Ultimately, it is the emotions, personal encounters and that feeling of common purpose that make INTERSCHUTZ so memorable. But it's also about the numbers, for INTERSCHUTZ is not just the industry's global networking hub; it is also the number one business platform for the world of protection and emergency services. It is the place where the latest innovations and product refinements are unveiled, where deals are done and where the groundwork is laid for new business. At the end of the day, a c...
Among the tools of the fire service, some of the most powerful are hand-held devices. These technologies provide information to firefighters than can direct their approaches to emergency situations and safe lives. Today, more powerful devices are available in smaller, hand-held form, sometimes taking the place of much larger and more expensive devices. For example, previously the Los Angeles Fire Department carried just one large thermal imaging camera (TIC) that cost upwards of $10,000 on eac...
Bars, restaurants and businesses along Ipswich’s Waterfront have attended awareness training in the event of anyone falling into water. As part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service prevention work, these waterside businesses have been supplied with a safety throw line to keep at their premises. This is a small bag containing a floating line which can be deployed very quickly and easily in the event of someone falling into the water around the marina. Helping To Reduce Risk Staff were give...
Bullard, a pioneer in the personal protective equipment market, announces the acquisition of Switzerland-based Darix™, an award-winning spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne focusing on improving the situational awareness of professionals in critical environments. Darix, founded in 2017, is comprised of a team of specialists in image processing and software, user experience and design, micro-electronics and rapid prototyping, and is a frontrunner on smart-glass...
The first firefighters recruit course at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in almost a decade draws to an end this week. After 15 weeks of intensive training, Recruit Course 49/18 will close this Friday. The 23 recruits had their Passing out Parade which took place on Wednesday 13 February. The Parade is a long standing fire service tradition allowing the successful recruits the opportunity to showcase a small selection of their new skills. This includes a number of fire ground scenarios an...
Global design and detection products manufacturer, FFE, announces the industry’s first one minute auto-aligning smoke beam detector, Fireray One, which promises to make advanced smoke detection more accessible and easier to install. FFE’s expert knowledge has been engineered to deliver an advanced detection system, ensuring total simplicity for the end-user. The new ground-breaking beam detector self-aligns in just one minute and offers a sophisticated solution to those wishing to p...
Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire, yet the strict specification, maintenance and management of these doorsets is still not fully understood. This is something that ASSA ABLOY is passionate about changing. So, to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week 2019 (23-29 September), ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland will be hosting two dedicated events to help people responsible for fire doors, unlock compliance to fire door safety. The two events will take place at the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Conference Suite on the 19th September and at the UBM Building in Central London on the 24th September. Educating delegates about fire door standards The events will promote fire door safety and compliance to facilities managers, building owners, specifiersThe aim of the events is to educate and inform delegates about the fire door standards that can often be lost in translation. ASSA ABLOY will bring together all of its brands and wide ranging experience to speak about the common issues surrounding fire door compliance. It will then offer practical advice on how to overcome these issues, by breaking down current and future regulations and ramifications. The events will promote fire door safety and compliance to facilities managers, building owners, specifiers and contractors. Attendees can expect to gain a greater understanding from ASSA ABLOY staff and guest speakers on the following key topics: Safeguarding compliance through the supply chain The important role door hardware plays in ensuring building compliance The role and performance of fire door seals The importance of compartmentalization in fire safety The event will end with a discussion panel. Thorough testing of fire doors Fire safety can only be properly guaranteed if the standards and checks of fire doors are carried out by-the-bookBrian Sofley, Managing Director at ASSA ABLOY Door Group, comments: “In May 2018, results of the Independent Review of Building Regulation and Fire Safety, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, made it clear that even after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire doors remained a significant area of neglect, often downgraded and mismanaged throughout their service life. “Fire safety can only be properly guaranteed if the standards and checks of equipment such as fire doors are carried out by-the-book, and throughout the lifecycle of both the products and the building.” Fire compliant door hardware products Eryl Jones, Managing Director at ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware & Access Control Group, adds: “Growth and acquisitions give ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware & Access Control Group the broadest range of fire compliant door hardware products in the market, backed up by an experienced team of industry professionals." “ASSA ABLOY’s fire safety events have been a great success over the last couple of years, and we are keen to carry on helping industry professionals to understand compliance when it comes to fire door safety standards. We urge industry professionals, specifiers, contractors, property owners and facilities managers to join us at this year’s free events, to help better the standard of fire door compliance as an industry.”
