Exceeding the Rules

Playing fair is not critical in calculating foam application Eric LaVergne, president of Tyco Williams Fire & Hazard Control, uses a 2007 storage tank fire in Nigeria to illustrate the critical importance of getting the foam application rates right. “Okay, now look at the monitor – a medium expansion foam tube probably capable of 500 gpm against a 270-foot diameter tank,” LaVergne said, referring to a PowerPoint presentation. “It doesn’t add up, does it?” The next slide in the presentation shows the burned out remnants of a collapsed storage tank, the end result of the Nigerian fire. For video from the Tyco Williams Xtreme school, CLICK HERE . “The plant manager asked us if the tank could have been saved if we had arrived sooner,” LaVergne said. “The truth of the matter is no. Because I can’t make that little bitty monitor shoot any further. Basically, we can hold your hand...
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Product Portfolio

Skytech Group to supply RescueSim incident command simulators to China The Skytech Group announces it has signed an agreement with simulator supplier VSTEP, making Skytech an official distributor for the RescueSim Incident Command Simulator in the Chinese market.   The agreement sees Skytech add RescueSim to its portfolio of products and services. RescueSim is a realistic Incident Command Simulator that allows Fire & Rescue Services and first responders to experience and train incidents as they would in real-life. Any thinkable incident can be created and trained with decisions and consequences immediately visible in real-time in the simulator. The RescueSim Incident Command Simulator is currently used by customers in over 20 countries and has specialised modules training of incidents at Airports, Industrial and Offshore Facilities, Ports and onboard of vessels, effective and safe enhancement of practical incident response training.   The Skytech Group is a supplier of rescue equipment and a provider...
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Spinal Immobilization

Strict or precautionary   Today, these protocols are changing, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP).   In January of 2015, ACEP released a position statement regarding the EMS spinal precautions and the use of the long backboard. This statement says the benefit of long backboards to immobilize the spine is unproven. It can induce pain, patient agitation and respiratory compromise. It can also decrease tissue perfusion at the pressure points, leading to development of pressure ulcers. Long backboards should be used judiciously so that potential benefits outweigh the risks.  Use of backboard for spinal immobilization is prescribed in cases that include:  ● Blunt trauma and altered level of consciousness  ● Spine pain or tenderness  ● Neurologic complaint (numbness or motor weakness)  ● Anatomic deformity or the spine  ● High-energy mechanism of injury including, drug or alcohol intoxication, inability to communicate and...
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Faith on Fire

Dallas' 1st female paramedic publishes biography In 1977, Sherrie Wilson, walked into the Dallas Fire Department and asked for a job a day after a male coworker told her “Women can’t be firefighters!” She found the department needed to hire women to meet Justice Department requirements. In 1972 the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress and declared there would be no inequality on the grounds of gender. Her book, “Faith on Fire” will share: • How to live on the razor edge of life, while facing plummeting drops into the presence of defeat, frustration and death. • You will understand the blistering heat of gender curves, while facing and standing up to others who do not believe you belong. • Understand the cost of allowing or participating in agitation or harassment. • Enjoy the amazing life lessons on team dynamics and loving those with which you do not agree. • Faith...
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Beauty and the Beast

Industrial fire fighting is a beastly business. Gulf Coast Emergency Response Academy is a beautiful place to train for the worst.   For video from GCERA, CLICK HERE .   It has been stated by many professional athletes that they “hate” practice but “love” playing the game. If you look back on your own past experiences you may find that you have felt the same way about training. So, why do we view training as a chore? Should we, as responders, view it as a necessary evil task we must perform based on a standard or regulation? Why can’t we view it as a golden opportunity to refresh our knowledge, gain new skills or add another tool into our response tool box?    At the Gulf Coast Emergency Response Training Academy (GCERA) the goal is to keep the participants engaged in the training plan, not simply presenting a fire, giving an...
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Johnson Controls

Tyco security and fire protection merges with auto parts giant MILWAUKEE and CORK, Ireland, Jan. 25, 2016 -- Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Tyco (NYSE: TYC) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will combine with Tyco, a global fire and security provider, to create the leader in building products and technology, integrated solutions and energy storage.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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West Explosion

Final CSB report cites gaps in safety practices, regulations and training The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has released its final report regarding the West fertilizer explosion citing gaps in safety practices, regulations and training.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE.
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Elk River

Sentencing set for ex-execs in West Virginia chemical spill Two years after thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent leaked into the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians, the sentencings of six officials at a chemical distributor this month will bring to a close criminal cases in the spill.   To read entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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Fire forces car maker to shutter Japan production for 6 days A fire that knocked down production of steel parts at a key Toyota supplier has forced the automaker to suspend production for six days as its part supply is drying up.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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Empty Tank or Loaded Gun?

