implications be for those sites and the country as a whole? Regulators need to consider the implications of some of their policies against the scale of the risk.’

About the speaker:

Dr Peter Nadebaum is an international expert on approaches for assessing and managing PFAS contamination and has been an accredited environmental auditor in Australia for 25 years. He is a founding member of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination and Remediation, and is working with the organisation to develop national guidance on the assessment and management of PFAS in Australia. He has also been involved with major PFAS-contaminated sites. He was also the founder and inaugural president of the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association.

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FOAM

Foam suppression systems Jerry Borowski of The Solberg Company provides a guide to the four categories of foam hardware components that have evolved to meet the needs of fire safety professionals since their commercial introduction in the 1950s.

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o what exactly is a foam system? NFPA Standard 11, section 3.3.6, defines a foam-water sprinkler system as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a special system that is pre-connected to a source of foam concentrate and to a water supplyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. These systems are used by fire safety professionals worldwide in emergency situations and to protect high-risk assets in industries as diverse as aerospace, petrochemical, and pharmaceuticals. The foam system is equipped with appropriate discharge devices for extinguishing agent discharge and distribution. The piping system is connected to a water supply through a control valve that is usually actuated by operation of automatic detection equipment that is installed in the same area as the sprinklers. When the valve opens, water flows into the piping system, foam concentrate is injected into the water, and the resulting foam solution generates and distributes foam. Upon exhaustion of the foam concentrate supply, water discharge follows and continues until manual shut off. Systems can be used for discharge of water first, followed by foam discharge for a specified period, and then water again until manually shut off. Foam-water systems can take different forms like deluge, wet pipe, dry pipe, pre-action, spray and pre-primed systems depending on the type of risk. Foam hardware components can generally be divided into four categories: tank systems, proportioning devices, discharge devices, and mobile equipment.

Foam hardware systems Bladder tank system

A bladder tank is the main component in this type of balanced pressure proportioning system. It requires no outside power source other than an adequate water supply. The bladder tank is a carbon steel pressure vessel with a nylon reinforced neoprene rubber bladder inside that stores the foam concentrate. During operation, the foam concentrate is discharged from the tank by the water supply, collapsing the bladder around a perforated centre tube until the concentrate is depleted. Bladder tank systems include various component parts such as proportioners, discharge devices, swing check valves, ball valves, and hydraulic actuating ball valves. Typical sizes of tanks range from 190-12,500 litres. Most manufacturers of bladder tanks offer them in standard and pre-piped configurations, vertical and horizontal versions. The selection of any specific tank configuration is dependent on the available space for each installation.

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Two different types of proportioners can be used in bladder tank systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; variable range proportioners or conventional (between the flange) proportioners. The variable range proportioner is used in a closed head foam-water sprinkler system where both a minimum and maximum litres-perminute flow is required. A conventional proportioner is typically used in a deluge system where discharge devices such as foam chambers, foam makers, monitors or sprinkler heads are incorporated into the design.

Foam hardware components can generally be divided into: tank systems, proportioning devices, discharge devices, and mobile equipment.

Positive displacement foam pump system Positive displacement foam pump skids are typically found in either balanced pressure (BP) foam pump skids or in-line balanced pressure proportioner (ILBP) foam pump skids. Both systems use the same components including an atmospheric tank, positive displacement foam pump, balancing valve, and full service control panel. The main difference between the ILBP and the BP pump skid is that the BP pump skid utilises a conventional proportioner located on the foam pump skid. On the other hand, an ILBP pump skid allows the use of an in-line balance pressure proportioner that can be remotely located away from the foam pump skid. The foam pump is primarily driven by three common power sources, either an electric motor, a water motor (Pelton wheel), or a diesel engine. Foam pumps are typically a positive displacement rotary type to ensure that any viscosity foam concentrate can be used. Foam concentrate is typically supplied by an atmospheric storage tank.

Foam concentrate proportioning system A foam concentrate proportioning system is a self-contained, preassembled proportioning system with a positive

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FOAM

displacement water motor-powered pump. These systems require no outside power source other than an adequate water supply. A foam concentrate proportioning system will also require the use of an atmospheric tank (containing the foam concentrate) and can be recharged without stopping the flow of the system. The atmospheric storage tank itself is typically manufactured of high-density, cross-linked polyethylene in a vertical configuration. Storage tank assemblies are equipped with a suction connection, return connection, drain/fill connection, and domed top. Typical sizes range from 18-37,000 litres.

high expansion foam system A high expansion foam system is designed for total flood or local application hazards and incorporates the same components and devices as described for bladder tank and proportioning foam systems. A high expansion foam generator is an air-aspirated discharge device that is typically water powered and requires no other outside power to deliver expanded foam solution in volumes ranging from 200:1 to 1,000:1.

Proportioning devices Foam ratio controller

Ratio controllers are a modified venturi device designed to meter the correct amount of foam concentrate into a water stream over a specified range of flow and pressure rates with minimal pressure loss. The ratio controller consists of three components: the body with water inlet; the metering orifice located in the foam concentrate inlet; and the throat (nozzle), which is located downstream from the water inlet.

in-line balanced pressure proportioners The in-line balanced pressure proportioner is a completely self-contained device that incorporates the necessary components including ratio controller, duplex gauge,

balancing valve, check valve, ball valve, and associated brass piping. ILBPs are designed to balance the incoming foam concentrate pressure with the incoming fire-water pressure, and meter the correct amount of foam concentrate to the fire-water stream over a range of flow rates and pressures. The ILBP system works with a positive displacement foam pump to supply foam concentrate to the ILBP. A pressure sustaining valve, located in the return line, carries excess foam concentrate not needed by the device back to the atmospheric storage tank.

threaded proportioner Threaded proportioners are modified venturi ratio controllers that accurately mix and meter foam concentrate into fire-water streams. Each proportioner consists of a body, an inlet nozzle, and a metering orifice constructed out of bronze material. During operation, water flows through the modified venturi to create an area of lower pressure directly affected by the water velocity as it flows through the ratio controller.

Variable range proportioner A variable range proportioner is a low foam solution proportioning device designed to accurately proportion the concentrate into the water stream at high and low flow rates. It is designed as an integral component of a bladder tank proportioning system, used with concentrates in foam-water sprinkler systems. Use of a variable range proportioner complies with NFPA 30, the Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, paragraph 16.5.1.6.2, which states â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;foam/water sprinkler systems are to provide foam solution to operating sprinklers with four sprinklers flowingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

Discharge devices

continuous flow hose reel Continuous flow hose reel assemblies are typically manufactured with magna-cast aluminium supports and brass waterways. Hose reels typically feature a non-collapsible

Above: A wide range proportioner. Right: A foam trailer

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FOAM

booster hose and brass 90° elbow inlet swivel with male NST outlet. The carbon steel reel stores and deploys a continuous flow hose, which allows liquid to flow while the hose is still on the reel. Hose reels are used for remote protection of assets or where manual foam firefighting is required.

Diagram of a foam ratio controller.

Foam chamber Foam chambers are NFPA-11 Type II air aspirating foam discharge devices that provide protection for open top floating and cone roof flammable liquid storage tanks. They are a combination of a foam mixing chamber and a foam maker with an air inlet. A removable orifice plate is located between the flange inlet and solution pipe flange, and is sized to deliver the required foam solution at a specified pressure. A frangible vapour seal located in the foam chamber body prevents product vapours from entering the foam chamber body. The vapour seal will break once the foam solution enters, filling the foam chamber body with expanded foam.

Addition to US military qualified product list A new AFFF foam concentrate has passed the requirements of military specification MIL-F-24385F and has been added to the US military qualified product list. Manufactured by Swedish company Dafo Fomtec, Fomtec AFFF 3% M has been in development since 2013 and was approved to ICAO level C foam in June 2014. It is the first time that one of the company’s products has been listed on the US military's QPL. According to the manufacturer, the concentrate is also suitable for foam sprinklers and it will also soon be UL-listed. 'Having a Milspec AFFF foam opens doors to new business opportunities,' said Fomtec managing director John Olav Ottesen. 'It also shows our commitment to quality products and our position as a leading company within the firefighting foam business.' All AFFF used by the US military must meet the requirements set out in MIL-F24385F, which is under the control of the Naval Sea Systems Command. The Naval Research Laboratory is the designated institution for certification evaluation for the Department of Defence’s AFFF QPL. The criteria for passing MIL-F-24385F are regarded as the toughest in the world and include a requirement that the concentrate be compatible/mixable with all other QPL-listed MIL-F-24385F products. In fire tests the foam must also be capable of suppressing a fire at ‘half strength’, or 1.5%, a requirement that was included to address concerns of proportioning accuracy.

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FOAM

Above: A dual pump balanced pressure skid. Below: An example of a foam station.

The foam flows to a deflector plate, which directs the foam to the inside of the storage tank wall and fuel surface, only allowing minimum foam submergence and fuel agitation.

