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Firefighters fighting a fire in the training tunnel
TunnelTraining

Interschutz 2022: A lot of know-how on tunnel and underground car park operations at our exhibition stand

In 2015, the International Fire Academy attended the Interschutz for the first time. In 2022, it will be there again to use the fair for exchanges with fire service officers and instructors. In the run-up to the event, CEO Urs Kummer explains current developments. In the process it becomes clear: Those who visit us at the trade fair stand can benefit directly from the know-how of our experts.

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.

[Translate to English:] Die Tunnelrettungs-Komposition der Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn be-steht aus zwei Zweiwegefahrzeugen mit Überdruckbelüftung und einem schienengebundenen Sanitätswagen.
TunnelTraining

How does the fire service transfer from road to rail?

For most operations in road tunnels, the fire services can drive their vehicles directly to the incident scene. On the other hand, in most railway tunnels, this is only possible with special vehicles, for example, fire and rescue trains or road-rail vehicles that can travel on roads and on rails. This article provides an overview of the most important vehicle types and their tactical advantages and disadvantages.

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TunnelTrainingKnowledge

Tunnel firefighting procedures in three languages: Textbooks for lasting training

From the perspective of experiential learning, learning cannot be limited to the acquisition of knowledge. The focus is instead on experiencing relevant situations and challenges. At the same time, the importance of specialised knowledge should not be underestimated when firefighters want to tackle tunnel fires jointly. The necessary basic knowledge for tunnel operations as well as helpful background information are presented compactly in words and pictures in the specialist books «Firefighting…

Fire attack in a training tunnel with two burning lorries
TunnelTrainingConsultationInfrastructureReferenceAbout usBackstage

From the major fire in the Gotthard Road Tunnel in 2001 to deployment confidence in tunnel fires

After the major fires in road tunnels in 1999, the prevailing opinion was that fire services could do little about tunnel fires. Today, most fire services consider themselves well equipped for this task. Urs Kummer, CEO of the International Fire Academy, and Christian Brauner, head of the Didactics and Development Team, trace the development since 2001.