Communicating interdisciplinary findings

  27. May 2014

The findings of the International Fire Academy resulting from over ten years of research and development, as well as five years spent training fire brigades in dealing with incidents in tunnels, should, in future, be incorporated more closely into the further development of standards, instructions and regulations for the construction and operation of tunnel facilities. This is the recommendation issued by the Strategic Advisory Board of the International Fire Academy on the occasion of its third meeting on 14 May 2014 in Balsthal.

An insight into the different perspectives of the tunnel world

The Advisory Board, which advises on the introduction into the work of the Swiss tunnel training centre of the concerns and perceptions of the different interest groups of the tunnel world, currently has 17 members. It is comprised of representatives of fire brigades and their authorities, the police and rescue service, the military, operators of road and rail tunnels, tunnel design engineers, automobile clubs as representatives of tunnel users, as well as representatives of political authorities. Also taking part in meetings are management personnel from the International Fire Academy and members of the steering committee.

In the opinion of the Advisory Board, findings relating to dealing with incidents acquired at the International Fire Academy are not only of importance to the fire service. They ought to be discussed much more with other interested parties, in order to be able to take appropriate steps for the construction and operation of tunnels.

Informing tunnel users even better

Informing road tunnel users about the correct behaviour in the event of an emergency or fire proved to be another central concern of the Strategic Advisory Board during the meeting. The concept of self-rescue presumes the rapid, correct appraisal of unusual situations in tunnels. This is difficult for many car drivers due to lack of knowledge and experience, which has meant that, up to now, the potential available for increasing the safety of tunnel users could not be realised.

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