Foam maker A foam maker is a stainless steel discharge tube that incorporates a mixing barrel, an orifice plate (sized for the required flow at a given pressure) and an air inlet to allow air into the foam solution stream to generate expanded foam. The foam maker is normally installed in the line of a semi-fixed or fixed foam fire protection system. Foam makers are air-aspirating foam discharge devices used primarily for the protection of the seal area of open top floating roof storage tanks and dyke areas around storage tanks. Additional applications include protection of spill hazards and dyked flammable liquid storage areas.

Foam station The foam station is a quick knock-down fixed hardware device. The unit is typically self-contained, consisting of stainless steel concentrate tank, eductor, handline nozzle and

non-collapsible hose. When in operation, water is introduced from a dedicated water source through the supply hose to the educator. While water is passing through the eductor a vacuum is created, drawing foam concentrate out of the tank and into the water stream, delivering the foam solution. Some foam stations may be as simple as connecting a monitor with self-educting foam-water nozzles to a hydrant with placement of a tote or drum of foam next to it.

High back pressure foam maker A high back pressure foam maker is a discharge tube (bronze, carbon steel, or stainless steel) with flange inlets and outlets and has air induction holes placed 90° apart to allow air into the foam solution stream to generate expanded foam. These special foam makers are designed to inject foam into a fuel storage tank at the base of the tank. The foam then floats to the surface of the tank to extinguish the fire.

Mobile products

Mobile foam products are designed to provide quick, mobile foam fire protection for hazards consisting of flammable

foam hardware safety codes and standards The applications for foam hardware are governed by safety codes and standards. Examples of such guidelines include: NFPA 11, the standard for low, medium and high expansion foam; NFPA 16, the standard for the installation of foam-water sprinkler and foam-water spray systems; NFPA 25, the standard for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems; NFPA 30, which covers flammable and combustible liquids code; NFPA 409, the standard on aircraft hangars; NFPA 412, which is the standard for evaluating aircraft rescue and firefighting foam equipment; and NFPA 418: the standard for heliports. Other examples include EN13565-2, the European standard for fixed firefighting systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; foam systems design, construction and maintenance; and FM Global property loss prevention data sheets.

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FOAM

liquids. These types of hazards can be defined but are not limited to tank farms, loading racks (both truck and rail), chemical processing plants, and marine loading terminals. Mobile foam products greatly increase the firefighting capabilities of emergency first responders. Mobile foam devices can also be used with either Class A or Class B foam concentrates.

Foam cart A mobile foam cart is designed and constructed for operation by one person. This foam station can function at its full potential quickly in an emergency situation. Foam concentrate is stored in a polyethylene or stainless steel tank equipped with an eductor and pick-up tube. The pick-up tube is connected to the tank and utilises a metering device to determine what percentage of foam concentrate is introduced into the water stream. On the inlet of the eductor, a supply fire hose is connected that delivers water from an independent source. A fire hose and discharge nozzle are connected to the outlet. When in operation, water flows through the eductor, creating a vacuum that draws foam concentrate out of the tank to the metering valve of the eductor and into the water stream, delivering foam solution to the nozzle.

Foam trailer Typically used to protect against liquid spills, dyked areas, storage tanks, loading racks or storage facilities in general that contain combustible or flammable liquids, a foam trailer is a complete mobile platform. It consists of a trailer constructed with frame, wheels, and axles, non-slip decking, utility boxes, water inlet connections, and monitor that is capable of carrying the total charged weight of the trailer assembly and the foam concentrate.

Trailers use either one of two foam storage vessel designs: polyethylene tote(s) – single, dual, or multiple – or a rigidly constructed metal foam tank. The monitors are typically of the self-educting type with flow ranges from 1,900 lpm to 11,300 lpm.

About the Author:

Jerry Borowski is general manager, Americas, and director of technical services for The Solberg Company, a global supplier of firefighting foam agents and fixed foam system hardware. The company is headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin with operations in Bergen, Norway and Sydney, Australia. Jerry entered the fire protection industry in 1986 having worked at both the contracting and fire protection manufacturer level and is a principle committee member on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 11: standard for low, medium and high expansion foam.

Fluorine-free foam for hydrocarbon hazards A biodegradable, fluorine-free foam concentrate that offers fast extinguishing action on hydrocarbon fires is available from Bioex. Ecopol F3 HC is a new formulation of the company’s Ecopol multi-purpose fluorine-free foam. It has been specially developed as a 3% concentrate that the company claims performs as well as, if not better, than the best aqueous film-forming foams. It does not contain any fluorine derivatives such as PFCs or halogen derivatives, and is therefore not subject to current or forthcoming regulatory controls on products containing this type of chemical. It also breaks down quickly without any persistent bioaccumulative toxic residue. Ecopol F3 HC can be used at 3% in direct application on hydrocarbon fires and Bioex claims that it provides long burn-back time equivalent to protein foams. It has been certified to EN1568-3, with a 1A performance classification for both fresh and sea water. It has also achieved the highest performance classification under Lastfire. In addition, the adhesive nature of the foam and its slow drainage means that it offers durable adherence to vertical surfaces. It can also be used as a protective fire barrier for long-lasting cooling of storage containers or hydrocarbon tanks.

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pumps

Enter the Autoflaker An automatic high-volume hose recovery unit for easy recovery after large-scale incidents has been developed by Hytrans Fire Systems, reports Ann-Marie Knegt.

H The Autoflaker makes the job of flaking the hose easier and safer, and frees up resources for other tasks.

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ytrans has built its reputation on supplying the pumps and hoses that make it possible to deliver large volumes of water over great distances. Once the incident is over, however, it is necessary to put the long, heavy hoses back in the hose containers. Due to the sheer weight and size of the hoses, recovery is hard work. International sales manager for Hytrans, Johan Kramer, explains that the company has delivered hundreds of powerful hose recovery units, but that these still require someone standing in the recovery container to flake the hose. ‘This is a narrow space, and it can become heavy work, especially if you have to flake 12-inch hose for several hours.' Environmental conditions can make the job of a high-volume hose flaker even more challenging. It can be very hot, or cold and wet. ‘You have to be careful when

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handling heavy hoses,’ Kramer points out. ‘Nonetheless, recovering a hose from an air-conditioned vehicle cabin does make life easier for everyone.’ Now Hytrans has taken hose recovery to the next level with the launch of the Autoflaker, which has been designed to simplify this essential task. The conventional Hytrans hose recovery unit recovers 1km of 8-inch hose within 30 minutes and a 12-inch hose within 45 minutes, requiring a crew of three to four people. Kramer explains that using the Autoflaker range, which includes the HRU300AF (10 to 12-inch hose) and HRU200AF (4 to 8-inch hose), is not necessarily quicker than using the conventional hose recovery unit, but it does make the job a lot easier. ‘It also frees up resources that would have normally been working on flaking the hose. Instead, this person can be deployed somewhere else, because the Autoflaker only needs a driver.’ The hose recovery system usually works from the hydraulics of the hooklift system. It is also possible to mount a diesel-driven power pack in the front cabinet of the container so that it can operate autonomously. Kramer explains that with automatic flaking, the challenge was to get the hose in the container correctly. ‘When you are doing this manually, you have to watch how you flake the hose. It needs to be stacked in such a manner that it can be deployed again safely at speeds of up to 40kph, so the couplings must always face the same way. When the coupling is facing the wrong way, the man in the hose container has to pick it up and flip the hose and coupling out in the correct direction.’ In addition, the couplings should not be stacked all in the same place because of load division. Therefore, the system is

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pumps

calibrated so that the optimal flaking pattern is achieved. Kramer explains that this was a challenge during the design process of the software for the flaker. The last coupling also needs to be at the back of the container and accessible when the door is opened. 'Unique in all our hose recovery units are the double pressure rollers that open up automatically when the couplings come through,' adds Kramer. 'This function is controlled by computerised electronic eyes.' All product development is done in-house by the company’s own software, electrical, and mechanical engineers. ‘Currently, we have created a Hoselayer with Autoflaker that can hold 1,700m of 12-inch hose, to be used for major hazards mainly in the petrochemical and nuclear industry. For municipal fire brigades, we have an AutoFlaker 200 that handles 4 to 8-inch hose. This can be transported together with our submersible pump system, HydroSub150. The Autoflaker has been designed to last, and it is made from high-grade stainless steel and aluminium. All hose containers have stainless steel walls because couplings scratch easily, and Hytrans doesn’t want to risk damaging the container or corrosion occurring. These will last considerably longer than the trucks they are on. ‘Most of our units operate in highly corrosive climates or extreme environments, so everything we build, we build to last. We are aware of the initial capital cost, but it is an investment that lasts for years. Our equipment is built for larger incidents, so you may not use it every day, but when you do, you must be able to rely on it,' argues Kramer. 'You really have to see our equipment in action to find out what it can do. We have submersible pump units that can deliver 45,000lpm at 12 bar, and we always have hose

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packages in stock. We have recovery units in stock for demonstrations, and two demo trucks that we can send all over the world. You can tell people how fast and how easy our equipment is to use, but they need to see it for themselves.’ He adds that Hytrans has specialised in floating hydraulically-driven pumps and moving water over large distances since 1988, and brings all that expertise to its product development. ‘Almost 30 years of experience has been integrated into our designs. We train end users all over the world, either with our own trainers or via our specialised distributors. We are not just selling pumps and mobile water movement systems; we sell full water supply systems to meet our clients’ specific challenges.'

