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Fire Drill! Prevent, Prepare, Practice

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[MUSIC PLAYING] [WATER FLOWING] Hello, all crew, we have a fire in the [INAUDIBLE] [? hull. ?] All crew, fire [INAUDIBLE]. There is no greater safety concern at sea than fire. To protect our lives, our ships, and our cargoes from fire, we must do three things, and do them well-- prevention, preparation, and practice. [FIRE BLAZING] In this program, we'll look at ways to improve fire safety at sea, especially ways to prepare and conduct fire drills. We'll also give you some practical advice from industry experts. You conduct fire drills at sea for your own safety, of course. But they're also required for certification, for insurance purposes, and by port state control. [MUSIC PLAYING] Our emphasis on safety is on prevention. And certainly, when you look at the catastrophic, or potentially catastrophic, outcome of a fire on a vessel, you've got to work at prevention, and then you have to work at training and education of how to respond to a fire. Fire creates three hazards, any one of which can kill you. Flames and heat cause burns and damage property. Smoke and vapors suffocate people. And explosions kill and maim. Let's start with some of the fire basics. Fires needs three things-- ignition to start, oxygen to breathe, and fuel to consume and burn. Eliminate oxygen and fuel and you snuff fires out. Eliminate ignition and you keep fires from starting in the first place. That's prevention. Most fires aren't accidents. They're caused by carelessness or poor procedures. Welding and burning are obvious fire hazards, but prevention should also include attention to galley operations, oil transfer procedures, cargo storage, wiring and circuits, and especially careless smoking. [EXPLOSION] The best fire prevention is just good housekeeping. Pay attention to the human side, and don't cut corners. Over 80% of our marine casualties are through human error. And so we have a big initiative on prevention through people, and things like wiring doors open for better ventilation, and then the fire starts, and you don't have the bulkheads, and then the fire integrity you need to help fight the fire and keep it from spreading. Be strict about inspection and maintenance. Inspect all equipment regularly, both machinery that could pose a fire hazard, and the equipment used to fight fires. Regularly check detection systems and fire extinguishing systems. All detection systems should be tested regularly-- smoke detectors, heat detectors, flame detectors. Know where they are and what they do. This is part of a built-in, or fixed, fire extinguishing system-- CO2, to be specific. These are in-place systems that need to be checked and monitored regularly. And as part of your preparation and ongoing drilling procedure, you need to know how and when to use a system like this one. Some fires may be extinguished by simply activating a fixed system, and staying out of the way. There are several types of fixed extinguishing systems, which vary from ship to ship. They include CO2 systems, foam systems, steam smothering systems, and water spray systems. Most of them are hazardous to your health and must be used carefully. There needs to be more awareness on how these systems work and what they're designed to do. And I think once that awareness sneaks into the drill environment, people start paying more attention to them. Even before you begin drilling with it, you need to inspect and familiarize yourself with the personal gear you'll be using to fight fires. This means not only knowing what to do with it, but keeping it ship shape and ready. That is your opportunity to look at the equipment and make sure that it's functioning properly, and to put it back in service. And by put it back in service, we mean make sure that the bottles are filled up, that you've washed out the headgear, batteries are in the lights. The lights are all working. And the gear is stowed in a way that you can get it out rapidly and make sure that it's functioning quickly. Fire prevention is about education, inspection, and good housekeeping. Learn to recognize fire hazards, and if you can't minimize them-- if they go with the territory-- post warning signs to keep your people on their toes. In our next segment, we'll talk about the second key element in fire safety-- preparation. [MUSIC PLAYING] [BEEPING] Hello, all crew. We have a fire in the [INAUDIBLE]. Fire drills are an indispensable part of your training to fight fires as sea. But before you drill, you need to prepare. Both officers and crew must learn basic procedures, train together, and grow into an effective firefighting team. The ship is like anything else. It's a system. And you've got to understand all of the components of that system and how it all fits together, and what your individual role is within that system. And unless you train and exercise right for an emergency, you're not going to get it right. A good place to start with your ship's emergency must list-- or station bill-- and with the ship's fire plan. Both of these are crucial for fighting fires and for staging competent fire drills. The must list assigns roles and responsibilities during a fire or other emergency. The fire plan locates extinguishing systems, hoses, pumps and connections, equipment, and supplies. [FIRE BLAZING] Many fire safety features are built into the ship itself. Learn them, and incorporate them into your drills. Why should you have to have a reference to a plan to know where the sprinkler heads are, or to know what equipment is in that hose box, or to know where the dampers are? You should know that in your sleep. And once you get there, you'll never have to worry about a port state inspection again. They'll be impressed. No matter how well you're