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nonexistantfoo
27th May 2003, 04:58
A few years ago on "Nationwide" if I remember correctly, they did a feature on the Naval services training, and one of the aspects was fire fighting.

I was just wondering as regards such an emergency situation, god forbiding it would ever happen, what kind of procedures are in place to combat it, like is there assigned crew on board who are trained with hoses or is everyone trained in fire fighting? Is helecopter winching from the the different ships decks practised every so often to make sure it would be a slick enough affair if push came to shove?

Sorry, its a dumbass question, but the atlantic is such an obviously hostile environment I'm just wondering how the crew could cope in an emergency on rough seas and whether the naval service and air corps (as well as the coast guard) are well enough equipped and trained to respond in time and if not what you'd like to see changed...

PSO
30th May 2003, 16:53
Everybody who goes to sea with the INS (Including NSR) is required to have a three day Marine fire fighting course done, this is up to Dept. of the marine standards. Everybody.

The fire fighting teams are organised in three's or fours and up to four of these teams (i think) can be mustered. They will all be wearing protective suits and BA sets. The i/c should carry a TIC, a thermal imaging camera to see the fire/s. You won't see a hot fire because the smoke is so dense, you won't even see your hand up against the faceplate of your BA set. Scary scary experience in training. I don't ever want to have to fight a fire at sea.

Another important person is the BA controller, he records when a team have gone in (and started to use air) so its up to him to send the next team in before the first teams air runs out, vital job.

I have been on the course and found it first class.

You WILL be afraid of fire when finished this course. Anyone that says otherwise is lying.

yellowjacket
30th May 2003, 17:00
Interesting that naval firefighting teams seem to have better equipment (TI cameras) than land based FF's at the moment. TI cameras are fairly rare on Irish fire appliances right now, though they are common in other areas.

The Dublin Fire Brigade have an arrangement with the Coastguard to airlift specially trained ship-firefighting teams and equipment (eg portable pumps) to vessels on fire.

PSO
3rd June 2003, 13:53
TIC's are not nice to have's they are need to have's, the smoke is usually so thick that you cannot see an oil fire at five paces.
I stood beside an oil fire in the simulator and only knew it was there when my leg got warm through the suit.

Even if the fire brigade had TIC's, theyre not much use to a ship at sea, you can't call the fire brigade at sea, you are the fire brigade.

TIC's are also useful for man-overboard searches at night.

Goldie fish
3rd June 2003, 14:05
Firefighting at sea is a far scarier affair than that on land. An intense fire will burn or melt things you normally take for granted,such as your means of escape.
Ships decks can heat up very quickly,and the amount of synthetic material used in modern ship design can turn a ship with a small fire into a white hot lump of toxic fumes within minutes. This is why for the most part,the average fire fighting team on modern vessels is often better equiped than the fire service on land.
When i was at sea we were equipped with fire retardant silver suits when those on land still used donkey jackets and yellow oilskins.

Consider also the amount of fuel stored aboard ship,relatively close to accomodation. A fire reaching this area can be disasterous. This is a situation you would never find on land. In practice,the Naval service and the Lifeboats are the fire brigade of the sea,as many pleasure craft and fishing boats do not have the appropriate prevention equipment,or properly trained crew.

hptmurphy
5th June 2003, 22:30
I was involved in a couple of fires on the Eithne ranging from engine room fires and helo fires scary thought when your home is about to go smokey and the thoughts of a life raft are none too appealling.I was always impressed with the fire fighting abilities of the damage control teams. that three day course gave me an appetite for firefighting and I was fortunate to be able to qualify some years later at the CAA fire fighting school at teeside.The skills that I had learned in the navy stood me in good stead.CPO flynn was an excellent instructor...he had earned his laurels at the bantry bay disaster.

The Sultan
6th November 2005, 21:03
The Dublin Fire Brigade have an arrangement with the Coastguard to airlift specially trained ship-firefighting teams and equipment (eg portable pumps) to vessels on fire.

Does this apply to Naval vessels only? And what about a fire in the Atlantic? I would take a while to get the DFB lads out there in time, or do boat fires go on for days?

Truck Driver
6th November 2005, 21:24
The Royal Navy have a purpose built facility - can't remember where - but saw it on one of those afternoon shows. This thing is essentially a huge metal box on hydraulic stilts, the inside of it is laid out like the interior of a ship. The trainees are put into it, and then the effects of shell damage (flooding, fire, etc) can all be simulated. Just to make things even more interesting, by controlling the hydraulic stilts, the effects of ship listing can also be simulated. I found it fascinating to watch, anyway. Does the new Naval College facility have such a simulator?

hptmurphy
6th November 2005, 22:18
Yes it does and having seen it in action its quite spectcular...and they have the damage control option also..I reckon they should hire it out at weekends...beats the shit out of paintballing anyday!