C-TEC launches a series of free CPD-certified seminar events entitled 'Fire Alarm Systems for Domestic Dwellings'. The events - to be hosted at six venues across the UK - are ideal for anyone working in the domestic fire sector including consultants, specifiers, housing associations, installers, facilities managers, building developers, landlords and more. Fire Alarm Systems The events will run from 9.45am to 2.30pm and are designed to:- Give a brief overview of how domestic and commercial fire alarm systems have developed over the years. Discuss the legislation and standards that apply to such systems and the impact they are having today. Summarise the key points of and changes to BS 5839-6 2019: The code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of domestic fire alarm systems. Explore if 'Stay Put' is still a safe policy to deploy for evacuating a building during a fire. Outline a new approach to fire alarm systems for purpose-built flats and apartments with multiple advantages that can help make strategies such as stay put/defend-in-place safer. Domestic fire detection Upon completion, attendees will receive a CPD certificate worth 3 hours of CPD points. Refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided. Said Andy Green, C-TEC’s Marketing Manager: “Our new CPD events are suitable for anyone interested in the latest developments in domestic fire detection and alarm technology and the recent changes to BS 5839-6. Demand is expected to be high so we would advise anyone who is interested to register their interest quickly.” All of C-TEC’s CPD (Continuing Professional Development) seminars have been assessed by independent experts as being suitable for an intermediate audience meaning both novices and experienced participants are likely to benefit.
Hicks Gate Fire Station will be throwing its doors open to the public this Saturday (17/08), showcasing Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) and how firefighters keep local communities safe. From 10am to 4pm, the open day will focus on the national resilience capabilities that ensure community safety through location extraction and stabilization in structural collapse. Staff will also demonstrate risk reduction and how everyone can play a part in making safety a key part of their daily lives through a range of activities and demonstrations at the Station on Durley Hill. Demonstrating Lifesaving Skills Staff will also be on hand to show off some of the fire engines and rescue equipment Firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will be taking part in several demonstrations, including road traffic collision, turntable ladder, and several different USAR demonstrations including line access casualty extrication, braking & breaching, lifting and moving, and confined space. There will also be a display from a USAR dog, showcasing their unique scent tracking and search abilities. Staff will also be on hand to show off some of the fire engines and rescue equipment, along with answering any questions around fire safety and demonstrating basic lifesaving skills. Visitors will be able to get involved with various activities and will have an opportunity to speak to firefighters on the front line about their role in making communities safer and the Service stronger. Complex Rescue Operations Shane Saunders, White Watch Manager at Hicks fire station, said: “This will be a great opportunity for local people to come along & find out more about the work we do in the local community and beyond!" Everyone is invited to come down and see how we respond on a day to day basis" "Now more than ever, firefighters at Hicks Gate provide a lifesaving search and rescue function that can be called upon across the country. Staff are specially trained to be able to deal with incidents involving structure collapse and complex rescue operations in hazardous environments. Days like this allow us to demonstrate our capabilities, which now go far beyond the local community. However, we do still respond to typical incidents as well, and everyone is invited to come down and see how we respond on a day to day basis, and what they can do to help keep themselves, friends and family safe.” Fire Fighters Charity There will be limited parking on station for Blue Badge holders only, but more is available in Keynsham Football club carpark, as well as some limited parking opposite the fire station on Durley Hill. Also there on the day with games, information, demonstrations and food and drink will be a number of our supporting partners & organizations including South Western Ambulance's Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and Avon and Somerset Police's traffic and armed response units. Any donations on the day are welcome and will go to the Fire Fighters Charity and Fire service benevolent fund.
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up again to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. This annual program began in 2012 and has provided 255 sets of gear to 45 departments to date. In 2019, another 13 departments will each receive four new sets of gear. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. The first two recipients of the MSA’s 2019 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Aguila (AZ) Volunteer Fire Department and Jacobstown (NJ) Fire Company. Recommended Safety Standards The department is called upon to handle many, if not all, emergencies that arise in the area Aguila Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) is a small, rural department located in the AZ desert. The department is called upon to handle many, if not all, emergencies that arise in the area. It is the only protection for fire suppression, EMS, hazmat, and wildland fires and responds to small aircraft and railroad incidents. The department is also responsible for two smaller surrounding communities with mutual aid approximately an hour away. Four women and nine men make up AVFD’s 13-person crew. However, the department only has 12 sets of gear available – all of which are more than 10 years old and not compliant with recommended safety standards. The department is unable to afford new gear for its members due to budget constraints. Primary Fire Department “Safety is our number one priority,” said Assistant Fire Chief Roger Zdrojewski. “Our volunteers need to be prepared and ready for any hazards that may arise in the district. To do this means decent, safe, and compliant turn-out gear. The addition of 4 new sets will help immensely in keeping our firefighters safe and able to help our community to the best of their ability.” Jacobstown Volunteer Fire Company is the primary fire department in North Hanover Township, NJ. It serves a population of 7,500 people over 17 square miles and responds to approximately 200 calls each year. Recent community outreach has helped the department’s recruitment efforts, and membership is at record-breaking numbers. Responders are currently required to complete Firefighter I to operate as interior firefighter. Highest Level Of Protection This turnout gear will help provide the highest level of protection to our members working on interior fires" The local fire academy recently added Firefighter II, so members are now encouraged to pursue Firefighter II training and certification, which will become a requirement in the near future. Many of its members also cross over between fire and EMS, providing a consistent, high level of service for residents. The company has 35 sets of gear for its 27 firefighters; however, all but three of those sets will be over 10 years old within the coming year and out of compliance according to national standards. “This turnout gear will help provide the highest level of protection to our members working on interior fires,” said Deputy Chief Robert Gancarz. “New members often receive the oldest gear and gear that is not fit specifically to them. While necessary due to budgetary and equipment restraints, this is not best practice. More times than not members continue to use this older and often well-worn gear after training is complete. This period may last years until the budget is able to support new gear purchases.”
