Foam Application for High Hazard Flammable Train (HHFT) Fires

Tuesday, October 16, 12:30-2:00 pm

Foam Application for High Hazard Flammable Train (HHFT) Fires
Gerard Back, Jensen Hughes

Presenters: Gerard Back, Jensen Hughes, Brianna Gillespie, Jensen Hughes

High Hazard Flammable Train (HHFT) fire incidents are low frequency, high consequence response scenarios where fuel can flow, pool, saturate and burn for days. The heat released can also cause thermal stress to surrounding railcars, resulting in heat-induced tears, pressure relief venting, and other causes of tank car failure. This study looked at HHFT fire event data and fire suppression information; and reviewed the available literature, first responder and technical response, and post-incident analysis. Foam usage information was collected from 12 different HHFT incidents that involved ethanol, crude oil, petroleum, denatured alcohol, and/or a combination of fuels. Incident data collected included parameters such as number of cars derailed, weather conditions, foam concentrate usage, and water usage. The research and analysis resulted in vital lessons learned for first responder actions such as cooling water application methods, proper timelines for foam application, and tactical plan development. The study concludes that first responder awareness of HHFT derailments is crucial and will affect the overall outcome, duration, and severity of an incident. Project report is available from FPRF website.

Who will benefit: Emergency Responders, Fire Service, Incident commanders, Researchers, Fire Protection Engineers.

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