The Autoflaker system has been designed so that the optimal flaking pattern is achieved automatically.

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pumps

Remote terrain pump The latest evolution of the Mark-3 pump from Waterax includes upgrades specifically designed to meet the needs of wildland firefighters facing fires of every-growing size and intensity. Ann-Marie Knegt reports.

C A key challenge was to develop a pump that could deliver the high pressure required at a weight that could be carried by one person. Opposite page: The pump is designed to meet the challenges of increasingly severe wildfires.

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anadian pump manufacturer Waterax has upgraded its portable Mark-3 fire pump for remote terrain firefighting operations. ‘First introduced in 1964, the Mark-3 has been designed for wildland firefighting and any applications where the water source is far from the incident,' explains Frederic Lefrancois, vice president of engineering for Waterax. 'Since then, the product has evolved constantly to adapt to the requirements of modern firefighters.' The latest Mark-3 is the result of the pairing of the company's patented detachable high-pressure four-stage centrifugal pump end with the Rotax 185cc 2-stroke engine. Waterax’s main challenge in the development process was to come up with a pump that could provide the best possible power-to-weight ratio to produce the high pressure required to move water over long distances and overcome elevation while being light enough to be carried by one person. Moreover, the pump had to be durable enough to withstand the rigours of wildland operations. ‘The main changes to the Mark-3 pump have made it simpler to operate, more reliable, and reduced the need for

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maintenance in the field,' says Lefrancois. 'On the engine front, we replaced the pointed ignition with an electronic ignition, making it easier to start. We also replaced the mechanical cut-out switch with a digital over-speed switch to make it more reliable.' When Waterax acquired the engine from Rotax in 2013, the company made a series of improvements such as the introduction of a Nikasil coated cylinder and an impregnated crankcase to reduce its weight and to make it more durable. On the pump end, Waterax has introduced a blister-resistant mechanical rotary seal to make the Mark-3 more resistant to dry-run conditions. The company has also added a sealed bearing to eliminate the necessity for greasing the pump in the field. ‘By doing so, we made our product more reliable and we greatly reduced the requirement for field maintenance,' says LeFrancois. The Mark-3 can be used in any application that requires high pressure to move water over long distances and over high elevations. Some industrial customers use the Mark-3 to wash off rock surfaces in mining operations, while others use it to clean hangars in farming applications.

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EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF ARTICULATED ACCESS AND REACH

‘The Mark-3 is a real workhorse. The product has been tested and trusted by firefighters for more than 50 years. They know they can depend on it when their life is at stake because it is one of the most reliable units in the field,' says Lefrancois. He adds: ‘Our innovation development will continue to focus on the next generation of firefighters who will need water-moving equipment that can meet the challenges of a world plagued by wildfires of higher intensity and greater magnitude.' The latest version of the Mark-3 has successfully passed the USDA Forest Service 100 hours endurance test and has been requalified under QPL Number 274-001.

ALBANY SIMPLIFIES PUMP SELECTION PROCESS WITH NEW BROCHURE AND ONLINE CONFIGURATION TOOL Albany Pumps has created a new brochure designed to make the process of specifying the most appropriate pump for firefighting installations easier and simpler. Albany’s fire industry pumps are used on fire trucks and fixed installations both off-shore and on-shore in oil and gas production, manufacturing industries, and other hazardous areas. The new easy-to-use brochure brings together all the company’s products for the fire industry in one place and clearly sets out each available pump by type, range, and key capabilities to assist customers, agents and distributors in purchasing pumps for each specific application. The brochure, Foam Pumps for the Fire Industry, can be downloaded from the company’s website and provides detailed technical information on Albany’s full product range, including the latest external gear and twin screw pump ranges for the fire market. Printed versions are also available on request from the company’s sales department. Albany’s new website also has a useful online pump configurator tool, which can speed up the specification process. It uses a series of question to help customers build their perfect pump solution.

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WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING

On the fireline New research using thermal imaging cameras is improving our understanding of how wildfires behave, and has the potential to aid firefighters in containment and mop up, reports Michael Davies.

F

orests are fire-dependent ecosystems. Those that have ground fires every few years have a vibrant ecosystem with healthy trees and a variety of plant species. Forests that have not burned for many years, however, tend to be overgrown. Trees must compete for nutrients and are often stunted, and the understory is more homogenous and does not provide opportunities for plant diversity. Lightning strikes start fires regularly. These fires serve to clean up litter and overgrowth on the forest floor. If these fires are allowed to burn frequently, the fuel load remains low and the fires burn at a lower intensity, clearing the forest floor of debris and thinning young trees, but not killing mature ones. On the other hand, if a forest has not burned for many years, the amount of dead plant material, twigs, branches, and fallen trees will build up. When a fire does occur, this heavy fuel

Above: Digging out a hot spot. Right: Dr O'Brien and the Flir One thermal imaging camera. The use of an extra battery pack can extend the run time of the camera.

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load will burn so intensely that the fire destroys everything in its path, leaving nothing but degraded soil and blackened trunks in its wake. In May 2017, I was deployed to West Mims, a 152,500-acre wildfire that had been triggered by a lightning strike on the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. While I was there I met research ecologist Dr Joseph Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien and his colleague wildland fire scientist Kevin Hiers, who have been working together for a number of years to understand the variation of fire intensity in forests that experience frequent fires. As well as being a research ecologist, Dr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien is fire science team leader at the US Forest Service's Center for Forest Disturbance Science and has spent the last 30 years studying forest ecology and the role that wildfire plays in a healthy ecosystem. He has studied forest ecosystems from Costa Rica to Alaska. His current area of research is the ecology of frequently-burned fire-dependent ecosystems. Kevin Hiers works at Florida's Tall Timbers Research Station. As part of his work he studies the interface of fire research and prescribed fire, connecting combustion science to its ecological effects. Hiers is also a firefighter and has served at West Mims as situation unit leader for the southern area incident management red team. He was able to arrange access to the West Mims fire for Dr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien as it was the perfect laboratory for their research on fire intensity. Dr O'Brien explained that if you walk through a forest after a low-intensity wildfire, you will see that almost all available ground fuel has been consumed. This might lead you to assume that the fire burned with uniform intensity through the entire area, but that's not how wildfires work. Differences in fuel loading, moisture content, and topography result in fires burning less intensely in some areas and more so in others. In some sections, plants have been burned on the surface but their root systems remain intact and can regenerate, or viable seeds may remain buried in the soil. In other areas, the heat of the fire is so great that all plant life is destroyed. These barren areas may now be populated by different plant species. The result, when vegetation returns, is a healthy mixture of grasses, brush, and young trees. In the past there was no effective way to measure the intensity of fire over a large area. Scientists placed buckets of water in multiple locations in front of an advancing wildfire and then returned to measure the amount of water that had been lost to map the fire's intensity. Another approach was to apply wax to steel plates and then measure the amount of wax that had melted. Now, by using today's infrared

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WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING

The hydraulic plough can be used to construct containment lines or in direct attack, carving a trench between the fire and unburned forest. Below: tractor ploughs deploying. Photos courtesy of Oklahoma Fires.

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technology, Dr O'Brien can achieve far more accurate studies of fire behaviour. Dr O’Brien came to West Mims with a cache of thermal imaging cameras and taught a group of field observers (FOBs) to use these TICs to detect hidden heat sources, commonly referred to as hot spots. Finding hot spots is critical to ensuring that containment lines are secure and that the fire will not escape. Armed with this knowledge and portable infrared cameras, these FOBs will be sent to new fires where they will share what they have learned with others. When I caught up with Dr O'Brien, he had just returned from hiking the fireline with his trainees. They had taken their thermal imaging equipment to a section of the fire where hotshot crews were working to secure control lines. The FOBs were using Flir One TICs that plug into a charging port on a smartphone. They weigh less than two ounces and cost under US$400. While they may not be as powerful as more expensive cameras, in the hands of an experienced firefighter they can be very effective for locating hot spots. The team began walking a tractor plough line. In the southern region, the tractor plough is one of the primary firefighting tools. It is a bulldozer that pulls a specially designed trailer-mounted plough. The bulldozer blade scrapes away ground vegetation and small trees and pushes them away from the advancing fire. As the bulldozer moves forward, the trailer plough cuts a deep trench into the soil. Two angled plough blades then guide the excavated soil to either side of the trailer, creating a wide channel with berms of freshly turned soil on either side.

