Tools for firefighting operations: High benefit with low weight
Many aids could be useful in tunnel operations. But everything carries weight. And the greater the penetration depth, the greater the perceived load. This is why the International Fire Academy is constantly working on optimizing aids for use in underground transport systems.
Useful is what makes it easier
The International Fire Academy is, therefore, working on the development and optimization of aids that can relieve the burden on the emergency personnel. However, weight reduction is only one goal. The aids must also be robust and easy to use. They should be able to be stored as standard on all vehicles intended for tunnel operations and to be purchased at low cost.
The search stick: easy and extremely useful
One of the most useful aids is the search stick because it can be used to quickly and reliably search large areas. In initial trials, the International Fire Academy used hazel rods. However, the foldable white sticks were better suited. We have long since developed our own search stick. In extensive experiments, we have had different types and executions repeatedly tested by many students. In the meantime, the 2nd generation of search sticks is in use. These can also be purchased directly from us.
Carrying aids for rolling or dragging
Even physically strong firefighters do not manage to carry heavy persons over long distances. This experience can be done by everyone: Carry a full-grown man without aids in pairs and marvel at how quickly you have to give up. That's why the International Fire Academy further developed the proven basket stretcher by having wheels attached. They can be dragged across the floor as well as rolled and make it noticeably easier to transport equipment and people.
Marking lights facilitate orientation
The International Fire Academy tested various aids such as laser pointers, glow sticks, paint sprays, ribbons, and linens for marking, for example, searched vehicles, locations of victims, water supply points and emergency exits. Currently, battery-powered LED marking lights of various colours are considered to be the most suitable, which are available in all our courses and are used by more and more fire services as a standard.
Thermal imaging cameras should be standard
Thermal imaging cameras simplify orientation in the tunnel, show thermal danger areas and significantly speed up the search for people. According to all our experience from the training operations and the feedback from operational practice of fire services, thermal imaging cameras should necessarily be part of the standard equipment of emergency personnel. Small, comparatively inexpensive thermal imaging cameras are also suitable for this purpose.
Specialised vehicles for special situations
In some situations - such as situations with HAZMAT - special vehicles, for example, tracked fire trucks can be extremely useful, which is why the International Fire Academy regularly participates in experiments and trials of such vehicles and makes its facilities therefore available.