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFR&S) recruits a special crew of trauma teddies thanks to a local organization. The 200-strong-crew will be spread out across the Service to ride on trucks alongside firefighters and specialist equipment. The cuddly crew will then be handed out to children involved in traumatic and upsetting incidents who are distressed or in need of reassurance and emotional support. Small Act Of Comfort This gives us an opportunity to engage with children and lessen the impact of a situation" Kindly knitted by the Knowle Townswomen's Guild in Bristol, it is hoped the teddies will help to make a real difference across the Service area. Darren Clasper, Risk Reduction Watch Manager at AF&RS, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this group of extraordinary women have come together to provide these trauma teddies. We often attend upsetting emergency incidents and we see children in distress who don’t understand what is happening and why they are there.” “As a Service, we understand how scary these experiences can be so any small act of comfort, such as a teddy, will go a long way. This gives us an opportunity to engage with children and lessen the impact of a situation. For that, we cannot thank the Knowle Townswomen’s Guild enough.” Road Traffic Collision Each fire engine around the service will carry at least two bears at any one time so they can be gifted to children in need, from those at a fire, road traffic collision or simply locked in a bathroom. The remainder of the bears will sit with the Children and Young Person department and will be handed out at schools and safeguarding. AF&RS is also a keen advocate of mental health and wellbeing, and has taken big steps AF&RS is also a keen advocate of mental health and wellbeing, and has taken big steps recently by providing wellbeing spaces, Trauma Risk Management, and family and wellbeing officers across the Service. The Knowle Townswomen’s Guild, which kindly knitted the bears, is celebrating its 90th birthday this year and has been key in supporting women and the community throughout the years. Encouraging Environmental Change Members have been involved from everything from Women’s Suffrage Societies, raining money to plant trees, encouraging environmental change and campaigning on mental health. Stella Tratt, of the Knowle Townswomen’s Guild, said: “We are delighted that AF&RS have accepted our offer to provide them with trauma teddies.” “I have distributed the knitting pattern to all the Townswomen’s Guilds in the Avon area and, while there is still a need, we will carry on knitting!”
Avon Fire & Recuse Service (AF&RS) joined with an international charity to help inspire children affected by the Chernobyl disaster. As part of the partnership, nine boys and eight girls from the Belarusian town of Osipovichi visited staff and firefighters at Temple fire station for a day of respite, games and engagement. Throughout the day on station, the group of 11-year-olds had a go at spraying the hose, trying on kit and were shown around the station and fire trucks. Providing Wellbeing Spaces AF&RS is also a keen advocate of respite, mental health and wellbeing Supporting the trip is something that AF&RS is keen to embrace as part of its values of transparency, inclusivity, ambition, honesty, respect and courage. The Service works with community groups from across the region and world to help them become role models within their own communities. AF&RS is also a keen advocate of respite, mental health and wellbeing, and has taken big steps recently by providing wellbeing spaces, Trauma Risk Management, and family and wellbeing officers across the Service. Worthwhile Experience Lee Rogers, White Watch Manager at Temple fire station, said: “We are delighted to welcome these 16 amazing children from Chernobyl once again to Temple fire station. Each year, we have been blown away by their resilience and sheer love of life. Engaging with members of the community from far and wide is now a key role for the fire service, especially as the role of a firefighter continues to change. Charities like the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line allow us to reach and engage with people from all walks of life, no matter their background of life experiences.” “Anything we can do to bring a little bit of respite and joy to those who have been through so much is a worthwhile experience. We are proud to be working with the charity hope it demonstrates just how far Avon Fire has come in supporting those around the world. We look forward to working with them again in the future and hope the children all took something positive from the day.” Gaining Educational Value A wide range of exciting activities have been arranged for the children Thanks to the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line (CCLL), the 17 children flew to the UK on July 7th, for a four-week respite break from the ongoing health and social effects of the 1986 disaster. The Chernobyl explosion released 400 times more radiation into the atmosphere than the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, and the impact will be felt for generations to come. Accompanying the children are two teachers who will act as interpreters and ensure the children remain safe, whilst having fun and gaining as much educational value as possible from the trip. Thanks to the amazing efforts of the charity's volunteers and the generosity of local businesses a wide range of exciting activities have been arranged for the children. Vital Health Checks Andy March, CCLL Trustee, added: "We aim to give them the kind of experiences that simply do not exist in their homeland. This includes visiting Temple fire station, the Roman Baths, Centre Parcs in Wiltshire and the Oscar-winning Aardman studios as well as vital health checks at the dentist and optician.” "A four-week break in the UK has been proven to reduce Radionuclides in a child's system by up to 30%. Simply by bringing a child to the UK and exposing them to fresh air and uncontaminated food provides their immune systems with the chance to rest from the constant bombardment of radiation.”