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This is a highly effective method for constructing containment lines, but when the tractor plough is used in direct attack – carving the trench directly on the line between the advancing fire and the unburned forest – soil on the hot side of the berm is piled over burning material. Some of these fuels may continue to smoulder, buried under a foot or more of soil. These concealed hot spots have the potential to burn to the surface and reignite. Under the right conditions, this could allow the fire to cross the containment line and make its way into unburned fuels, resulting in an escape. The group walked a few miles of tractor plough line, scanning the berms with thermal imaging cameras. With the TIC and a smartphone, one experienced firefighter can scan a large area, marking the location of hot spots. This work would otherwise require a crew of firefighters walking in a grid formation to cover the same amount of ground. And, although fire crews had checked the line, Dr O'Brien found four concealed hot spots. There are also other ways that thermal imaging technology could benefit wildland fire suppression. To ensure that a wildfire cannot advance, a perimeter must be established that holds no available fuel or ignition sources. This perimeter is called a containment line. It commonly extends 20 to 40 metres in from the edge of the fire. This cold zone between burned and unburned fuels denies the fire a pathway to escape and prevents it from spreading. Once a continuous perimeter is established, the fire is considered contained. Mop up is this process of ensuring that no available fuel or ignition sources exist in the containment line.

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wildland firefighting

During mop up, hand crews (typically 20 to 22 firefighters per crew) fan out into the fire area and inspect every square foot of the perimeter. This is called cold training. Firefighters use hand tools to rake through the ash to find concealed hot spots. To determine if the ash is ‘cold’, firefighters remove a glove and use the back of their hand to feel for heat. Mop up is a difficult and dirty job. There were more than 94 miles of containment line on the West Mims fire. Mop up operations required hundreds of firefighters and accounted for thousands of hours of labour. Dr O'Brien demonstrated that the TICs made mop up more efficient. The test wasn't a complete success, however. During the heat of the day, ash covering the soil absorbed heat and raised ground temperatures to as high as 60°C. This made it difficult to pick out hot spots beneath the surface. The IR cameras were most effective when used at night and during the early morning hours. Even with these limitations, portable thermal imaging cameras could potentially save thousands of dollars by reducing the number of firefighters required for mop up. They could also reduce the number of undetected hot spots. One single blow-out on the West Mims fire, reportedly a consequence of a missed hot spot, resulted in the loss of over US$21 million in commercial forestry. Large wildfires cost millions of dollars to control, and the cost of fighting these fires increases each year. In 2016, US wildland firefighting costs exceeded US$1,975,000,000. Twenty years ago firefighting accounted for only 16% of the US Forest Service's budget. Today that figure is nearing 50%. ‘Given the astronomical costs, why shouldn't every hotshot crew be equipped with this technology?’ asked Dr O’Brien.

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A firefighter probes a hot spot as the area is scanned using the Flir One thermal imaging camera.

Certainly, we need to work smarter and take advantage of technologies that allow us to complete our missions safely, at lower cost and without compromising the quality of our work. Dr O’Brien and Kevin Hiers have shown us a way to significantly reduce the costs of mop up and possibly improve the quality of our containment lines. I hope the US Forest Service and other stakeholders embrace this time-saving technology and give our hotshot crews a valuable tool.

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WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING

Lessons in response

Portugal suffered its most devastating wildfire in June 2017, which led to the deaths of 64 people. George Potter highlights both the challenges faced by firefighters and the possible failings in the incident response management that may have contributed to the scale of the tragedy.

S

pring 2017 saw the ideal conditions for wildland fires across the Iberian Peninsula. The weather in Spain and Portugal had been extremely hot and dry, with temperatures exceeding 105°F, low humidity and strong, variable winds. In was in these conditions that Portugal suffered its most devastating wildfire. The tragedy in the Pedrógão region of central Portugal began early in the morning of Saturday, 17 June. This rural area is hilly and thickly wooded, situated midway between the nation's capital Lisbon and the country's famous wine city, Porto, some 200 miles to the north. The fire spread rapidly through the dry forests, fanned by strong winds, and extended to other nearby woodlands. The cause of the fire is thought to have been a lightning strike on a dry tree. As the fire grew, a number of rural homes were threatened, forcing occupants to flee. Many of these people took a regional road, the N-236, which soon became a death trap. Nearly all of the 64 victims of the wildfire became trapped

either inside their vehicles or along the road while attempting to escape. Images have shown several groups of these vehicles, all totally burned. Firefighters who reached the vehicles declared that many of the victims were burned beyond recognition. At last count, another 160 civilians suffered injuries of varying severity. It was reported that four firefighters were among this number, all Portuguese. Numerous animals also perished, including livestock and local wildlife. The fire is one of only five wildfires in the last 30 years that have taken numerous human lives. The others include the 1987 fire in China that killed 191 people; the Indonesia fire of 1997 that killed 240; a 2007 wildfire in Greece that claimed 65 lives; and a 2009 fire in Australia that resulted in 180 fatalities. The public fire services in Portugal are a combination of full-time, part-time, and volunteer firefighters. Only the major municipalities such as Lisbon, Porto and a few others are served by full-time firefighters, organised along the lines of

Above: At more than one point during the aerial combat operations, the smoke was so dense that extinguishment flights had to be postponed. Right: Pre-emergency planning for wildfires had not been updated in four years. Images ©Shutterstock

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Many vehicles and firefighters sent under the European civil protection mutual assistance protocol were initially turned away at border crossings. ©Shutterstock

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the militarised fire brigade in Paris, France. In fact, only 15% of the 42,500 firefighters in Portugal are career professionals. The remaining 85% cover rural areas, and many populated municipalities. The population of the country is just over 10.3 million, with 15% living in the ten most populated cities. As the fire increased in severity and dimension, assistance was offered from various countries in accordance with an established European civil protection mutual assistance protocol. Spain was the first to provide material and human resources: 35 rural and forestry pumpers, four heavy tankers including two tractor-drawn 8,300-gallon units, six firefighting aircraft, and nearly 350 firefighters and officers. These included 100 firefighters from Spain’s military emergency units (UME). France sent three aircraft and Italy two more. During the height of the fire, some 2,000 firefighters were actively involved. On Thursday, 22 June, authorities declared that the fires had been brought under control, although numerous spot fires were still burning. It appears that a major contributing factor to the fires was the fuel itself – large expanses of eucalyptus trees planted many decades ago as part of national reforestation programmes. This particular variety of tree burns easily and quickly, especially when dry, as firefighters in California and Australia can verify. Other factors that contributed to the magnitude of the fires included difficult access, inadequate water supply, and the variable, strong winds. Even before the fires had been controlled, numerous issues came to light concerning the organisation of the intervention and the causes of the fires. According to Portuguese legislation concerning woodlands, more than half of the country's forests are privately owned, a fact that makes inspections and controls very difficult. A lack of roads in the region means access was difficult for the larger firefighting vehicles, and many of the existing roads were in a very poor condition. Additional legislation requires that pre-emergency planning for forest fires is revised and updated every two years. As it turned out, no revisions had been carried out during the preceding four years. The initial response to the fire was delayed and slow. This was due in part to the fact that the fire services in the area are all volunteer, so mobilisation of resources was slow and poorly coordinated. From the outset, incident management was uncoordinated, and only when more experienced superior officers were on-scene did things start to shape up. The road on which dozens of victims became trapped was

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not closed for several hours after the fire began. This should have been done immediately by local or state police. It has been argued that if the road had been closed, many if not all of the victims on this road may not have died. In spite of the European-wide mutual assistance protocol, several convoys of fire engines and other vehicles, along with dozens of highly qualified forestry firefighters, were turned away at various border points, with the Portuguese authorities claiming that they just could not handle the logistics of so many vehicles and people. Eventually, however, all of the resources dispatched from other European countries did cross the border and were able to participate in numerous operations at diverse locations. At more than one point during the aerial combat operations, the smoke was so dense that extinguishment flights had to be postponed, contributing to the reduced efficiency of the ground forces. Some of the Spanish firefighters commented on the quality of the equipment and PPE used by many of the Portuguese firefighters. Another aspect that received criticism was the disorder in incident management. There were, however, positive stories that came out of the fire, including at least two situations in which people saved themselves. In one incident, a group of six jumped into a water storage tank and stayed there until the fire had passed. In another, a man jumped into a livestock water trough and survived. The Portuguese government has ordered a large-scale investigation into the incident, which burned some 123,550 acres, took 64 lives, injured 160 people, and destroyed hundreds of homes. One of the most significant aspects of this is likely to be an analysis of faults in the management of the incident. Another will surely be the initial refusal to permit the passage of assistance convoys. These investigations will likely be long and arduous, with the possibility that some highly-placed politicians may be considered at least partially responsible..