Goldie fish
7th November 2005, 04:24
The Royal Navy have a purpose built facility - can't remember where - but saw it on one of those afternoon shows. This thing is essentially a huge metal box on hydraulic stilts, the inside of it is laid out like the interior of a ship. The trainees are put into it, and then the effects of shell damage (flooding, fire, etc) can all be simulated. Just to make things even more interesting, by controlling the hydraulic stilts, the effects of ship listing can also be simulated. I found it fascinating to watch, anyway. Does the new Naval College facility have such a simulator?

It sure does. The old one also had one. Don't know about the listing bit though, but the effects of working in ice cold water up to your neck is motivation enough no matter what aspect you are at.

GoneToTheCanner
7th November 2005, 16:50
Hi all
A very good thread,this. I've spent time on rigs and refineries and we recieved NO firefighting training whatsoever. None, at all.We were shown where the escape ropes where fitted and how to get to the boat deck. In the North Sea, the rig crews are obliged to have escape boat and dunker training.Not so in the Middle East.Some of the lads I worked with, they had lost mates on the Piper Alpha and were very wary...the point about the flammable content of ships is well made.Don't forget all that lovely explodable ammunition, as well.I read somewhere that at least one of the RN vessels lost in the Falklands War, had it's forward gun turret collapse thru the deck following an intense fire below decks....every time I travel on a civvie ferry, and see the paint/rust encrusted fittings around the boat davits, I get worried and feel the urge to shell out for a personal lifejacket.
regards
GttC

yellowjacket
7th November 2005, 17:16
Does this apply to Naval vessels only? And what about a fire in the Atlantic? I would take a while to get the DFB lads out there in time, or do boat fires go on for days?

It's intended more for commercial and leisure craft, rather than naval vessels which have significant firefighting facilites onboard.- Many commercial ships also have trained firefighting teams, though these are mainly intended for "first-aid firefighting" and rescue.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-hm_coastguard/mcga-dops_ff_sar_firefight.htm

http://www.imo.org/Safety/mainframe.asp?topic_id=777

http://www.dcmnr.gov.ie/Marine/Irish+Coast+Guard+IRCG/Search+and+Rescue/Resources/Dublin+City+Fire+Brigade.htm

X-RayOne
7th November 2005, 20:22
DFB arrangement with Dept of Marine is mainly for the provision of fire-fighting capabilities to the passenger and cargo ferries using the irish sea. The aim is to be able to put large numbers of professional fire-fighters onto a ship quickly to contain a fire before it gets out of hand. I don't think the remit goes as far as the atlantic. The marine fire-fighting arrangement is mostly concerned with the busy ferry routes between uk and ireland.

To this end the marine fire-fighting equipment is all pre-packed and ready for deployment onto a ship. With the introduction of the S61 helis quite large numbers of fire-fighters can be deployed into a ship with all their gear pretty quickly. The equipment contains a lot of TI cameras and specific marine fire-fighting gear. A large amount of medical gear ( including Defibrilators ) is alo carried as all DFB fire-fighters are EMT or Paramedic trained. This is for fire-fighter safety and treating injured passengers.

The marine fire-fighting course in DFB is quite extensive lasting 2 weeks ( i think ). Its mostly fire-fighting and rescues in BA in a specially constructed ship metal ship superstructure. Actual fires are lit in this to create zero visibility and heat conditions. The course also includes familiarisation visits and exercises on ferries, heli ops familiarisation and heli dunking training in Fleetwood. There are also joint exercises with welsh fire brigade and RAF depending on the locations of ferries.

moggy
7th November 2005, 21:45
A couple of months ago one of the p/v had a funnell fire early in the morning, this was put out in seconds, the vessel was 200 miles from shore -its amazing what halon or halon replacment does

Goldie fish
7th November 2005, 22:18
What are they using instead of Halon these days? CO2?

yellowjacket
7th November 2005, 23:23
Most common one now is a mixtire of CO2 and Nitrogen, trade name Inergen, there's plenty others too though, such as FM200.

Bosco
8th November 2005, 00:17
What are they using instead of Halon these days?
Ah Halon helping to give polar bears the suntan they've always wanted since 1963.
Just a question has Halon fire surpression been replaced on all Irish Naval ships, and if so did it cost much.

Goldie fish
8th November 2005, 17:50
Why do you ask?
How would we know?

I assume all naval vessels have replaced it in line with IMO (International Maritime organisation) directives.

yellowjacket
8th November 2005, 18:00
There were some exemptions to the requirement,


Who will be exempt
Owners and users of halon with "Critical Uses" may be able to claim exemption if broadly speaking the application is within the aircraft industry, military / armed forces, petrochemical industry and some marine applications. Use that can claim to be connected with national security.

So the NS probably could claim an exemption, no idea whether they did or not though.

Sluggie
8th November 2005, 18:04
All the halon was replaced years ago. By co2 AFAIK.

Bosco
8th November 2005, 19:08
Why do you ask?
How would we know?

I assume all naval vessels have replaced it in line with IMO (International Maritime organisation) directives.

