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Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG) - Articles and news items

RFF station design and siting

Issue 5 2012  •  2 October 2012  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group

This is the second part of Jack Kreckie’s article that outlines the requirements of planning a new airport Rescue Firefighting (RFF) station. The first part of this paper was published in International Airport Review Issue 4 2012.Station layout: The selection of furnishings and equipment should be based on current and anticipated needs, taking into account the next 10 years. Prioritising the value of the space may be required to keep the project within budget limits as there may be items that are good fits for your project and others that are not.Proximities: As you determine which spaces are necessary, their locations need to be roughly located and the square footage for each of these spaces determined, to work out an initial layout concept. The project team should provide recommended or minimum square foot requirements based on industry standards or requirements. The team needs to have an eye to the future to ensure that there is adequate expansion space to accommodate future growth.Finishes: Low maintenance should be the general theme in all of the operational spaces in the fire station. The ARFF Subject Matter Expert (SME) should provide questionnaires asking about preferences for finishes in each space.

Preparation is everything

Issue 4 2012  •  1 August 2012  •  Chief David Y Whitaker, Airport Liaison Chief at Memphis International Airport and Chairman of the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Working Group

We have all heard the old adage that if you’ve been to one airport, then you’ve been to them all. However, airports are complex places and the size of the airport, scheduled aircraft, ARFF equipment, training, mutual aid, and jurisdictional boundaries all contribute to the differences. Exactly who is in charge or is responsible for each airport operation varies with each airport environment.The same concept is true regarding aircraft fires, no two are exactly alike. First responders must prepare for every imaginable set of circumstances. Table top, functional, and full scale exercises will help educate and prepare the airport for many different scenarios. The time to make many of the overall incident management and jurisdictional decisions is during pre-planning as any issue that can be worked out before an incident will be one less hurdle to overcome during the event. The use of a Standard Emergency Response Pattern (SERP) as a template can help responding agencies with the overall geographic layout (see Figure 1). The pattern is primarily based on wind and terrain but also considers many external factors. When overlaying a diagram of a clock to the incident scene, down wind is at the 12 o’clock position. If possible, no Incident Command System (ICS) positions should be placed between the 10 to 2 o’clock directions. The ideal condition has always been up wind, uphill and up stream. With that being said, there are a few basic principles we should consider for every incident.

RFF station design and siting

Issue 4 2012  •  1 August 2012  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group

The design and construction of a new Rescue Firefighting (RFF) station may only occur once during a career in emergency services. Selecting the right team, consistent leadership, prudent planning, and awareness of the specific needs of an RFF Department today and in the future will help to make that legacy a positive one.This is the first of two articles looking into the challenges involved with RFF station design and siting. The second part of this piece will be published in issue 5 of International Airport Review due out in September 2012.Chain of command: Although there may well be a design committee involved in the planning of a new facility, clearly one person representing the fire department must have the final say. As in emergency management, the lines of command must be clearly defined. There may be a number of people in charge of vertical columns of responsibility for the airport, i.e. budget, engineering, aerodrome operations and RFF, but adherence to discipline within those vertical lines is absolutely critical. RFF personnel are generally acceptable to this process as Incident Command Systems (ICS) are utilised around the world in emergency services.

Achieving effective ARFF in a challenging economy

Issue 6 2011  •  8 December 2011  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG)

This is the second part of Jack Kreckie’s article that highlights the challenges associated with effective ARFF within the current economic climate. The first part of this paper was published in issue five of International Airport Review, 2011. NFPA GuidelinesIn addition to the two primary regulators of ARFF e.g. ICAO and the FAA, there are consensus standards that are provided to indicate a ‘best practice’ in any number of categories. Many of the consensus standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have been adopted or used as guidelines at various locations around the world. These standards are not binding unless the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) has adopted them and committed to the particular standard.The NFPA standard for ARFF protection levels is detailed in NFPA 403, Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services at Airports. This third reference, if adopted, requires greater quantities of firefighting agent, ARFF vehicles and addresses manpower levels. Neither ICAO nor the FAA provide specific requirements for staffing levels, but rather indicate that the personnel on hand should be adequate to deploy all of the required resources as shown in Table 1.

Achieving effective ARFF in a challenging economy

Issue 5 2011  •  5 October 2011  •  Jack Kreckie, Regulatory Affairs Officer at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG)

Aviation is perhaps one of the most difficult businesses to maintain profitability in today’s struggling economy. The industry has seen dozens of carriers come and go. In recent years, even the legacy carriers have found themselves trying to recover from bankruptcy, sometimes merging with their competition as a means of survival. Fare wars, competition for routes and negotiating for preferred gate/space at lower costs are all part of the daily struggles required of an airline survival plan. Even the very foundation upon which certain airlines were established has evolved in this difficult market.This is the first of two articles looking into the challenges currently facing the ARFF sector. Jack Kreckie’s second part of this piece will be published in the next issue of International Airport Review due out in November 2011.

 

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