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is setting the standard for the use of drones in firefighting applications. As one of the first major metropolitan fire departments to have a significant drone program, LAFD has flown more than 175 missions in less than two years, including the Skirball fire that burned the Bel Air neighborhood in December 2017. Since Skyfire Consulting, a drone services and training company, helped LAFD secure a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for the drone program, the agency has established a training regimen, secured new products and equipment and grown their program to 17 licensed pilots and a fleet of nine drones. When privacy worries created a backlash in the community, the LAFD met the concerns head-on and ensured their standard operating procedures (SOPs) addressed any privacy issues. Incorporate Drone Technology LAFD started a Pilots Training and Ground School Course earlier in 2019 A report to the Board of Fire Commissioners in March from LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas outlined the program’s progress. LAFD started a Pilots Training and Ground School Course earlier in 2019 to teach flight skills concepts and legal aspects. LAFD Battalion Chief Richard Fields told the commission the LAFD’s drone program has become a national standard. “We are mentioned in literature, we are mentioned in conferences, we are mentioned across the city family as well as outside agencies,” Fields commented, as reported by NBC4 in Los Angeles. In April, drone technology company DJI announced a Solution Development Partnership with the LAFD to create, test and deploy DJI drones as an emergency response and preparedness tool. The agreement will provide the LAFD with access to new technologies, training and support to incorporate drone technology in its operations. Thermal Imaging Cameras LAFD flies DJI Matrice 600 Series and DJI Phantom 4 Pro drones equipped with visual and thermal imaging cameras that provide real-time video and data transmission to incident commanders. LAFD will continue to use DJI drone technology across a variety of situations including hot-spot identification and aerial mapping to help manage wildfire response, as well as incident response for swiftwater rescues, hazmat operations, and urban search and rescue missions. LAFD will continue to use DJI drone technology across a variety of situations “The LAFD has been working through a pragmatic approach to adopting drone technology for several years, including developing policies and procedures that define clear use case scenarios and building awareness among the general public about the positive life- and property-saving benefits drone technology can provide,” says Fields. “[The partnership with DJI] gives the Department access to developments such as drones equipped with thermal cameras that will give incident commanders a real-time bird’s-eye perspective,” he adds. Complex Urban Environments When considering the benefits of drones, departments of any size can be inspired by LAFD’s example “Combining advanced drone technology with new software tools will help bridge the gap between [the capabilities of] helicopters and [those of] firefighters on the ground, allowing us to address life-threatening situations faster and more effectively than ever before.” The LAFD’s drone program is one of 910 public safety organizations in the U.S. deploying drones for life saving activities, according to the Bard Center for the Study of the Drone (May 2018). “While the LAFD program shows how drones can succeed when operated within expansive, urban areas by a large department, drone technology is valuable to municipalities of any size,” says Romeo Durscher, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI. “Through our two-way collaboration [with LAFD], we will receive valuable insight into the complexities of deploying drones for emergency situations in one of the most complex urban environments in the nation,” says Bill Chen, Enterprise Partnerships Manager at DJI. When considering the benefits of drones, departments of any size can be inspired by LAFD’s example.
For the last 200 years, firefighters have been using inefficient manual methods to track their crews’ movement. Incident commanders need to know the location and status of responders on site. Technology adds a new element to tracking crews’ movements. Firefighters on scene can now be electronically tracked to ensure they are rotated out of danger before their allotted time expires. The officer in charge – standing outside the scene with the rugged tablet in hand – can monitor how much air is left in each tank, determine if a firefighter is in trouble, and issue an order to evacuate an individual or entire team. Situational Awareness The public safety sector has been at the forefront of using real-time data to enhance productivity and shorten response times, says Alex Cooper, Director of Public Sector Strategy and Market Development, Zebra Technologies. The first – and perhaps most important – goal of using real-time data has been to keep law enforcement, EMS, and fire and rescue teams safe while simultaneously protecting the people and interests of the communities they serve. Intelligence is increasingly driving new capabilities among first responders and in business Better preparedness and situational awareness are contingent on the availability and proper utilization of real-time data. Real-life emergency response demands real-time data sharing, whether via dispatch communications or jurisdiction-wide records systems, Cooper says. Intelligence is increasingly driving new capabilities among first responders and in business. Complex Public Demands Enterprises today are focused on intelligently connecting their assets, data and people in collaborative mobile workflows, leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced networks, machine learning and the cloud. Innovation is exploding at ‘the edge,’ where employees make real-time decisions and interact directly with the people they serve. When organizations lack visibility into the movement of assets, they risk inefficient utilization of resources, growing safety concerns, and the inability to react to heightened customer demands, says Cooper. “Many of these risks apply directly to the public sector, as agencies deploy advanced technologies to meet increasingly complex public demands for results and behaviors, often in budget-constrained environments,” he adds. Today’s first responders are more reliant on mobile technologies to increase their situational awareness Fire And Rescue Agencies Successful first responder operations require the availability and proper utilization of real-time data during dispatch, incident response, restoration and investigations. Public safety employees can leverage intelligent devices that support an array of mobile workflows. “Today’s first responders – though highly skilled at their jobs – are more reliant on mobile technologies to increase their situational awareness and safety levels,” says Cooper. “Fire and rescue agencies just can’t afford to continue investing in multiple, ‘single-purpose’ technologies for each of their operating locations.” Technology investments must be vetted in the field to ensure there are tangible benefits which can be weighed against the total cost of ownership, adds Cooper. “It can be difficult to measure the benefit of safety in a traditional ROI model, but its value is unquestioned,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s up to agency leadership to determine which investments should be prioritized.” Lower-Cost Devices “Though there are multiple factors creating obstacles, I believe the biggest one currently is tied to a cost vs. value understanding,” says Cooper. “Many state and local government agencies still utilize a procurement model that favors ‘best price.’ The upfront sticker price does not accurately reflect the total cost of ownership (TCO).” Cooper says another obstacle is seamlessly integrating intelligence into public safety workflows, in a way that is actionable but not disruptive. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the capabilities and cost of purpose-built solutions “This requires the right combination of applications, analytics, connectivity and user equipment,” he says. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the capabilities and cost of purpose-built solutions. Many consumer device manufacturers are marketing their mobile devices as ‘rugged,’ so public sector organizations with tight budgets may presume these lower-cost devices will be sufficient. First Responder Actions But, being waterproof or dustproof does not by itself make a device suitable for public safety use. “You have to consider the overall performance, connectivity, security and manageability capabilities of the solution, as this will ultimately be used to capture the raw data that feeds back-end intelligence systems, which will guide first responder actions at the edge,” says Cooper. “Agencies need to be confident that the solutions they invest in will run critical software, interoperate with in-vehicle electronics and provide real-time information for immediate intelligence that enhances situational awareness while strengthening communication and collaboration within and between agencies during emergency response and management operations,” Cooper says. “The best way to accomplish this is to get input and buy-in from procurement and IT decision-makers, as well as end-users and agency leadership including chiefs and commanders. It’s important to take the time to field test solutions to ensure they will be scalable and compatible with future IT architectures.”
The Communications Workers of America (CWA), a labor union, is promoting awareness of the benefits of FirstNet, an independent government authority established in 2012 to build and deploy the first-ever nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders. “Once people know what it is, they get excited,” says Bianca Garcia, CWA's FirstNet Program Coordinator. AT&T, the only unionized wireless carrier, was chosen as the private company tasked over 25 years with building out the nationwide network. FirstNet network features include no throttling or slowing down of data speeds, prioritizing calls to avoid congestion on wireless networks, and preemption to enable first responders to communicate and coordinate during emergencies and large events. Public Service Stakeholders If they are looking to upgrade their communications abilities or think about their work in a more comprehensive way" These features ensure the network is always available for use by first responders, including law enforcement, emergency medical service (EMS) and fire departments. The network uses encryption to ensure privacy of sensitive information. Public service stakeholders using a single network can promote coordination of mutual aid and help to solve challenges of communication. CWA is seeking to bridge an education gap among first responders related to FirstNet, including all public safety stakeholders – professional and volunteer, urban and rural. “If they are looking to upgrade their communications abilities or think about their work in a more comprehensive way,” they should embrace FirstNet, says Garcia. Involvement will also ensure first responders help to guide how the network evolves over the next 25 years. “Public service should be at the forefront of how the network develops,” says Garcia. FirstNet-Compatible Devices The union makes information about FirstNet easily available at FirstResponderVoice and through their Facebook page, a monthly newsletter, a downloadable fact sheet, webinars and other venues. FirstResponderVoice is a source of information, news and analysis about FirstNet and public safety communications more generally. FirstResponderVoice is a source of information, news and analysis about FirstNet and public safety communications more generally Among the tools CWA uses is a FirstNet Tool Kit, providing a step-by-step process detailing how first responders and public safety decision-makers can inform their communities about FirstNet and the benefits it brings to their public safety programs as the first interoperable LTE broadband network. The Tool Kit includes a FirstNet fact sheet, introductory PowerPoint, rates for FirstNet plans and a list of FirstNet-compatible devices. It outlines step by step how first responders can subscribe to FirstNet and share sign-up information with colleagues. Emergency Response Stakeholders There are also suggestions on how emergency response stakeholders – including fire department chiefs, colleagues, city council members, volunteer first responders and other emergency-response workers – can educate one another on FirstNet. FirstNet is not intended to replace land mobile radio (LMR) because it does not include mission critical voice capabilities FirstNet is not intended to replace land mobile radio (LMR) because it does not include mission critical voice capabilities. The goal is to provide additional capacity, coverage and interoperability. The system has already proven successful in several high-profile disasters in recent months. For example, Panama City Beach, Fla., relied on AT&T FirstNet for communications in the wake of Hurricane Michael, which caused outages last October in the jurisdiction’s broadband and LMR systems. AT&T and FirstNet also set up a Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) to enhance cell service for first responders who were battling California’s Camp Fire last November. They brought mobile cell service back to the city of Malibu, Calif., in the aftermath of the Woolsey Fire in November. Wireless Broadband Network CWA has been involved with FirstNet from the beginning and was an active member of the Public Safety Alliance that supported the creation of FirstNet. Discussions first began after 9/11 about the need for FirstNet. CWA also supported Senate Bill 3756, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act, which allocates 10 megahertz of spectrum known as the ‘D block’ to public safety for a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network. Passage of the bill, in effect, created FirstNet. CWA includes professional public safety members around the country in addition to their membership of communications workers. In all, CWA represents 700,000 workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, working in telecommunications and IT, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care and public service, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields.