Firefighters in Rogers County, OK, thought the worst was over after two hours battling a tank battery fire. Then, with only a split second of warning, a 3,000-gallon bullet tank abruptly exploded.   Sometimes the difference between a learning experience and a line-of-duty fatality is a split second. Limestone Fire Protection District Fire Capt. Don Boyle in Oklahoma escaped an explosion at an asphalt plant in October that came that close. Even better, he has the GoPro video to illustrate his learning experience. “When I turned around and ran I wasn’t running from the explosion,” Boyle said, referring to the video. He stood his ground when an explosion suddenly separated the end cap from a 3,000-gallon bullet tank and launched it nearly 80 feet straight up. The Fire Triangle and Hydrocarbon Storage Tanks Video of the Oklahoma Bullet Tank Explosion Boyle was only 40 yards away when the tank blew. His...
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Delgado Expansion

New Orleans industrial fire school opens new classroom building April 1   After 12 years of tough negotiation and planning, Delgado Community College Maritime and Industrial Training Center in New Orleans East is making final preparations to open its new two-story, 19,000-square-foot education facility on April 1.   Rick Schwab, the school’s senior director, said the new $6.5 million center will bring Delgado in line with the demands of its corporate clients.   “We are doubling the size of our classrooms, adding state-of-the-art equipment such as marine simulators, expanding the school’s fire field with additional offshore and radar labs and adding a conference center.” Prior to the April 1 grand opening, the center consisted of only seven classrooms and five firefighting props – one maritime and four industrial.   “The new building automatically doubled our available classroom space,” Schwab said.  The center’s industry tour opening will allow the center to start...
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ISTC Opening

International Safety Training Council hosts grand opening of new facility   International Safety Training Council hosted the grand opening of its new 67,000-square-foot corporate office and training and conference center April 5 in Beaumont, TX. "ISTC has made Southeast Texas a safer and healthier community for morethan 25 years," ISTC president and CEO Chris Lamson said. "This state-of-the-art facility will ensure that ISTC can meet the needsof new and expanding industries in our region for years to come." ISTC provides site-specific training for more than 75 refineries, petrochemical plants, manufacturers, offshore marine service and energy facilities and custom-developed training programs to meet varied business' needs. ISTC offeres a variety of other services including background screenings, drug screenings, medical services, custom badge design, online pre-qualification service, pipeline operator qualification courses and distance learning. ISTC's new training center features 18 customer service stations and 10 self-service klosks for frequent visitors, 761 computer stations...
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Solberg achieves product certifications on foam concentrates Green Bay, Wisconsin - The Solberg Company, the world’s foremost innovator of firefighting foam concentrates and systems hardware, announced today the company has achieved U.S. Military MIL-         F-24385F Certification on the company’s ARCTIC™ 3% and 6% AFFF foam concentrates. ARCTIC™ foam concentrates from SOLBERG are PFOA and PFOS-free synthetic firefighting foam concentrates used to effectively extinguish Class B fuel fires.  ARCTIC foam concentrates provide rapid extinguishment and excellent burn back resistance and can be used in fresh, salt or brackish water. In May 2012, ARCTIC AFFF and ATC™ foam product lines became C6 fluorochemical based, making Solberg the first foam manufacturer in the Americas to offer commercially available foam concentrates that are compliant to the 2015 U.S. EPA PFOA Product Stewardship Program. In addition to MIL-F-24385F Certification, ARCTIC 3% MIL-SPEC AFFF is Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Listed in accordance with UL 162 (Standard for Safety for...
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5-Minute Power Shot