WILDFIRE RIPS THROUGH DONANA NATIONAL PARK IN SOUTHWEST SPAIN Less than a week after the Portuguese fire had been extinguished, another wildfire broke out in a nature reserve adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Doñana National Park located in the southwest corner of Spain. Around 2,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes and a major camping facility, which was destroyed by the fire. At one point, nearly 50,000 people were isolated in various beach towns along the Atlantic coast as highways and roads were blocked to traffic. Some 500 firefighters, including forestry specialists, local public service firefighters, and resources from the UME fought the blaze, bringing it under control after three days of intense effort. There are indications that this fire may have been intentional and forestry technicians and the national police are investigating this possibility. Images filmed by a local resident clearly show three distinct and simultaneous outbreaks. The fire was controlled a few miles from the Doñana National Park, which is a sanctuary for hundreds of species of wildlife including a wide variety of birds and the nearly extinct Spanish Lynx. One of these died as a result of excessive stress caused by the fire. No human casualties have been reported. Unofficial reports place the area burned in this fire at some 8,500 hectares.

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casualty care

Coordinating casualty care A new operational concept for responding to active shooter and mass casualty incidents could improve interoperability and save lives by ensuring victims receive medical attention sooner, writes Michael Traylor.

Tactical emergency medical support is defined as a non-military medical service modified for the realities of a tactical environment. ©Shutterstock

T

hroughout the history of law enforcement and public safety there has always been a catalyst for changes in operational methodologies. As the threat environment evolved, public safety evolved reactively to deal with the new threats faced by police officers and firefighters. In the public safety arena there has always been and always will be a continual need to evaluate and change tactics as new threats and technologies emerge. Incidents like the North Hollywood shootout in 1997 and the Columbine shooting in 1999 changed the way public safety officers respond to these types of incidents. Since these events took place, the world has become more unsafe and new threats and dynamics have evolved, leading to the need for more specialised equipment and operational concepts. Terrorist events such as 9/11 and multiple other active shooter and mass casualty incidents have forced us to re-evaluate how to respond to these events and how we protect our personnel in these responses.

Literature review A systematic literature review of pre-hospital management of mass casualty civilian shootings was carried out for a recent study in this area. The study reviewed incidents between 1994 and 2015 involving the shooting of 1,649 individuals and the deaths of 578 people across a total of 17 incidents (Turner, Lockey, & Rehn, 2016). The study included several incidents where issues involving interoperability between law enforcement and emergency medical services during active threats and mass casualty incidents caused not only extensive delays in care but were also almost responsible for a friendly fire incident. The study calls for the establishment of ‘tactical emergency medical support’, which it defines as a non-military medical emergency service modified for the realities of a tactical environment. Individuals within this service would be trained to work in ‘hot’ or ‘warm’ zones, with specialised training in

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law enforcement in order to facilitate greater cooperation between agencies. A key factor for patient outcome identified during the review of mass casualty incidents was hemorrhage control, and the study determined that it was the leading preventable cause of death in trauma, causing around 30-40% of fatalities. Controlling hemorrhaging is therefore critical in saving lives.

3 Echo concept An operational concept reviewed by the study was 3 Echo – Enter, Evaluate, and Evacuate. There are three core tenants to this concept: law enforcement establishes safe access and supports victim evacuation in addition to containing and neutralising the threat in coordination with emergency medical and fire services. Rescue operations are appropriate to the needs of the injured and hemorrhaging patients. In order to save lives, this is a higher priority than establishing a completely safe scene. Fire and rescue and emergency medical services must stage at a safe distance but establish an early liaison with law enforcement and be prepared to rapidly enter areas or corridors that are secure to render aid (Autrey, Hick, Bramer, Berndt, & Bundt, 2014). The 3 Echo concept calls for increased coordination of law enforcement with fire and medical services, but does not allow for fire and medical personnel to provide their own security or ensure their own safety. They are dependent on law enforcement to secure the scene and provide security.

Tactical Combat Casualty Care The United States Armed Forces have developed a number of techniques that have greatly increased survivability on the battlefield. Since 2001, through the use of tourniquets, improved training, and hemorrhage control, it has been estimated that between one and two thousand lives have been saved by the Tactical Combat Casualty Care programme.

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casualty care

The Project Phalanx operational concept calls for the deployment of tactical rescue teams of fire and medical personnel working together with law enforcement. Here a tactical fire service team enters directly behind a law enforcement team, which is providing security.

A review concluded that during the early years of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan there had been 77 deaths of US service members who had bled to death from extremity wounds. The incidence of death from extremity hemorrhage was 7.8% of all combat fatalities reviewed. The TCCC Transition Initiative documented 67 uses of tourniquets in special operations units with no loss of limbs to ischemia. Additionally, US Central Command mandated that all individuals deploying to the combat theatre be equipped with tourniquets and hemostatic dressings. This training and equipment quickly spread throughout the military. Within the Ranger Regiment, for example, every member receives TCCC training and expertise, not just the medics (Butler, 2015). As a result, the incidence of death due to extremity hemorrhage decreased to 2.6%. Of the 4,596 US combat fatalities in these conflicts since 2001, only 119 were from isolated extremity hemorrhage. If the rate had stayed at 7.8% there would have been 358 deaths. In addition to tourniquets, the use of hemostatic dressings has greatly increased the ability to save lives on the battlefield by controlling hemorrhage and improving medical care. The lessons learned by the military have direct correlation to active shooter and mass casualty incidents.

Project Phalanx concept of operations With the emergence of new threats and dynamics, the public safety sector must be able to utilise resources effectively to manage large and complex scenes through cooperation and mutual support. Approximately 93% of the law enforcement agencies in the US are staffed by less than one hundred officers (Reaves, 2016), and 70% the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fire protection services are staffed by volunteers (Haynes & Stein, 2016). During these incidents, law enforcement and public safety agency resources are stretched to the limit. This is especially true of small to mid-sized organisations that make up the bulk of the public safety agencies in the US. To operate effectively, it is necessary to review operational methodologies and revise operational procedures for dealing with these emergencies. To do this, public safety agencies must establish a Joint Standard Operating Procedure (JSOP). The roles of each agency must be clearly defined, and adhere to the incident command system, so there can be effective command and control of assets, personnel, and the scene. In addition to a JSOP, there needs to be a degree of cross training to enable personnel to act as a force multiplier. Training should be provided to specialised teams that will

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have the primary responsibility of patient treatment and extraction from the hot and warm zones of an incident. These personnel, known as Tactical Rescue Teams, will consist of members of the fire services and emergency medical services and they will be equipped with proper personal protective equipment and the means of self-protection. TRT members will only operate in areas behind or cleared by law enforcement in the hot and warm zones to provide immediate patient care and rescue. These teams will provide medical procedures limited to rapid application of life-saving care. They will also facilitate the immediate evacuation of patients from the hot and warm zones to a casualty collection area for triage and treatment in the cold zone, where emergency medical services teams will be standing by. As law enforcement responds and begins to address the active threat, the unified command post can be established. As soon as personnel become available to form the staging areas and tactical rescue teams, they should at that point enter the hot zone, behind law enforcement personnel, to render lifesaving treatment and rescue victims. This approach would greatly help in eliminating deaths from delayed care. Great care should be taken to protect the patients and the integrity of future investigations. Patient recovery locations should be documented by the TRT personnel, and a full report should be made to law enforcement once the immediate threat has subsided. Using this concept, public safety can work as a cohesive unit to protect and save lives. Fluid situations and dynamic threats are difficult to control. Utilising the current or legacy concept of operations, law enforcement alone addresses and neutralises the threats, which in some cases can take an extended period of time. While the scene is not secure, victims will not be evacuated, losing vital time to render life-saving care. With the change in operational concept, specially trained teams can enter the hot and warm zones and rescue victims and injured personnel, potentially saving countless lives. This arrangement of personnel, working closely together, provides a life-saving phalanx dedicated to protecting the communities and people we serve. References Butler, F. K. (2015). Military History of Increasing Survival - The U.S. Military Experience with Tourniquets and Hemostatic Dressings in the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts . Turner, C. D., Lockey, D. J., & Rehn, M. (2016). Pre-hospital management of mass casualty civilian shootings: a systematic literature review. Autrey, A. W., Hick, J. L., Bramer, K., Berndt, J., & Bundt, J. (2014). 3 Echo: Concept of Operations for Early Care and Evacuation of Victims of Mass Violence. Haynes, H. J., & Stein, G. P. (2016). U.S. Fire Department Profile - 2014. Reaves, B. A. (2016). Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Traylor is the vice president of Traylor Consulting.With nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience, Michael has worked with both large and small law enforcement agencies. During his career, he has served as an instructor, criminal investigator, and crime scene investigator as well as a supervisor and incident commander. For more information on the Phalanx operational concept contact Michael on michaeltraylor@traylor-consulting.com.

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Training

Hazmat simulation A new development is transforming training for hazmat technicians, and enabling instructors to replicate real-life scenarios in a way that was just not possible before.