Just wondering as Halon is about as eco-friendly as the ExxonValdeez.
Halon is roughly 15 times more harmful to ozone than your average CFC's that was the reason behind not using it. Just wondering if Irish Navy have stopped using it.

Bosco
8th November 2005, 19:09
All the halon was replaced years ago. By co2 AFAIK.

Cheers for the clarification sluggie.

Goldie fish
9th November 2005, 02:06
Just wondering as Halon is about as eco-friendly as the ExxonValdeez.
Halon is roughly 15 times more harmful to ozone than your average CFC's that was the reason behind not using it. Just wondering if Irish Navy have stopped using it.

1000+ tonnes of burning ship, fuel and assorted ordnance is far from environmentally friendly either. Halon gave those unfortunateenough to be trapped in the engineering spaces a chance to escape while it was being deployed. CO2 does not have that advantage.

Many newer ships are being equipped with a high pressure water system. Mad as it may sound, the Pressure is so intense that it creates a mist which removes all ignition sources from the atmosphere. Anyone here working on oil tankers?

I don't know exactly how it works, but having seen it in action, all I can say it it works, and the quantity of water used is not so high that it can affect the vessels stability.

In my former employment it was demonstrated to us with a 18tonne 20' tanker TEU. Within 2 seconds of operation, the Tanker was invisible, surrounded by an intense, local cloud. WHen the unit was disabled, all that remained was a very damp tanker, surrounded by bone dry ground.

yellowjacket
9th November 2005, 10:12
High pressure water mists have two main extinction mechanisms.

Cooling - the heat taken to convert water to steam uses up a lot of heat energy, thereby cooling the fire. This happens any time you use water on a fire, but high pressure mists are particularly efficient because the tiny water droplets (10-100 microns on average) mean you get a very large surface area of water.

Oxygen depletion. One litre of water converts into 1600 litres of steam, because the water mist consists of such small droplets, this happens very quickly, and the steam displaces air, removing oxygen from the vicinity of the fire.

The big advantages of these systems is that they reduce water damage compared to traditional sprinkler suppression, work much better on oil/gas fires than normal water, and in the case of shipping, don't being stability risks, like Goldie says.

The link below is one of the main HPWM system manfacturers, if anyone is interested.

http://www.marioff.com/en/fireprotection/index.htm

Bosco
9th November 2005, 10:42
High pressure water mists have two main extinction mechanisms.

Cooling - the heat taken to convert water to steam uses up a lot of heat energy, thereby cooling the fire. This happens any time you use water on a fire, but high pressure mists are particularly efficient because the tiny water droplets (10-100 microns on average) mean you get a very large surface area of water.

Oxygen depletion. One litre of water converts into 1600 litres of steam, because the water mist consists of such small droplets, this happens very quickly, and the steam displaces air, removing oxygen from the vicinity of the fire.
The link below is one of the main HPWM system manfacturers, if anyone is interested.

http://www.marioff.com/en/fireprotection/index.htm
Nice system, good to see a bit of thought going into it.

GoneToTheCanner
9th November 2005, 21:08
Hi Bosco
Yes, it's quite thought-provoking, isn't it.Kind of like a fuel-air munition in reverse. Just hope they don't get the pipes mixed up....a fire on a ship must be hell itself......As an aside, did you see those Somali lowlifes attacking the cruiseship with RPgs and AKs. Apparently, they were "defended" against with some kind of large stun grenade/pyro. Never an RN frigate around when you need one...
regards
GttC

hptmurphy
9th November 2005, 21:38
BCF or Halon 1211 was noted as the best fire fighting agent out side of water.....apart from the envoirnmental effects...it worked by removing the oxygen from the air and a result was lethal in confined spaces. the Eithen had two halon flood systems on board ..one in each engine room.

The legislation regarding halon was issued with the intention of not replacing halon units after they had been discharged.......so when the NS replaced it..it was on a gradual phased in basis rather than in one clean swoop as the is would have been cost restrictive.

As regarding fire fighting on ships..remember that a ship only stays afloat because of the water it displaces.....hence if someone starts pumping in water to cofined spaces a ship will become unstable and sink...so whats the lessers of two evils......tan a few polar bears or sink a ship...

GoneToTheCanner
11th November 2005, 00:31
Hi HPT
Very good point about the ingress of water.I have a video of the horrendous fire that took place aboard the USS Forrestal, a carrier, in about 1967. They managed to save the ship, despite gross damage from exploding 1000lb bombs and blazing aviation fuel. One thing they found, in the inquiry afterwards, was that the escort vessels, whilst well-meaning, were pumping so much water on the carrier, that the ship was settling and the burning fuel was being swept into the interior, not over the side. Also, a lot of men were killed or injured whilst attempting to fight the fires whilst shirtless.Also, damage-control parties ended up competeing with each other because they couldn't communicate so one side would be fighting a fire, whilst another team would be washing blazing fuel towards them from another compartment. It's an incredible film to watch.
regards
GttC