Kuwaitis train on Bristol’s fire rig

Published:  11 May, 2009

F&R reports from Bristol International Airport’s fire ground where a team of airport fire officers prepared a range of fire scenarios for the Kuwait Fire Service Department (KFSD) team on the Boeing 767-size fire rig.

rescue cover is provided throughout the hours the airport is available for use and for 15 minutes after the departure of the last aircraft or until the aircraft has reached its destination, whichever is the shorter.




The operational objective of the RFFS is to respond as quickly as possible to aircraft accidents or incidents in order to create maximum opportunity for saving life so airside fire stations must be located so that access for rescue and firefighting vehicles into the runway area is direct and with a minimum number of turns.


With ICAO response times dependent on the size of aerodrome, location of fire station(s) and position of fire appliances and personnel at any given time is critical so rescue and firefighting vehicles should be housed in a fire station and satellite fire stations have to be provided where the response time cannot be achieved from a single fire station.
With thousands of gallons of aviation fuel on an aircraft at one time, aviation fire training is based on the principle that a fire may occur either immediately following an aircraft accident or incident, or at any time during rescue operations.
ICAO standards require all RFFS personnel to train and participate in regular live fire drills on rigs that are of similar size to the types of aircraft that use the airport, the type of rescue and firefighting equipment in use, including pressure-fed fuel fires powered by either hydrocarbon or liquefied gas.


Training must be in accordance with CAP 699 Standards for the Competence of Rescue and Fire Fighting and as in most cases, RFFS are responsible for providing medical cover, the majority of UK airport firefighters are trained to emergency medical technician status.


At the moment there are just 60 airports in the world – including Heathrow and Gatwick – with CAT10 status or are working to achieve ICAO certification.


Kuwait International Airport fire investment


With the majority of A380s operating in the Middle East, the Gulf State of Kuwait is one of a growing number of countries in the region which is driving the A380 aviation revolution and investing in CAT10.
The country’s main aviation hub, Kuwait International Airport (KIA), located 16km (10 miles) South of Kuwait City is set for expansion in 2009 following an announcement by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation that will see investment made in the expansion of ramp facilities and a new fuel storage facility.


A long-term investment programme in new rescue and fire fighting equipment and training is ensuring that KIA fire rescue services have the manpower and up-to-date facilities to respond quickly and efficiently to any emergency incident.
With the opening of a second terminal at Kuwait International Airport in 2010, passenger numbers will jump from 6,910,309 passengers arriving and departing on 56,987 flights in 2008 to around 14 million in the next few years.
The airport’s cargo terminal, capable of simultaneously accommodating up to seven freighters, is one of the best equipped in the Gulf region – an additional operation for firefighters to protect.


Currently rated ICAO CAT9, the firefighters forming the Kuwait Fire Service Department (KFSD) operate from two strategically-located fire stations, enabling the crews to reach an incident at any point on the airfield in less than three minutes.


While the bulk of the firefighters’ duties are thankfully routine deploying to oversee refuelling at aircraft stands or providing free emergency training to airline employees and airport workers, over the years KIA’s fire crews have been called on to handle a range of aircraft emergencies from engine shut-downs on civil airliners to full-scale alerts involving military aircraft.

Meeting of minds
With aviation fire training simulators and centres in the UK seen as possibly the best in the world and leading the development in CAT 10 fire training techniques, Bristol and Manchester are seeing an increasing number of overseas fire crews visiting them – including a team of 10 officers from KFSD.
The KFSD fire training programme was facilitated in the UK by VT Support Services, an operator in the civil resilience, emergency, defence and aviation sectors in the UK and internationally. With the ability to deliver mission-critical operational capabilities including asset management and training support, the company is seeing increased interested in aviation fire training.


VT is well known in the UK for its contract with a national purchasing body (Firebuy). The company provides management for a national programme involving a fleet of emergency vehicles and equipment modules operated by the 46 Fire and Rescue Services throughout England. In addition, its portfolio includes government agencies and business from US Armed Forces and international fire training partnership to work for the UK Ministry of Defence and British Airways.
The KFSD team make light work of their introduction to UK firefighting procedures at VT’s Fire Training Centre, Severn Park in Avonmouth and move on to the next stage – aviation fuel pressurised fires.  Fire & Rescue caught up with them on a cold wintry day on Bristol International Airport’s (BIA) fire ground where Justin Lane, Fire and Safety Training Instructor and a team of airport fire officers had prepared a range of fire scenarios for the KFSD team on the Boeing 767-size fire rig.


The team from KFSD were not only on a fast learning curve when it comes to aviation fire training, but the British winter as well. With the temperature a cool -3 C, the guys were adapting fast. First Lieutenant Faisal Bouftain comments: “Fire and rescue techniques and approaches to aviation firefighting are constantly evolving as new aircraft join the fleets of airlines from around the world. 쇓

  • Operation Florian

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