H

azsim is a new hazmat simulation device that is making it possible for firefighters to train for hazmat scenarios in a realistic manner. Owner and inventor Phil Ambrose, a Fire Captain for the City of Glendale, California, and Jason Rogers, director of North American operations for Hazsim and emergency management director of Delaware County, Indiana, talk to Fire & Rescue about the importance of realistic hazmat training The Hazsim device generates realistic meter readings, allowing instructors to create more immersive training scenarios.

How do you see the role of the hazmat responder in the fire service?

Phil Ambrose: After 9/11 the focus of hazmat changed, shifting to incidents involving white powders and weapons of mass destruction, but the industrial use and transportation of hazardous chemicals remain the main risks.

A hazmat specialist needs to be skilled in the basics and good at encouraging others to correctly don their PPE, since every fire scene is really a hazmat scene when it comes to risks associated with cancer. Also, no matter how much technology we use, from meters and drones to portable mass spectrometers, we still need to be able to stop a leak and properly survey the atmosphere. Jason Rogers: The role of the hazmat specialist is constantly evolving. Although it started out in industrial settings and the fire service, many law enforcement agencies and hospitals are getting involved in hazmat because of emerging threats and the production of high-potency opioids. If nothing else, hazmat professionals need to be flexible.

What are the main type of hazmat incidents you see in your daily job and what are the specific hazards? PA: Based on dispatch, the most common scenario is related to unknown odours â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or, as we call it, chasing the ghost. White powders are also very common with the current opioid scare. A few years ago, it was Ebola, before that Anthrax, and now the opioids. All of these scare people because of their lethal potential. Synthetic opioids are many times more potent and considered lethal in very small amounts. This frightens people, and it should. In my opinion, a good knowledge of hazmat fundamentals will aid in all these responses. A white powder, even the deadliest, will not by itself jump on you and kill you. Understanding the basics, and having a consistent systematic approach to these events is critical. JR: In my experience, the most common incidents are probably hydrocarbon or gas and oil incidents. These might not seem very exotic, but they are all around us.

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Training

What is the Hazsim system?

PA: The Hazsim Pro looks and sounds like an actual handheld hazmat detection meter but it is controlled by the instructor. This enables realistic meter readings and provides an immersive training environment for the student. We can also challenge the student with questions relevant to the subject matter via the Hazsim device. Ultimately, instead of the student expecting verbal cues, they are now forced to rely on good metering skills just as they would have to in a real-life incident.

Why did you develop it?

Hazsim forces students to rely on good metering skills, just as they would in a real-life situation.

What is the most common mistake you see rookies make when they first start out?

PA: That they stop learning after hazmat technician school. Most hazmat technician programmes are several weeks long. Some graduates, especially if they are not currently assigned to a squad, may then let their learning lapse. My message to all such graduates is not to wait for your department’s continuing education to keep up your skills.

What are the main challenges of hazmat training?

PA: For me it was the lack of realism. For every other aspect of firefighting training, I have worked with live fire to improve my skills. I am also accustomed to working with live patients for EMS skills training. For hazmat, we were faking it to the point that I believe my peers were not taking it seriously. I invented Hazsim to add the ‘dread factor’ to training. With Hazsim we can create realistic readings and even add to the stress of the situation by hitting the student with real-time questions via the system. Prior to Hazsim, students were getting all of their information via prompts or cues from the instructor, except for rare cases at facilities that could use live agents. I noticed that students trained in the old way expected the clues and cues and were not using their meters – which were not getting readings in any case – or developing life-saving, decision-making skills. JR: Also, keeping your students engaged and entertained at the same time. Adult learning can sometimes be very dry, so keeping students awake in class can be a challenge.

PA: I believe that the old method of training was risking lives. I am a great believer in the studies that show that dangerous jobs require hands-on interactive training. I am a hands-on learner, as are most of my peers. I felt that with Hazsim I could help improve the safety of my fellow first responders.

Who is currently using Hazsim?

PA: We now have more than 150 systems in use across the US and Canada in both small and large fire departments, oil and gas facilities, training institutions, and the US military.

What has the feedback been like from users so far?

PA: The feedback I get is that the system enables the instructor to create a more realistic and effective learning environment and that they don’t have to damage their frontline equipment in a drill. JR: No other product gives total control to the instructor in the way that Hazsim does. It truly makes training real for the responders and industrial professionals who are not otherwise able to train in realistic situations. It also allows instructors to fully customise their training to make use of the question and answer feature of the device.

What are the next steps for Hazsim?

PA: Our mission is to improve first responder safety by continually improving the effectiveness and realism of hazmat training. I am not one to sit idle so we have been taking everything we have learned from our customers and will continue to improve the training experience. JR: We will also be focusing on expanding the company's training services across North America. Our goals for 2018 include boosting sales of the Hazsim system in the European, Middle-Eastern and Australasian markets and then bringing the world’s best trainers to our customers worldwide.

Left to right: Phil Ambrose and Jason Rogers 48

< FIRE & RESCUE < Third QUarTEr 2017

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arff

In profile: Belgrade airport When the firefighters at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, Serbia, receive an incident notification from air traffic control, they must get to their vehicles, don their PPE and be ready to leave their base in no more than 20 seconds, reports Petar Vojinovic, editor-in-chief of Tango Six.

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The airport fire service has recently purchased a Rosenbauer Panther 8x8, with a further vehicle on order. ©Dusan Atlagic/ Tango Six

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tanislav Tahirović is the commander of Belgrade airport’s fire and rescue service, based in Serbia, and he explains that the life of his firefighters is planned to the last detail to enable swift response. ‘When it comes to an actual intervention, everything is timed down to the last second,’ he says. ‘There are two types of possible intervention we face – announced and unannounced.’ If the incident is announced, this means something has happened to the aircraft prior to landing. The firefighters gather at position Bravo One, collect information about the incident, and plan their response based on the location and direction of the aircraft coming in to land.

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If the incident is unannounced, something has happened to the aircraft on take-off or landing. Not only must the firefighters leave the base within 20 seconds, but the fire trucks must arrive at the furthest end of the runway in less than three minutes as per ICAO standards. ‘We can realistically reach the furthest end of the runway at Belgrade airport in less than two minutes,’ says Tahirović. ‘Within that time, the first vehicle will have already dropped 50% of its fire suppression agent on the plane or on other objects.’ Tahirović says that his team is trained for all possible scenarios, and they need to be. ‘No two call outs are the same. There are so many variables, from weather conditions and wind direction to the placement of the vehicle or aircraft. All these factors will affect how the scenario unfolds and the unit commander must evaluate them all in a very short space of time to decide on their operational approach.’ The firefighters at Nikola Tesla Airport undertake both theoretical and practical training to prepare for incidents. ‘From a theoretical perspective, we evaluate all possible tactical situations and study different types of passenger planes. On the practical front, we conduct exercises on our training grounds.’ Each aircraft is different, from its size to the sub-type. Tahirović explains that the firefighters must be familiar with every possible aircraft type so they know how each can be accessed and the best approach to take when fighting a fire on any given type of plane. ‘We know almost everything about all types of aeroplanes

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arff

landing at our airport. For example, we know the difference between Boeing 737 series 500 and 900. Their emergency exits are not the same. The mechanism that secures slides on Airbus and Boeing is different and so on. ‘In the event of an incident, air traffic control will give us all the relevant information, such as the number of passengers, number of crew members, the amount of fuel according to the flight plan, and any hazardous substances that are known to be onboard.’ Slobodan Đurđević is the manager of the airport’s fire and rescue service. He believes that his crew is one of the best equipped in the region. ’Our service has developed alongside the airport. In addition to our other equipment, we have recently purchased a Rosenbauer Panther 8x8, which we selected after a comparison of several vehicles to meet our specific needs. We have also just completed the procurement procedure for a further vehicle of the same type that will arrive at the end of December. With it, we have raised our capacity to the eighth and ninth protection category.’ The Panther has a 15,500-litre water capacity, a 1,900-litre foam capacity and is manned by a crew of five firefighters and a driver. It can reach the furthest end of the runway in less than three minutes. ‘We have tested it,’ says Đurđević, ‘and it arrives in one minute and 30 seconds.’ In addition to the new vehicles, the fire and rescue service will also soon move into a brand new building. Construction of a new firefighting station starts this year and will occupy 6,500m2, of which 5,330m2 will be storage. There will be new garages for vehicles, new premises for the crew, and greater storage for service equipment. The emergency control centre will also be located in the new building. ‘It is a significant investment, and our aim is to create a regional training centre in the new station. The idea is that we lease our equipment, as well as specific services, such as the equipment used for removing an aircraft from the runway during an incident, as we are one of the few airports in the region to have this kind of kit.’ So far, the crew has had to respond to two incidents within their response area, which extends to 8km from the base. One of these involved an intervention on a Lufthansa aircraft. Đurđević says that both were managed without major problems or injuries.