Nittan Europe, UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has had its Evolution analog addressable fire detection system installed into St. Nicholas Church in Bristol. The system was supplied and commissioned by Coomber Fire and Security Systems who are a Nittan Elite Partner and BAFE SP203-1 & SP101 accredited. Grade II listed, St Nicholas Church was built in 1769, although the crypt dates back to medieval times. St. Nicholas has always played an important role in Bristol, whether it be for worship, providing shelter during WWII or, more recently, home to Bristol City Council tourist office and archive. The church was reopened in 2018 as a center for worship, mission and social engagement continuing this legacy of being a church ‘in the city, for the city’. Fire Detection System To protect this much-loved building, a Nittan Evolution analog addressable fire detection system has been installed throughout, featuring 51 devices including detectors and beam detectors, call points and high output sounder beacons. Coomber Fire and Security Systems is the independent fire and security installer in Somerset Coomber Fire and Security Systems is the largest independent fire and security installer in Somerset. It has extensive experience in fire detection systems for churches and chose Nittan for this project based on the reliability and quality of its Evolution range combined with the increased loop voltage which allows for longer cable runs; ‘ideal in an old church of this size’ states Adam Pitman, Senior Fire Systems Engineer, Coomber Fire and Security Systems. Adam also has praise for Nittan’s service: “Exceptional service as always!” Unwanted False Alarms Evolution is Nittan’s advanced, premium fire system. Evolution uses ASIC technology in the sensors and sophisticated detection algorithms, combining extremely reliable fire detection together with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its advanced, highly flexible protocol allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed and is not affected by the number of devices on the loop. Coomber Security is an expert in fire protection for commercial and industrial applications. They supply, install, commission and maintain, analog and conventional fire alarm systems as well as extinguishers and emergency lighting. Coomber Security has a dedicated team of BAFE accredited engineers to install our whole range of fire prevention systems.
Tylosand is one of Sweden’s most popular beaches and during the summer there can be more than 40,000 visitors on the beach every day. They were the first beach in Sweden to have lifeguards patrolling its shores as early as 1958. While most visitors enjoy their summer on the beach, at times guests may find themselves in a difficult situation. The lifeguard’s on Tylosand beach operate on a completely voluntary basis, patrolling the beaches daily throughout Summer ensuring the public’s safety. Their aim is simple: to have zero drownings each year. Patrolling the beaches in tough conditions The lifeguards at Tylosand have six life-saving areas which are guarded by eight lifeguards and a life-saving manager The lifeguards at Tylosand patrol the beaches every day during summer whether it’s windy, rainy or sunny. Conditions often change during the day as the Swedish weather is quite unpredictable, and this can be when people get into difficulty. The lifeguards are often painters, fire fighters or students in their day-to-day lives and in return for volunteering their time in summer, they are provided food and accommodation for their efforts. The lifeguards at Tylosand have six life-saving areas which are simultaneously guarded by eight lifeguards and a life-saving manager (CH). In the lifeguard tower, they store healthcare equipment as well as other lifeguard equipment including binoculars, life jackets, shovels and a water tank. They also run the Life Saving School – the only school in Sweden that offers sea life rescue training. Easy to use radio equipment The communications system for lifeguards needs to be robust, reliable and secure, as these critical situations are a matter of life or death. A key factor for Tylosand lifeguards choosing a radio to use was ease of use; with lifeguards working only a few weeks a year, it is mandatory that the equipment implemented is easy to understand and use. The communication devices from Sepura provide the lifeguards with exactly that. The lifeguards have implemented Sepura SRG mobile terminals into their vehicles alongside STP9000 hand-portable radios The Tylosand lifeguards have implemented Sepura SRG mobile terminals into their vehicles alongside STP9000 hand-portable radios to deliver a robust, easy to use communications system for protecting the shores. The common user interface makes it easy to train new lifeguards and run shorter refresh training with returning lifeguards. Once users have learnt to use one Sepura radio, they can easily use other Sepura devices. Withstanding the challenging environment Sophia Arlsan, a lifeguard with Tylosand, said “The Sepura equipment has over the years proved that they withstand the tough environment with sand and salty waters in an excellent way. Last summer, 24 people were saved from rip currents and many more have been saved through the thousands of proactive discussions Tylosand lifesavers have had with beach visitors during their patrols.” Thanks to the Sepura radios delivered by Swedish Radio Supply, Tylosand Lifeguards are prepared for the next busy summer.
