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“Advances in training and equipment for modern ERT's in isolated MHF and complex industrial facilities"

Posted by Tracy Fitzgerald
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on Tuesday, 26 March 2013
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QLFA's MD Sebastian Jacobs will be presenting the Fire Engineering Conference hosted by the IFE, held in Noosa this April. http://www.ifeaustralia.org.au/newsandevents.html

The following excerpt was excepted:

This presentation will look at advances in training and equipment for modern ERT’s in isolated MHF (major hazard facilities) and complex industrial sites.

A lay-flat hose in scantily trained hands can sometimes be detrimental to the initial and subsequent actions of employees who turn ‘first responders’ in an emergency.

There’s no secret that water is the best combat agent for a fire and while the water volume and pressure are both very important, the most important variable is the speed at which the water actually reaches the fire. Kinks, friction points and heavy hoses combined with tangles all can delay this requirement.

While a first responder ‘responds’ with the best intentions, various human factors impact greatly on the end result - such as limited and varied experience, communication between multilingual operators, the forever-present occurrence of freelancing and the phenomenon of target fixation. Operationally, the deployment of lay-flat hose in the industry’s current standard configuration (either rolled or flaked) is not ideal for complicated environments such as restricted spaces, up or down stairs or in areas of poor visibility- all of which have a negative impact on the speed and reliability of hose deployment tactics.

By stripping the goal of efficient lay-flat fire hose deployment right back to the basics; as well as reviewing what external factors typically delayed getting water on the fire we were able to garner an understanding of what strategies could be adopted and what tactics could be standardised and simplified to achieve this goal consistently.

The identification of the two standard requirements present at any incident from oilrigs to house fires meant we were able to systemise the process and develop procedures to greatly improve the speed and reliability of lay-flat fire hose deployment with an added degree of flexibility that is not at a cost to deployment speed.

By combining the understanding of what is required with the tools to repeatedly tick these two fundamental boxes, first responders with limited ‘real fire’ experience can get water on the fire as quickly as the ground can be covered in any environment.

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