Time tested tactics conquer raging pipeline fire in Mexico   Industrial firefighter Felipe Hanhausen was down to his last few pounds of PKW dry chemical when the fire that issued for nearly 37 hours from a ruptured 20-inch gasoline pipeline in Quecholac, Mexico, finally died away. “We were very, very fortunate,” Hanhausen said. “When I arrived there was only one 350-pound wheel unit left at the scene filled with PKW.”   Using that wheel unit and four gallons of Solberg 3x6 ATC foam concentrate distributed using a ACAF BOSS-60 compressed air foam system unit, Hanhausen brought the pipeline fire to an end – almost. “I say ‘almost’ because flames were still showing when the wheel unit ran out,” he said. “You’ll laugh but I remembered that I had a five-pound extinguisher filled with PKW in my mini-van. The very last of the fire was put out using that little extinguisher.”  ...
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Joe Brantley

Retired fire chief and IFW "Red Adair" winner dies after recent stroke   Joe Brantley, 76, retired fire chief with Union Carbide in Texas City and an industrial fire instructor at the Texas Fire Training School for 37 years, died Saturday after a recent stroke. He celebrated more than 55 years as a fire fighter. For video from Joe's final call, CLICK HERE. Joe’s final call and parade will be held at Arcadia First Baptist Church at 14828 Highway 6 in Santa Fe, TX. Visitation is on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at 5pm with funeral services on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at 11am officiated by Dr. Rick Smith. Brantley, of Santa Fe, Texas, was known as one of the most progressive and innovative industrial fire chiefs in the Gulf Coast region. His plant was among the first to use large-diameter hose, AFFF/AR foam and the incident command system. He was also among...
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Chemical giant loses 2nd big court decision on toxic dumping A series of lawsuits contend that DuPont's Washington Works chemical plant on the Ohio River west of Parkersburg, West Virgina dumped toxins into the river that have sickened thousands of people.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .  
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Methyl Mercaptain

Plaque honors fatalities in 2001 chemical explosion Riverview, MI, is hosting a ceremony at the site of a former chemical plant to re-dedicate a plaque that honors the lives of three men killed in a chemical explosion 15 years ago.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .  
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Channelview 1990

Texas A&M fire school director played major role in saving devastated chemical complex   Robert Moore learned the importance of planning early in his fire fighting career. In 1990, he was the assistant chief of the Channelview (TX) Volunteer Fire Department when an explosion and fire killed 17 people at an industrial chemical complex on the Houston Ship Channel. To make matters worse for Moore, he also happened to be the safety supervisor for the chemical complex. “I have the dubious distinction of being one of the fire chiefs at a chemical plant that had a major explosion with a massive loss of life,” Moore told responders attending the Xtreme Industrial Fire and Hazard Training in April in Beaumont, TX. The explosion and fire affecting an area of the complex comparable to a city block originated in a 900,000-gallon chemical waste tank. Unbeknownst to plant personnel, a chemical reaction in the...
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Difficult Drafting Made Easy

Pump-crane-engine package makes water more accessible Williams Fire & Hazard Control’s latest development in submersible pump systems played a key role in an elaborate drafting exercise to support the company’s Big Gun demonstrations at the annual XTREME Industrial Fire & Hazard Training in May. The new Dependapower package includes dual submersible pumps, a Palfinger 9001-EH wireless remote control deployment crane and a Caterpillar C9 diesel engine rated at 375 horsepower, all combined in one transportable unit, said WF&HC emergency response and training director Chauncey Naylor. “It’s something we’ve been looking at for a long time,” he said. “Nobody has built anything like this suitable for our use so we built our own.” Large volumes of water are usually the most critical resource in firefighting. However, water is not always readily accessible, particularly when the fire pump is greatly elevated above the water level.  Dependapower moves water in difficult drafting situations where...
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Sulfuric Acid

CSB releases final report on series of acid releases at a California refinery A final report into multiple sulfuric acid releases that occurred in 2014 at the Tesoro Refinery in Martinez, CA, has been released by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.. The report includes key process safety findings related to safety culture, safety indicators, and the continued need for a proactive regulator to conduct preventive inspections. On February 12, 2014, an incident occurred at the Tesoro Refinery in Martinez, which burned two workers and released an estimated 84,000 pounds of sulfuric acid. Less than a month later, on March 10, 2014, sulfuric acid sprayed and burned two contract workers during the removal of piping. Both incidents occurred in the refinery’s alkylation unit – where high-octane blending components are produced for gasoline. Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “The CSB urges all refineries to review the key findings and conclusions of the board’s...
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