The Coplay (PA) Fire Department needed to replace a 30-year-old engine and an equally aging rescue truck. But instead of purchasing two new vehicles, it decided to merge their functions into a single rig, a rescue-pumper. “We were replacing a 1986 Mack engine and a 1984 rescue squad,” says Brandyn Bechtel, Coplay’s assistant chief. “The engine was an open-cab model, and there were lots of mechanical issues with the rescue squad, and it was no longer feasible to keep repairing it. We spoke with a few local dealers about having them build us a rescue-pumper that would function as a standard engine and a medium-duty rescue, and KME came in well under what we anticipated budget-wise, so we went with KME.” High-Density Buildings Coplay is a one-square-mile borough in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, with a population of 3,300 Coplay is a one-square-mile borough in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, with a population of 3,300, Bechtel points out. The department has 15 volunteer firefighters working out of a single station with the new rescue-pumper and a 2010 KME pumper, covering mostly single-family dwellings and an eight-block commercial district with high-density buildings. “We have some tight alleys in town, so we needed a vehicle that could get into them,” he notes. “That meant the new rescue-pumper had to be under 35 feet long, but still have enough storage space to be able to take all the equipment from our old pumper and the squad.” Air Ride Suspension Keith Weaver, salesperson at KME, says KME built Coplay the rescue-pumper on a Panther medium four-door chassis and a 204-inch extra-long PRO pumper body of 3/16-inch aluminum with a 10-inch raised roof, seating for six firefighters, H.O. Bostrom ABTS seats with SecurALL™ SCBA locking systems, and a Hendrickson FIREMAAX® air ride suspension. The PRO rescue-pumper incorporates a 22-inch-wide pump box holding the main discharges and intakes and the pump controls in the L1 compartment next to the pump box. The pump is a Waterous CXS 1,500-gpm single-stage unit, and the water tank holds 750 gallons. Weaver notes that directly above the pump box are two 1¾-inch crosslays on slide-out polypropylene trays, each holding 200 feet of hose, and a crosslay holding 200 feet of 2½-inch hose on a slide out tray above them. Task Force Tips The rescue pumper’s front bumper holds 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose, there’s a 2½-inch discharge in the hosebed, and the rig’s deck gun is a Task Force Tips 1,500-gpm Hurricane with an 18-inch Extend-A-Gun. The driver’s side pump box has a 2½-inch discharge, a 6-inch intake, and a 2½-inch intake. The officer’s side has a 6-inch intake, a 2½-inch discharge, and a 3-inch discharge with a 4-inch Storz coupling. The new rescue-pumper carries 1,000 feet of 4-inch supply line and 600 feet of 3-inch hose in the hosebed The rescue-pumper is powered by a Cummins 450-hp L9 diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission, has a 200-inch wheelbase, is 33 feet 5½ inches long, and 9 feet 8 inches tall. Bechtel says the new rescue-pumper carries 1,000 feet of 4-inch supply line and 600 feet of 3-inch hose in the hosebed, which is covered with KME’s Lock-N-Load™ hosebed cover. Electric Hydraulic Pump The top of the rig has three coffin compartments on each side, one of which houses a pair of HURST hydraulic hose reels. Coplay carries its rescue tools in the R2 compartment, including a HURST 5000 series spreader, combi, cutter, and three rams. A HURST electric hydraulic pump is mounted in the compartment, which also holds a HURST portable gasoline-driven pump. The rescue-pumper is set up to carry three backboards, one stowed in the enclosed ladder tunnel, and the other two in a coffin compartment, as well as a Stokes basket stowed above the ladder rack. In the crew cab, an EMS cabinet holds a medical bag, suction equipment, oxygen equipment, and an AED. The rig has backlit Hansen handrails, Whelen LED emergency lighting, and six Whelen M9 Super-LED scene lights—one on each side of the cab and two on each side of the body.
The Colruyt supermarket chain has become a successful company by offering the best available and most reasonable ‘discount’ on goods to consumers. To preserve the ‘lowest prices’ and to remain at the forefront with competitive products, Colruyt made substantial investments into computer technology and integrated a high-technology information system which runs non-stop 365 days a year. Needless to say, a highly relied upon asset of this type is essential to the continuous success of Colruyt. System downtime is not acceptable. Prevent Business Interruption Colruyt made the decision to install Halon 1301 fire extinguishing system to protect this operation Halon is damaging the ozone layer and adding to the global warming problem. Therefore the European Community has issued a regulation 2037 / 2000 which makes the removal of Halon mandatory by the end of 2003. Colruyt made the decision to install Halon 1301 fire extinguishing system to protect this operation. This investment would prevent business interruption from fire. Fike, together with our business partner Sicli, Belgium, has successfully retrofitted the high technology information system (IT) room of the Colruyt supermarket chain with ECARO-25®, which utilizes DuPont’s FE-25™ fire extinguishant. Fire Extinguishing System The key success factors of the program were: Minimum downtime of the Colruyt IT room Cost savings compared to other products Fike’s ECARO-25 makes it possible to leave the existing piping in place and exchange the cylinders and the discharge nozzles only. These major advantages of ECARO-25 make the Halon retrofit as easy as possible even for equipment which is running 24 hours a day / 365 days a year. Now, in the easiest and most cost-effective manner, the Colruyt supermarket chain is in full compliance with EC 2037/2000 by using the people and environmentally safe ECARO-25 fire extinguishing system from Fike Corporation.
Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, VA, is committed to providing quality education within a Christian environment. They are proud to represent more than 15,000 students from all fifty states and over seventy countries around the world. Their campus spans across 5,000 acres making it the largest evangelical higher educational facility in the United States. Because of the size of the property, the campus employs their own emergency response team, responsible for monitoring over 80 buildings for fires, crime and the overall safety of students and staff. Fire Alarm System Liberty University contacted Greer’s Supply, a local Fike distributor, for a consultation Due to the number of buildings on the property, Liberty’s emergency response team wanted the ability to supervise all of their fire alarm systems simultaneously. However, none of the previous systems were networked and there was no way to manage them at one time or from one location. Liberty University officials decided to re-evaluate their current systems hoping to find one fire alarm system that could protect the entire campus and be monitored from a single location. When Liberty University evaluated the Fike Cybercat® panels, they were impressed by the user-friendly ability to install new devices to the system, and to do all programming in-house. Liberty University contacted Greer’s Supply, a local Fike distributor, for a consultation. To all parties knowledge, there was no prior history of protecting a campus of this magnitude with the requirements that Liberty University requested. Building Communication Greer’s Supply worked closely with a team of Fike engineers to find a solution. “The challenge was that the campus had no interconnecting copper or fiber communication lines that would help provide a backbone for a networked fire alarm system,” said Kevin Montgomery, Product Manager for Fike Alarm Systems. Using Fike’s Ethernet Module, the control panels are able to communicate via the internet “The university also utilized voice over IP for phone service. This created additional challenges for using digital alarm communication transmitters (DACTs) in the fire alarm panel for off-premises or out of building communication and monitoring.” After some investigative research and testing, Greer’s Supply presented a solution to the university. Using Fike’s Ethernet Module, the control panels are able to communicate via the internet, linking over 80 buildings to one central location. Eliminating Polling Delays Additionally, Fike’s CyberCat fire alarm system is designed to eliminate polling delays and nuisance alarms around the campus. The system delivers information simultaneously from the intelligent sensors to the alarm panel and other devices within the system without any dedicated phone lines or the need for fiber or copper to be networked. “The Fike CyberCat system has met our needs giving us a reliable system that allows us to network the buildings together,” said Michael Holmes, Liberty University Fire Alarms official. “Our police department can easily monitor the campus for fire alarms allowing our emergency response team to react quickly during an emergency situation.”
Speciality vehicle maker, Triel-HT of Brazil, has adapted over 120 Allison-equipped Scania firefighting trucks for its national airport and fire corps customers. Among the reasons for choosing Allison fully automatic transmissions, Triel-HT cites 35 per cent faster acceleration, better vehicle control and ease of integration. Nine different Scania chassis have already been adapted for airport and industrial firefighting, civil defence and special explosives transport, among them the P250, P310, P360 FF, P440 FF and G580 models. Manoeuvring Agility These trucks are already present in more than 70 airports and air bases throughout Brazil, including remote units in Manicore and Fonte Boa in Amazonas, the Alcântara Air Base in Maranhão, and the recently renovated Viracopos airport in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo. Triel-HT develops the vehicles using in-house manufactured or adapted equipment. The vehicles equipped with Allison automatics comply with international standards for extreme performance and work in harmony with the trucks “The automatic transmissions are preferred due to their convenient operation, ride performance, manoeuvring agility and also the ease of gearbox integration with the essential components and electronic controllers of the fire truck,” said Triel-HT executive Claudio Vincentini. The vehicles equipped with Allison automatics comply with international standards for extreme performance and work in harmony with the trucks, according to Vincentini. Significant Investment Programme Allison automatics accelerate up to 35 per cent faster than manual or automated manual transmissions (AMTs). In addition to the 120 vehicles already delivered, another 12 Scania units with Allison automatics are now in the final stage of preparation, as part of a significant investment programme for airport vehicles. Five of them are for Infraero. Another four units have been ordered by the Department of Civil Aviation and will be sent to the airports of Comandatuba (BA), Barreirinhas (MA), Pato Branco (PR) and Patos, in Piauí. Two units are for the Fire Corps of Maringá, State of Paraná in the south of the country, and another unit is for an explosives transportation application in Peru. The trucks are equipped with diverse gear that can include special clothing, reptile pick-up accessories, pumps for water launch with high flow capacity, and liquid foam generator and dispensing equipment (LGE).