organized, fire safety still comes down to the individual training and competence of each crew member. It's the crew that will make the difference in an emergency involving fire. The STCW code sets standards for fire prevention and firefighting. Crew members must demonstrate competence in the use of various portable fire extinguishers, the use of SCBA-- self-contained breathing apparatus-- extinguishing smaller fires-- such as electrical and oil fires-- extinguishing fires using jet and spray nozzles with water, extinguishing fires using foam powder and chemical agents, entering and passing through a compartment with high expansion foam using no SCBA, fighting fires in an enclosed space using self-contained breathing apparatus, using fog or steam for fire suppression, extinguish an oil fire with fog applicator and spray nozzle, dry chemical powder, or foam applicators, and finally, effect a rescue in a smoke-filled space. These STCW and other individual competency requirements make great drill objectives. Use them. You need to take care of this stuff before you take care of anything else on the vessel. And it's not just the equipment. It's do you know how to use it, what is it for, and is it ready to go, and are you ready to go. That's how you're going to get home if everything else fails. Be sure and pay attention to the particulars of your own ship. Individual ships have their own design features, fire safety systems, and procedures. And depending on your cargo, you may have special procedures. Each ship, voyage, and crew is unique. You prepare for fire emergencies by getting to know your equipment and your procedures. Then you're ready to put what you've learned to the test. The very best practice is realistic, thorough fire drills, conducted at least once a month. Most fires start as very small incidents. And if you can focus in on that, and do the right things right, you can keep that as a very minimal incident. [MUSIC PLAYING] Few seafarers are unfamiliar with fire drills. They're a part of life onboard any ship. But it's our very familiarity with these drills that often makes them simply routine, and often ineffective. I think when you do drills on a regular basis, it's kind of easy to get-- it just becomes routine and people don't think about, well, what if this happens, what if that happens. And sometimes you just get into this mode where you just do this one evolution over and over and over again. This is the SOLAS Convention-- Safety of Life at Sea-- some pretty specific requirements and regulations for fire safety training. We're going to take these SOLAS regulations-- with some help from the United States Coast Guard, and other industry experts-- and suggest eight practical ways to get more out of your fire safety training and practice drilling for success. First, plan the drill carefully. Set specific learning objectives for each drill. For instance, getting to muster stations faster. Set the timing and timeframe-- when you'll drill and for how long, and very them. Plan a time to debrief and evaluate the outcomes. Plan the drill with input from all the ship's officers. Limit the drill to specific objectives that can be measured. [FIRE BLAZING] Don't try to do everything in one drill. Break key training down into key components, and train them in detail. What you start finding out is that there are so many elements to a good fire drill, that those elements themselves need to be drilled individually. Second, write a scenario, a script for each drill. Describe specific events. Fire in the deep fat cooker at 6:45 in the morning, for instance. Put time pressure into the script, and consequences. Say that three minutes into the scenario smoke fills the space, or someone is injured. Strive for realism and the chaos of real events. Anybody can walk through the same old script. When you're ready, sound the alarm. Try to surprise the crew if possible. But be sure to announce that this is a drill. Test crew knowledge and response time. How are the communications once the alarm has sounded? [ALARM SOUNDING] Hello, all crew-- Evaluate the speed and the clarity of the communications. And make sure you have procedures to follow when you discover a fire. [FIRE BLAZING] Conduct drills where the alarm originates someplace other than the bridge, which is more realistic. One of the basics is to pass the alarm first. And then, if it's something that you can extinguish by yourself, without risk to yourself, go ahead and extinguish it. Don't attempt to extinguish a fire, without passing the alarm first. Because if you get overcome and the word doesn't get passed, then that fire could become big. It could put your life or risk. And it could definitely put the vessel at risk. So the first thing is to pass the alarm. The next step in the drill process is to muster the crew. Track the speed of your mustering and your organizing. Do you clearly know your roles and responsibilities? Is there clear communication of what's happening and what must be done? It's here at the muster station that the drill scenario is presented and begins to play out. There will be general responsibilities, dictated by the muster list, and specific roles that derive from your script. Certainly we want to see good communication. We want to see knowledge that they know how to use the gear. They know what the gear is for. They can put it on and use it properly. And we want to see a coordinated effort, good communications between the supervisors and the people who are actually doing the firefighting efforts. SOLAR regulations are quite specific about mustering the crew and assigning of duties. Among their other responsibilities, crew members must know how to man the fire parties that are assigned for specific emergencies and perform any special duties assigned in the muster list or fire plan. [FIRE BLAZING] SOLAR also says drills