The firefighters undertake both theoretical and practical training. ©Dusan Atlagic/ Tango Six

The service plans to create a regional training centre in its new station. ©Dusan Atlagic/ Tango Six

Slobodan Đurdevic is the manager of Belgrade airport's fire and rescue service. ©Dusan Atlagic/ Tango Six

The Panther can reach the furthest end of the runway in one minute and 30 seconds. @mage: Dusan Atlagic/ Tango Six

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The best of both worlds A recent conference on mutual aid outlined the benefits to governments and industry from public-private partnership models, write Kees Kappetijn and Philip Stohr.

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utual aid through public-private partnership is a great way for government and industry to organise and run a large-scale firefighting or safety organisation. This was the message that came out of the conference held by Kappetijn Safety Specialists on the 29 June 2017 in Rotterdam. The location was fitting because the port of Rotterdam has been home to a public-private partnership involving six industrial and two voluntary fire stations for 20 years, but the international line-up of speakers also outlined existing models from the Netherlands and around the world, demonstrating that mutual aid organisations can come in many different shapes and sizes.

Different models

Above: Tank firefighting in Europoort. Below: The Unified Industrial Fire Department protects the companies in the Port of Rotterdam.

Safety specialist Kees Kappetijn organised the conference. He explained that there are some convincing arguments for taking a collective approach, which include where a government mandates that companies that fall under a certain high-risk category must maintain their own corporate fire brigade. These require high levels of preparedness, effectiveness, and facilities to prevent escalation of incidents, and therefore also require considerable resources on the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side in terms of money, equipment, manpower, preplanning, and specialised education and training. If multiple high-risk companies find themselves in each

otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vicinity, often with urban settings nearby, a mutual aid construction, whether or not this takes the form of a publicprivate partnership, can be a desirable solution. The Netherlands is home to many such partnerships already. The port of Rotterdam has its Unified Industrial Fire Department, the metropolitan area of Amsterdam-Schiphol has Amsterdam-Ymond Mutual Aid, and the chemical cluster Chemelot in Geleen has the collective and specialised firefighting corps of Sitech. As Kees Kappetijn pointed out, there are many more great examples of cooperation between companies or between government and industry in the field of firefighting, all of which have very different organisational structures and governance models. What these organisations have in common is a shared goal: intelligently organised, specialised fire services for on- and off-site incidents. Despite this, these organisations are still mostly locally active and bound to the companies that founded them. The question is whether they could be deployed in other areas in The Netherlands, if and when necessary. Around 60 representatives from firefighting corps, municipalities and businesses discussed the question of how government and industry can effectively combine their powers when confronted with fire scenarios that only happen once in a blue moon, but that do require heavy-duty extinguishing materials and trained specialists.

Unified Industrial Fire Department The conference offered Jan Waals, director of Rotterdamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Unified Industrial Fire Department, the opportunity to look back at 20 years of collective fire and rescue services in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond area. His organisation covers all fires, spills and incidents in the area, whether in urban surroundings, along transport routes or at refineries, chemical facilities and tank storage. In 1998, the Rotterdam municipality, the Rotterdam-Rijnmond fire brigade, and the high-risk industry in the port of Rotterdam signed an agreement to create a joint publicprivate firefighting corps. The organisation started with just over 30 corporate members, but has since expanded to 67. There are now more than 300 employees (of which 250 plus are firefighters), six professional fire stations and two voluntary ones, and between them they are responsible for the fire

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of safety. Theo Weterings, mayor of Haarlemmermeer, is also chairman of the board of the Kennemerland Safety Region He was the governmental keynote speaker at the conference, with his safety authority participating in no fewer than three large mutual aid partnerships. Weterings described the agreements between the safety authority and Tata Steel that have resulted in independent deployment up to the level of medium-class fires, with mutual support should anything escalate. Similarly, the Schiphol fire brigade used to be solely for aircraft firefighting, while the fire responsibility in the terminals and other buildings on site was assigned to the governmental fire brigade. This seemed illogical so Schiphol, Haarlemmermeer, and the Kennemerland Safety Region decided to expand the set of tasks of the Schiphol fire brigade to include the buildings on site. Over the last few years, this set of tasks has expanded even further to include the industrial fire care required by AFS (the gas station for airplanes) and KLM (maintenance services). Train yards that handle chemicals are examples of areas that require industrial fire service protection and could benefit from mutual aid organisations.

cover in an area of over 12,000 hectares that includes large urban clusters in Pernis, Rozenburg, and Hoogvliet. Besides industrial fire and public aid services, the Unified Industrial Fire Department also provides services during large-scale tank and bund fires. The industrial firefighting pool (IFP) was established specifically for that purpose in 2006. It is equipped with specialist materials that are designed to combat extremely large fire scenarios at a number of UIF-member companies. Deploying these resources elsewhere in the country if requested is theoretically possible, but runs into some practical hurdles. This is because as soon as the IFP responds to an emergency somewhere else in The Netherlands, the companies that pay good money to have these materials available to them will lose coverage for a considerable amount of time. Due to the complexity of the logistics and the required time to set up and break down the materials, this could easily stretch into a couple of days. Other specialist industrial bodies also struggle with this and the conclusion was that nationally deploying such specialised, heavy-duty firefighting facilities is not as easy as it may seem.

The role of the Port of Rotterdam The Port of Rotterdam as the harbour authority was one of the initial members of the Unified Industrial Fire Department in 1998. Alan Dirks is the programme manager for policy and planning at the port of Rotterdam, and he explained that although the role of the Rotterdam port company regarding fire services in the area may be small, his organisation as harbour managers benefitted greatly from having an effective firefighting organisation tuned to a high-risk profile. ‘Every day 175,000 people work in the area, many at the 100 plus Seveso companies. An important requirement for attracting multinationals to the main port is offering them a stable area to settle in. No large company wants to settle in a region where the safety is sub-par and where incidents are not adequately handled. The UIF, with its up-to-date materials, trained specialists, and quick response times offers such companies safety in a dynamic area. I am wholly convinced that the collective fire care model we offer is much cheaper than having to individually comply with the rules and regulations.’

Mutual aid in Kennemerland It is apparent that more and more authorities are realising the use and value of public-private partnerships in the Dutch field

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The Swedish model An interesting example of how mutual aid could work was presented by Per Brännström, managing director at the Swedish Slacksmedelcentralen (SMC). Sweden has nationally mandated a cooperative structure for government and industry to cover the risks of extremely large industrial fires. Apart from chemical companies, refineries, and tank terminals maintaining their own corporate fire brigades, there is also a national pool for equipment and vehicles – the SMC – for tank and bund fires. ‘The industries that are unified in SMC, finance and manage the materials and supply the necessary training and education, while the operational execution is placed with four selected governmental fire brigades: Malmö, Göteborg, Stockholm, and Sundsvall. From these locations, we can deploy specialised heavy-duty extinguishing materials anywhere in Sweden within an hour and a half to four hours.’ The SMC structure is a good international example of a nationwide public-private mutual aid system for large-scale firefighting and was educational for the Dutch representatives who have yet to take that big step. But the fact that publicprivate partnership and mutual aid have a future became increasingly clear during the conference. It is the ideal formula for organising firefighting tasks that require heavy-duty, valuable, and specialised materials that are rarely used but have to be guaranteed to be available. Mutual aid in public-private partnerships is also a smart cooperative structure to promote safety both on the private companies’ sites and in the public domain. It is a win/win situation for everyone concluded Kees Kappetijn.

About the Authors: Kees Kappetijn and Philip Stohr are consultants at Kappetijn Safety Specialists based in The Netherlands. KSS prepares safety authorities and industrial companies in high-hazard industries in emergency response, industrial fire services, and crisis and continuity management. Together with JOIFF, KSS researches mutual aid and PPP-based emergency response organisations in ports and industrial areas worldwide. For further information, contact Philip Stohr at p.stohr@kappetijn.eu or Kees Kappetijn at k.kappetijn@kappetijn.eu.

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multi-agency

Hampshire leads on interoperability A pioneering new partnership is underway in Hampshire, UK, that will see local police and firefighters work together in USAR missions with an emphasis on vulnerable people.

