Fire protection challenges are focus of Singapore conference
“Fire Safety & Emergency Management, The Way Forward” was the theme of this week's Fire Safety Asia Conference in Singapore. This event, held every three years, hosts building industry practitioners and disaster managers from around the world to network and share ideas, experiences and best practices. The conference is hosted by the National Fire and Civil Emergency Preparedness Council (NFEC) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). Read more.
2014 Fire Fighting and Rescue Case Study Symposium in Guangzhou, China
From left:Yuanjing Liu; Dr. Zhi Zhang; Dave Downey; Shayne Mintz; Danjun Lian
Shayne Mintz, NFPA’s Canadian Regional Director, and Dave Downey, Fire Chief of the Miami Dade Fire Rescue, were invited by the Fire Department of the Public Security and Ministry to the 2014 Fire Fighting and Rescue Case Study Symposium in Guangzhou, China, which was held on September 22-26, 2014.
Chief Downey’s presentation addressed response to building collapse search and rescue in the U.S., referencing many NFPA standards, including NFPA 1006 (Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications), NFPA 1670 (Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue), and NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Technical Rescue Incidents. He also discussed the number of collapses U.S. fire departments respond to annually, as well as the number of collapse-related firefighter fatalities that occurred in 2013.
Shayne Mintz’s presentation focused on the United States’ experience with high rise fires, and the many NFPA codes and standards that address the issue, including NFPA 1, National Fire Code, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health, NFPA 1561, Standard on Emergency Services Incident Management System and Command Safety, and NFPA 1026, Standard for Incident Management Personnel Professional Qualifications.
Shayne also reviewed statistical analysis conducted between 2004 and 2011, which identified the various property classes that fires were occurring in; what losses and damages resulted from those fires; and the major causes of firefighter LODD’s while conducting search and rescue operations.
His presentation concluded with an overview of recent research conducted by NIST, the FPRF, and UL, addressing high-rise fire attack and the need for consideration of wind-driven effects, which is of particular importance in the high-rise setting.
Both presentations evoked great interest among the leadership in attendance. In his closing address, China’s national director of training deemed the presentations informative and “explosive”, and felt there was still much to learn about how the U.S. approached high-rise fires and other emergency responses. The director went on to say the NFPA codes and standards referenced will provide a solid foundation from which they can build.
The Chinese Fire Administration stated that they would like to invite the presenters back again next year to present on different topics, and that they would like to invite other experienced fire chiefs to present and further exchange information at future conferences.
While the sessions were nationally broadcast, some of the fire chiefs also requested that the presenters be invited to speak to staff at the local fire department level to broaden the exchange of information, and perhaps to open the opportunity for exchange delegations and on-line training programs.