At the Industrial Fire Safety and Security exhibition held in Houston, Texas, AM Knegt saw at first hand one of the largest industrial firefighting vehicles in the world.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (based near London, UK) has launched two new additions to its fleet – the Incident Command Unit (ICU) together with its sister appliance, the Multi-Role Vehicle (MRV). In doing so the brigade has also become the UK’s first FRS to start using VectorCommand’s Command Support System to manage major live incidents.

He’s invented a locatable siren that allows members of the public to pinpoint the location of an approaching emergency vehicle and – what’s more – it results in lower cab noise levels. F&R speaks to Jeff Berman.

SINE, the Danish public safety network, has undertaken several live situational fire tests on Sepura’s STP8000 hand-held radio for firefighters in Denmark.

Motorola’s medium range, non-TETRA solution, the MOTOTRBO digital mobile radio (DMR), is proving extremely popular in the professional market. So why is the DMR option proving so popular? Tim Clark, PCR Product Director (EMEA), Motorola, explains.

MFC’s new motorised sled for urban/inland flood rescue scenarios is causing ripples and it’s now available in the US – as visitors to the FDIC in April will find out. Ann Marie Knegt dives right in.

Stockholm Fire Captain Alf Alexanderson was one of the first persons to test the Mayday-Hansa-Board, which is manufactured by Mayday Scandinavian International AB in Sweden. Having tested this piece of kit out in the field for 15 years, he knows that it could improve water and ice rescues everywhere.

Every water rescue responder knows that safety and clear communications are paramount to any water rescue operation. However, wind, engines, and the noise from water itself can compromise communications, which can have a knock-on effect on the success of a rescue operation.

The end of 2009 could see the first NFPA standard for thermal imaging cameras (TICs) – but what will it mean for firefighters? Industry expert Paul Spooner of e2v, manufacturer of the Argus TIC, sheds some light on the NFPA 1801 (draft version).

With no EN standard for USAR helmets, how can a fire brigade ensure it has the best solution for its special operations teams? F&R places Vincent Azibert of MSA Gallet on the hot seat and asks, what is the ideal helmet configuration for USAR operations?

It is difficult – if not impossible – to over-emphasise the role that INSARAG has played in international USAR
response since its inception in 1991. F&R talks exclusively with INSARAG Chairman Toni Frisch.
Swiss USAR teams work with local teams following the Algerian earthquake of May 2003. Toni Frisch explains that large scale disasters such as earthquakes are the best examples of how well the INSARAG method works in practice.

Over 69,000 people were killed during the earthquake  that occurred on May 12, 2008, in Sichuan province,  and which measured around 8.0 on the Richter Scale.  It led to possibly the greatest rescue effort in modern  history as regards structural collapse incidents.  F&R interviewed the China Earthquake Administration,  one of the many agencies involved in the response.


London Fire Brigade has taken delivery of 660 sets of specialist jackets and trousers for its 330-strong USAR team. Is this the beginning of a wider trend for more specialised rescue wear? F&Rvisits London.

Last month the Norwegian StatePollution Control Agency publishedthe results of studies it had carriedout on polyfluorinated organiccompounds at four fire trainingfacilities in Norway. Dr Roger Kleinexplains the potential environmental implications as regards the use of fluorinated foam concentrates.

Tom Cortina of the Fire Fighting Foam Coalition puts forward an alternative view on the Norwegian State Pollution Control Agency’s report on polyfluorinated organic compounds at the four fire training facilities in Norway.



Over 69,000 people were killed during the earthquake that occurred on May 12, 2008, in Sichuan province,
and which measured around 8.0 on the Richter Scale. It led to possibly the greatest rescue effort in modern
history as regards structural collapse incidents. F&R interviewed the China Earthquake Administration, one of the many agencies involved in the response.

Experience from major emergencies around the world, including the recent bushfires in Australia, reconfirms the need for applying distributed C4I (Command, Control, Communications Computing and Information) technologies for managing large scale fire and multi-agency events. Stephen Prendergast of VectorCommand looks at the development of the Command Support System (CSS), an advanced interoperable, distributed C4I system being developed by his company for the London Fire Brigade and a growing number of UK, Australian, international fire services and emergency agencies.

  • Operation Florian

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