MERT Worldwide – Gas Cooling Fire Fighting Training

MERT Worldwide

This video clip is a very good example of Gas Cooling Fire Training.  I mentioned this type of fire fighting technique in my previous post about the Fishing Boat Fire – Amatil Columbi.

The following comments relate to the video clip:

  • Minimum water/maximum effect – Once Gas Cooling was established at the door the visibility improved.  Gas cooling also brought the fire under control without even trying to extinguish the source of the fire.
  • The fire fighter used a trigger type branch/nozzle.  This is a nice to have; you could see the effects of good quick “Pulses”.  It is however not necessary and a simple lever On/Off action Branch/Nozzle achieves the same result.
  • Towards the end of the video clip the visibility inside the compartment improved which gave the fire fighter a chance to see the seat of the fire and attack it directly.

This type of fire fighting technique is ideal method for ships. Trained fire teams of 2 people (One branch/Nozzle operator and one In Charge) are effective use of people when crew numbers are small.  It also means easier BA management, when limited BA sets and recharging facilities are available.

I remember watching a Fire Fighting Training Video Clip (1993 – VHS).  In Europe at that time various Fire Departments were researching Gas Cooling techniques.   In the early years many fire fighters were not supportive of Gas Cooling it had its critics.  But through science and research fire fighters began to understand the Chemistry of Fires and the importance of Gas Cooling – “It is the smoke that is on fire”.

In 2007 The NZ Navy researched the possibility of introducing Gas Cooling fire fighting technique.  As part of my research I was fortunate enough to take part in Compartment Fire Fighting demonstration held at the NZ Fire Service Training Center in Rotorua (Near the Air Port).  We were in a purpose built Compartment Fire Training Unit.  Like the video, the real thing was very similar.  One thing I will state is that gas cooling not only cools the gases above you but the temperature at ground level is drastically cooler, and I could feel firsthand the drop in temperature in my immediate area. Visibility too was better, when I compare it to how we (The NZ Navy) used to fight fires.  As a result of this “Live Demonstration” I developed and designed the NZ Navy 2 Man Fire Fighting Team procedure using Gas Cooling. I also designed a Training Package (DDD) to support the new Fire Fighting technique (Single Hose Attack).  In 2008 this procedure was introduced into the NZ Navy.  It has evolved over time and had several name changes but the Gas Cooling principals are still the same.

MERT Worldwide – Maritime Emergency Response Training

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