By Pete Louzao
In 2020, the maritime surroundings noticed a rise in marine-related leisure and industrial mishaps. What can we do? Simply what we at all times do within the hearth service: Study, take a look at classes realized, plan, practice, equip, and consider.
In case your space of operations borders the waterfront, you want a plan. Do you will have one? These plans usually are written for a particular port space by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Commander. A USCG commander in Miami just lately stated: “Main marine firefighting incidents will doubtless require the coordinated efforts of federal, state, and native assets to hold out the required stage of response. The aim of this plan is to information the captain of the port (COTP) and native hearth companies regarding combating fires on vessels to make sure a coordinated response to marine fires occurring all through the Southeast Florida area.” The regional contingency plan in Miami, and in most ports, has the next main targets:
- Promote security for first responders and shield lives and property throughout the port neighborhood.
- Establish jurisdiction and make clear strains of authority throughout a response.
- Safe a relationship with accountable federal, state, and native municipalities and industrial services, and determine assets to be employed to have an effect on a swift and well-coordinated response to vessel and waterfront hearth emergencies.
In researching this text, I discovered no nationwide commonplace for fireboat operations, implementation of crew coaching, or necessities for particular licensure or certification of fireboat crew members. We have to do higher. Fireplace departments and companies utilizing fireboats acknowledge that marine-based operations require a unique coaching philosophy and completely different ways than land-based operations. This requires an in depth take a look at your program associated to coaching and equipping your division for maritime operations.
Duty and insurance policies
• Interagency insurance policies and procedures: Federal, state, native, and USCG COTP insurance policies ought to complement each other
• Planning issues: Ranges of response/alarms, accessibility to services, hearth suppression and dewatering of stationary or drifting vessels, publicity threat, port/dock incidents, safety of navigation fairways
• Marine firefighting response issues: Commonplace working procedures (SOPs), response sequence, notifications, dispatch, auto/mutual assist, unified command, coordination of particular assets, termination of response, decision of disputes
• Firefighter readiness within the maritime area
• Ways: Grappling hooks, breakaway procedures, foam versus water, piercing nozzles
• Environmental impacts: Booming, salvage
• Trigger and origin investigation
• National Fire Protection Association standard 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, and 1670, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents
Boats and Personnel
• Firefighter private protecting gear
• Understanding the platform limitation of your fireboat and personnel throughout operations
• Selecting the suitable electronics packages
• Minimal health requirements for waterborne operations
Space of Operations and Operational Readiness
• Prefire planning and size-up within the maritime area
• Vessel operational upkeep program
• Fireboat launch, retrieval, and mooring
• Space familiarization
• Maritime hearth suppression
• Threat administration
• Shut quarters boat management
• Search and rescue and rescue and help
• Mass casualty, EMS
• Minimal requirements for fireboat operators: Captain license and maybe Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels license?
• Private survival
• Marlinespike seamanship, nomenclature terminology, and navigation
• Individuals in water and man overboard
The checklist goes on and on. There are lots of areas to contemplate when growing or enhancing your operational readiness capabilities. Strengthening the firefighter’s consciousness within the maritime surroundings is paramount to profitable mission completion.
The place do you flip for recommendation? Associate with neighboring departments. Search coaching from personal and governmental waterfront services and operators. Creating partnerships and standardized procedures is the important thing to success.
Check out the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program. Boat crew member, boat operator search and rescue, and fireboat small programs are available and may be personalized to your distinctive departmental necessities.
Pete Louzao, Bosn4, USCG (R.et) is a 30-year U. S. Coast Guard Veteran and 11-year lead teacher and response program supervisor with the Nationwide Affiliation of State Boating Legislation Directors (NASBLA). He has in depth expertise and abilities related to maritime coaching from vital boating abilities, operational search and rescue, enhanced vessel operation, tactical, pursuit, and fire-boat operations competencies.