must be conducted as if there were an actual emergency. I think our challenge is to become super perfect in the drill environment because when you actually have to use that equipment, you don't want to have to think about how to use it because you're going to be thinking about other things. Besides mustering, SOLAR lists several other steps required for a successful fire drill. Failure in these areas can lead to port state control detention. Starting the fire pump using at least the two required jets of water to show that the system is in proper working order. Checking the fireman's outfits and other personal rescue equipment. Checking the relevant communication equipment. Checking the operation of watertight doors, fire doors, and fire dampers. Checking the necessary arrangements for subsequent abandonment of the ship. SOLAR also says that each crew member should participate in a fire drill at least once a month. Our experts say more like once a week. And after a crew change, if more than 25% of the crew have not done a fire drill in the previous month, that drill needs to take place within 24 hours. After leaving the muster stations, crew members should use and test the equipment. Depending on the specifics of the drill, this could include hoses, pumps, and nozzles, breathing equipment, firefighting suits and other gear, and all communications equipment. In their port state control inspection process, the US Coast Guard may set up a script of their own. Then, watch your results. Usually what we do is stage a drill. And we'll say, OK, there's a fire in the space. And we see how the crew responds-- if they're trained, if they use the equipment properly, if they have good communications, if it seems like it's a coordinated effort, things of that nature. Use a script to focus the fire teams on particular skills or pieces of equipment. [FIRE BLAZING] Our experts insist that 10 very focused, specific different drills are more effective than repeating a routine drill 10 times. Examples of specifics-- hose team procedures, breathing apparatus, search and rescue, use of foam and CO2, first aid and CPR, protective clothing, and so on. The next step in successful drilling is to attack the fire. The method of attack depends on your scenario. And although speed is important in firefighting, proper assessment of risk and tactics must come before any action. Create chaos and surprise for more realism. And evaluate the quality of decision making in leadership, not just technique. Who should go to it? Should you have respirators? Where are those respirators? Where are the fire hoses? How do you charge the system? Who's the fire party leader? Who knows about damage control? Those sorts of things. There are eight key procedures that are important to your ability to attack fires successfully. First, alarm and notification-- how do you let your own people know and any shoreside parties, owners, authorities, help. Next, reporting-- initial and follow up word on the fire's location, damage sustained, and current status. The size up is a crucial step-- type of fire, location, extinguishment options, manpower available, prevention of spreading, and staging areas. Next, you must organize your communication, telephone, messenger, radio, and walkie-talkie, and designate bands and priorities. Based on the size up, decide on the method of attack, basically direct or indirect-- going right at the fire or surrounding it and snuffing it out. Ventilation control will be crucial to the attack-- vertical and horizontal sources, natural and mechanical ventilation. Be aware of the impact of any emergency on your fuel and electrical systems You may need to access shutoff valves and determine isolation areas to protect these systems. Finally, you will be monitoring exposure-- the course of the fire. This means fire travel, where it's been and going, and six side monitoring of all areas adjacent to the fire. The key to making your fire attack training and drilling effective is to be as realistic as possible. If you can get a smoke machine, do it. Remember that the purpose of a drill is to train and to teach. If you need to slow a process down and pick it apart, do it. Repeat steps or processes if you need to. Encourage participation by all crew members. And don't worry about mistakes. That's how you learn and improve. Some of the very best fire drills literally fall apart. Remember-- if your drills are going too smoothly, you may not be challenging the status quo. The more risk and chaos you put into the drill, the more you're going to learn, and the more interesting that drill will be for everybody involved. The final step in conducting an effective drill is to evaluate the outcome. Rate your results against your objectives. Critique your performance together as a team. And make sure you incorporate your lessons learned and document your results. If you have a major incident and you don't incorporate lessons learned, then, in my opinion, you've failed. Because if you do the same things, the same way, you're going to get the same results. And so you've got to build those lessons learned in so you do things differently and better. [ALARM SOUNDING] Nothing you do onboard ship is as important to your livelihood as fire safety. Remember the three P's-- prevention, preparation, and practice-- and conduct regular fire drills and exercises. You'll not only keep your ship and its crew safe from fire, you'll build teamwork, improved communication, and skills. [FIRE BLAZING] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Duration: 22 minutes and 46 seconds
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Language: English
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Views: 6
Posted by: maritimetraining on Jan 26, 2018

Fire Drill! Prevent, Prepare, Practice

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