Starting top left and going clockwise. Paddington Rail crash (UK); LPG freight incident, Weyauwega, USA; Gulf rail network route; Grayrigg train derailment (UK).

Major rail incidents – how prepared are you really?

It is true that rail travel globally is officially the second safest mode of transport behind the airline industry (fatalities per billion passenger kilometres – Source: European Union Agency for Railways), but…

Firefighting PPE in the mining industry

Paul Gibson, International Sales Manager for MSA Bristol, a global leader of cutting-edge firefighter protection, talks to Matt Campbell, Emergency Services Principal at Rio Tinto in Australia, about the role of Emergency Responders in the mining industry and their specific…

The aluminized outer shell reflects up to 90% radiant heat, and the aluminised vapour barrier prevents the remaining infrared from penetrating the suit.

Firefighter safety, 30 years in the making

Safety. Comfort. Unless both are built into their protective clothing, no firefighter will be able to perform the tasks demanded of them. But how do you achieve that? For technical textiles specialist Otego, the answer lay in FIRESHIELD, a fire…

Portable hydraulic rescue tools 60 years on

Firefighters, police forces and urban search and rescue teams need the best tools for their demanding jobs. Saving lives and effective extrication is all about functionality and reliability of equipment. Hydraulic-powered tools first came to the fire and rescue service…

Optical view of a firefighter conducting a scan prior to the firefighters making entry for VES.

Thermal imaging: breaking down the scan – Part 2

In Part 1 of our article, we discussed the importance of proper interpretation of the image along with understanding the key attributes of thermal imaging. We also discussed some ‘behavioural problems’ that occur during a scan such as failing to…

The blood of firefighters, the first line of defence

Firefighters have been unaware of the toxicity of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals: although the National Health and Nutrition Study (NHANES) has been testing Americans’ blood for PFAS chemicals since 1999.1 The programme of studies is designed by the US…

Firefighting with foam: approaching the transition to fluorine free

The flammable-liquid challenges that have existed in the high-hazard industries for over a century are still there today. Moreover, they are not going away in the short term, no matter how quickly we can achieve a carbon-neutral world. Foam, in…

Always-on communication for emergency services

The Middle East is no stranger to natural disasters, even if the types of emergency change over time. For example, increasing climate variability and a fast-growing population crowded into a tiny portion of the region’s surface area, have seen more…

Outthink Wildfire – Part 2
Outthink Wildfire™ is a comprehensive strategy from the National Fire Protection Association that lays out five key policy changes that need to be made at the federal, state, and local levels in the US to end wildfire destruction over the…
Setting the scene

Most of us can walk around our own homes in the dark with relative ease, but when you’re navigating somewhere you have never been before it’s a whole different story – especially if you’re against the clock and lives are…

MSA Bristol: Expert protection from head to toe

The new year marked a new era for two of the most respected and well-established brands in the firefighter PPE industry. MSA Safety, a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility…

Trends in recruitment and retention: factors that impact Volunteer Fire Service staffing

Recruiting volunteer firefighters and EMS providers in the United States is a complex issue because of the number of fire departments and the fact that there is no single model for organizing fire departments. Each of the 50 US states…

Now AFFF is defunct, what’s the way forward?

As fluorosurfactants termed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used in firefighting foams since the 1960s are being discovered in drinking water, above safe levels in multiple countries, it’s clear that the use of all PFAS (C6 and C8) firefighting foams…

Getting in service quickly to provide help is the mission; making it happen is the challenge

The fire service today takes on more responsibilities and provides more special services than it did 35 years ago when I started my career as a rookie firefighter. Our fire apparatus, though safer, is much larger and carries more equipment…

Training during and after the pandemic: what some feel may be the new norm

As we started 2020, the pandemic was just getting a grip on the world and it seemed as though everything was coming to a standstill. Most were confused with what the future looked like, and some were not even thinking…

Outthink Wildfire – Part 1
A bold new plan from NFPA calls for ending the destruction of communities in the United States by wildfire in 30 years. Achieving that goal will require a coordinated effort among all levels of government and the cooperation of residents…
3D technology and firefighter training

The global pandemic is generating changes to our daily lives that no one imagined could happen. One of the consequences of Covid-19 is the need to establish security measures to protect us from infection. Measures such as social distancing and…

Illuminating the scene

One of the easiest tasks to overlook at emergency incidents is providing adequate scene lighting. Firegrounds, hazardous material scenes, highway incidents and technical rescue operations all need sufficient lighting to illuminate work areas and add to the safety of those…

Fire-alarm systems: what you need to know about pre-incident planning and response

Responses to fire-alarm activations are common occurrences for fire-department personnel. Having knowledge of building fire-protection systems can make these types of calls less of a burden and make a difference when seconds matter. You do not have to look extremely…

Today’s personal protective envelope for motorsports response – Part 2

The ramifications of hybrids and electrics in motorsports is a significant concern. These vehicles bring a drivetrain type that would appear to be a major hazard to the casual observer. It is my belief that with the correct education and…

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