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he six-month pilot project is a first for the UK. The collaboration between Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Constabulary will cover the police operations across the whole of Southampton, and involve firefighters from St Mary’s Fire Station. If successful, it could be rolled out across the county and beyond, and extended to cover medium-risk missing persons. Through the two control rooms, Hampshire police will be able to deploy the services of firefighters to help find people who are at risk or considered a possible risk to others. The project has already saved two lines, before the final details were even agreed. Two vulnerable missing persons – an elderly woman with dementia who had fallen in a ditch and a woman in her 30s considered a suicide risk – were found by firefighters and police within minutes of a search being launched. Paul Parry, station manager at St Mary’s Fire Station, believes the partnership will be a good example of what can be achieved through blue light collaboration. ‘This is an exciting project for both emergency services. By bringing together our combined skills, training, and equipment we can better protect the people of Hampshire.’ ‘The benefits of being able to call upon extra people and resources to help in these circumstances could be crucial,’ agrees Hampshire police sergeant Nick Mills. ‘As well as extra manpower, firefighters bring an array of skills and equipment that make them ideally suited to the task. For both services this partnership is win/win – and it will save lives.’ For the police, having firefighters available to search specific areas will free up officers to pursue other elements of the search operation. And, in addition to simply supplying extra trained people to a missing person search, firefighters offer an expanded range of skills, including rescuing from height and water and rope rescue. Firefighters also have equipment such as thermal imaging cameras and ladders as well as positive links into the community and Immediate Emergency Care training. Looking to the future, plans are also being developed to use shared drone facilities for missing person searches. ‘The partnership work that is going on between the fire service and police in Hampshire is setting the bar for the rest of the country,’ says Hampshire Fire and Rescue’s director of blue light collaboration Stew Adamson. ‘Projects like these pool skills and resources to keep the people of the county safer and ensure the public gets the best possible value for money.’ The new partnership is just one of a number of such interagency collaborations between Hampshire FRS, Hampshire Constabulary, and South Central Ambulance Service. Another recent pilot scheme saw Hampshire FRS take on the

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responsibility for gaining entry to properties on behalf of the ambulance service, something that was previously under the remit of the police. Hampshire FRS was also the first fire service to invite police to move into its headquarters, which they did in November 2015. Police officers now have a presence in several of the service’s facilities in the county, which has enabled the two emergency services to establish closer collaboration and working practices. The result is a close link between the two services that includes cross-service training to upskill both firefighters and police officers, and the presence of a police officer on the fire service-run Arson Task Force. The county’s fire, police, and ambulance services also organise regular multi-agency emergency training scenarios to ensure a thorough understanding of the role of each service in a disaster situation. The importance of the relationship between the fire service and the police is reflected by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, which was among the first to invite the Police and Crime Commissioner to attend meetings. Hampshire Fire and Rescue service has also cultivated close links with the South Central Ambulance Service, and has run a co-responding service for more than 10 years. This model has now been rolled out by other counties in the UK. The partnership sees Hampshire FRS and SCAS respond jointly to more than 10,000 calls a year, more than any other UK fire service. The service’s fire engines are also equipped with Immediate Emergency Care packs and firefighters have received additional medical training, which enables them to deliver potentially life-saving care if they are first on the scene. This can help to stabilise a casualty before the ambulance crews arrive to take over. Building on this partnership even further, a scheme to provide medical bags, containing defibrillators, to all fire officers for use on and off duty, has also been rolled out.

The latest collaboration is just one of a number of multi-agency partnerships between the police, fire and rescue service, and the ambulance service in Hampshire.

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benchmarking

Raising the bar

The UK Government’s Fire Reform Agenda will lead to the formation of a standards body for the fire and rescue services in England, reports Joy Flanagan.

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The aim of the project is to develop a business case that includes a range of options for the establishment of a standards body. ©Shutterstock

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here is widespread agreement in the UK about the need for high-quality, measurable, evidence-based common standards for how fire and rescue services operate. In February 2017, Brandon Lewis, at that time the Home Office Minister for Policing and Fire, laid out his plans for the Fire Reform agenda in England. This included the establishment of both an inspection regime and a professional standards body. In March, the Professional Standards Body project team was formed to develop a business case for the formation of the proposed standards body. Team members have been drawn from across the sector and the team is led by Chris Bigland, Deputy Chief Fire Officer from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Bigland is supported by Joy Flanagan, deputy senior responsible officer and formerly part of JESIP, Karl Smith, Hertfordshire FRS, and Dan Tasker from Hampshire FRS, who have all been seconded to the project. The team report through the project executive Dave Curry, the Chief Fire Officer for Hampshire FRS, to the project board. The project board is chaired by the Home Office and provides oversight and governance for the project. Membership of the board includes representatives from the key stakeholders including: the Government, employers (through the Local Government Association), the fire and rescue services (via the National Fire Chiefs Council), and the Devolved Administrations. It is recognised that the Devolved Administrations operate in a different environment. However, they will be consulted throughout the process to gain their input and to allow them to see how a standards body could enhance current arrangements across the UK.

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The aim of the project is to develop a business case that includes a range of options for the establishment of a standards body. The project board will then make a recommendation to the minister on how to proceed, with a view to the body being established by the end of the year. The body will be independent from the National Fire Chiefs Council but will ensure that all relevant stakeholders are involved, consulted, and have representation in the governance structures once these are established. The project team is working closely with the Home Office to ensure that its work is complementary to the emerging inspectorate arrangements. In the early stages of the project there was confusion about what the project itself, and the body it will form, will actually do. To help clarify this, the PSB project team has summarised exactly what it will and won’t be doing. The project team will: identify and collate existing standards; recommend a scrutiny and approval mechanism for new and existing standards; explore and recommend models for how the body will operate, be funded and staffed; and consult and engage with stakeholders throughout the project. The project team will not: develop or amend any standards – this will be a role for the newly established body post September; establish the professional standards body; create a work plan for the body; appoint or recruit staff. Initial planning work was completed in April, and the key outputs and milestones were identified. These include establishing the current standards landscape, and identifying the standards and qualifications in use now against FRS business functions and the staff working within them.

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benchmarking

From left to right: Karl Smith, Hertfordshire FRS, Dan Tasker Hampshire FRS, and Joy Flanagan are all part of the PSB project commitee.

The project team has also developed options for a standards-setting process, including scrutiny and approval of either new standards or amendments to existing standards. In addition, it has developed options for operating models for the proposed body, which include funding and resourcing implications. All aspects of how a fire and rescue service operates have been considered as part of the team's research. While the standards that cover what may be considered ‘the profession’ include the functions of prevention, protection and operational response, those functions are supported by good back office services, which in turn lead to a fire and rescue service functioning well. Areas such as finance, human resources, procurement, and information technology are professions in their own right and have their own professional standards both for organisations and individuals. Where there are recognised standards for business areas that operate within a fire and rescue service, the body will simply signpost these. This might include standards developed by other organisations such as the British Standards Institute, or it could include acknowledged industry standards recommended by the respective professional or regulatory body. The project board will define the exact scope for the standards body once it is established, but it is not the intention that it duplicate or reinvent recognised standards that may already exist and that are fit for purpose. The aspiration is for the body to signpost existing standards as required and generate a framework for both fire and rescue services and the inspectorate to reference. With the changing world of national occupational standards alongside the drive for apprenticeships, the body will be well placed to help fire and rescue services maximise the opportunity to enhance the profession by bringing some consistency and commonality to this area. In any sector, the body that identifies or sets standards for its profession must have the means to review and amend them if required. Once the body is established, a core part of its activity will be the ability to review, amend, develop, or even abolish standards for the benefit of the sector, based on a solid body of evidence. Therefore the team has spent some time understanding how this works in other sectors to establish the options that could work for the proposed standards body. This included understanding the British Standards Institute’s own standard for how to review standards. The majority of organisations follow a pattern that can be summarised into the following stages. The process begins when a request for change is received and the first step is identifying the need for change and reviewing the evidence as to why. This includes

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understanding who is currently responsible for the standard, if there is one, and what it entails, why it is being challenged, and who will be affected by any changes. This is followed by a risk/impact assessment. In order to commission the work to progress, some form of strategic-level, stakeholder-led forum is usually established to review the proposal for change and approve whether work should continue. Then there is a period of research and development. Work is carried out to build on the evidence provided, facts are checked, and the current landscape is assessed for the development of a new or revised standard. This includes liaison with subject matter experts and advisors to ensure the best information is gathered and considered. The next step is consultation with the sector on the proposed changes, which are revised and amended if required before submitting for approval. The approval and publication process generally involves the same strategic-level stakeholder-led forum, which reviews the revised standard and approves it. The standard is then published for implementation. Following implementation, further supporting information, training materials or guidance may be produced and shared to help end users. The nominated owner of the standard is then responsible for maintaining that standard as part of an agreed maintenance cycle. This process is at the heart of the research the team has carried out, because the standards body will be responsible for supporting this process for the fire and rescue sector. The resources required inform how the body will need to operate, which in turn has led to a number of options being explored. The project has now reached the halfway stage and the team are busy finalising research and putting together the outline business case for the project board to approve. All organisations from across the sector will have the opportunity to get involved in the consultation of those options, which was due to start in August 2017, and are encouraged to do so. The team acknowledged the wide range of stakeholders early on in the project and has worked hard to engage with many of them by presenting at a number of sector events around the country and hosting research workshops. A network of contacts across the UK’s fire and rescue services has also been established. Contact with all the relevant stakeholders has been made and an ongoing dialogue is encouraged. The team is actively encouraging all interested parties to take part in the consultation to ensure that all voices are heard and all feedback is considered before the final case is put to the minister in the autumn. To find out more, contact the team on PSBProject@ukfrs.com.

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10 - 13 October 2017, London UK

Fire & Rescue 3rd Quarter 2017  
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