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TunnelTrainingKnowledge

State Fire Service School optimises tunnel train-the-trainer courses

In cooperation with the Baden-Württemberg State Fire Service School, the International Fire Academy has integrated online elements into the tunnel training for the first time in order to increase the practical part of the attendance days in Switzerland. The basis for the changes was a survey of former participants. The wish list included more time for practical training on the facilities and more substantial support for conducting training with the fire services at home. We present the new…

A person on the track communicates by hand signal with a train driver
TunnelTrainingKnowledge

Why train drivers are grateful for a hand signal during firefighting operations

The International Fire Academy instructs: If a rail vehicle approaches the scene of the incident, the driver must be given a hand signal. Course participants frequently wonder whether this is really necessary. That is why we asked a train driver at the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) directly and got the answer: «Yes, it is extremely important. It helps us very much!». Find out why.

Fire burst
TunnelTrainingKnowledge

Hydrogen vehicles in tunnels: great danger for emergency response personnel

Firefighters can protect themselves against smoke, heat and fire spurts, but not against the blast waves from explosions of hydrogen vehicles in tunnels. Therefore, it is vital to keep a safe distance. However, how can people be saved and fires be fought effectively? There is still no satisfactory answer to this question - although more and more hydrogen-powered vehicles are being registered. That is why the fire services need to work on suitable solutions immediately. This is the most important…

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TunnelTrainingConsultationKnowledgeAbout usBackstageServices

Interschutz 2022: Expertise in tunnels and underground car parks in international demand

Postponed twice - then the Interschutz finally got underway again. We were able to build on our attendance in 2015 and reached our target audience in Hannover again this year: Fire service supervisors, builders of tunnel facilities and other contacts for preparing for operations in underground transport systems.

Group picture of the participants of the 8th Fire Chief Forum in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
TunnelKnowledge

8th Fire Chief Forum: Gaining new knowledge on tunnel operations from research and operations

The 8th Fire Chief Forum placed emphasis on incident reports and covered a broad spectrum: two lorry fires in road tunnels, an underground metro fire, and two train fires, one on open track and the other one within a settlement. Social media and the usage of large mobile fans in deployments were two other topics from the practical side of firefighting operations. Looking beyond the world of fire services, the focus was on the behaviour of those caught up in an evacuation as well as special…

A fire and rescue train of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway, consisting of three units.
TunnelTrainingInfrastructureKnowledge

Unique rescue apparatus with special technical features

At the beginning of 2019, the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway put two new fire and rescue trains into operation, each consisting of a combination of road-rail vehicles and rail-only vehicles. We visited Christian Imsand, the head of the Furka Base Tunnel Rescue Service, and Roland Guntern, the operations manager of the operational fire service, in Oberwald to learn more from them about this rescue apparatus, which is unique in some respects.

[Translate to English:] Stabsraum für den Lötschberg-Basistunnel mit Besprechungstisch und Funktionswesten über den Stuhllehnen
TunnelTrainingKnowledge

Fire service command structure for fire operations in tunnels: planned flexibility

During tactics training at the International Fire Academy, questions are repeatedly asked about command structure and tactical practice at the fire service's location. Therefore, in this article, we have once again compiled important information on command structures and also address the special challenge of operational communication, which, according to our experience, should be practised very intensively. 

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TunnelTrainingKnowledge

Optimising training: What does it really take to provoke operationally relevant experiences?

Because the detail lessons of reconnaissance, search & rescue and firefighting cannot be carried out in parallel in the railway training tunnel, a training concept for a maximum of 16 participants per standard railway course was initially developed. Thus, all lessons could be carried out in two days in the sense of experiential learning. However, one problem remained: Especially for the training drills, groups of up to 24 participants had proven themselves in all other courses of the…

Fire service operation at a road tunnel fire
TunnelTrainingKnowledge

Reversing smoke propagation - underestimated danger

In training operations, it is regularly noticed that the danger of reversing airflow direction and thereby reversing smoke propagation during fire operations in tunnels is generally underestimated. That is why we address this topic, which is extremely important for the safety of the emergency personnel, in this article and show how the risks of a sudden reversal of airflow can be reduced.