This past September, the Whyte Island Live Fire Campus of the Queensland Fire & Rescue Service in Lytton, Australia was once again the site of Solberg’s annual firefighting foam fire school for the Asia Pacific region. As in past years, fire service and emergency response personnel from municipal and industrial brigades gathered to hone their firefighting skills and in some case for new department personnel their first exposure to large scale live fire scenarios involving firefighting foam.
The school curriculum included classroom and hands-on instruction to participants who attended from a variety of industries including aviation, chemical, oil and gas, mining, petrochemical, and state and territory fire and emergency services. Consultancy and engineering companies who specialise in fire protection, in addition to, government regulators were also in attendance.
The Whyte Island Academy of The Queensland Fire and Rescue Services puts Queensland at the forefront of fire training in the Southern Hemisphere. Incorporating an education centre, live fire campus, technical rescue cell and commercial training facilities, the academy offers world-class training to firefighters, other emergency service agencies, community and industry. The academy also contains advanced research facilities for the monitoring and analysing of fire behaviour and the testing of fire suppression materials and techniques, creating a safer working environment for firefighters and better protection for the Queensland community.
Besides the education centre, the three main features of the academy are the live fire training pad, the technical rescue cell, and the online campus, all offering Queensland firefighters world-class training, and assisting them in the delivery of an efficient, quality service. Industry groups can also benefit from training programs offered at the academy, minimising their risk of human, financial and environmental losses through the creation of safer working environments and improved levels of emergency preparedness.
Live fire course scenarios included a running fuel fire, process area fire, petrol tanker fire and an ethanol fire. A storage tank fire demonstration was discussed utilising video footage. The curriculum also included topics of discussion such as dry chemical powders, fuel types, fuel chemistry, environmental issues, global product certification test standards, regulatory issues, risk assessment and emergency planning.
Special guest speakers included Ted Schaefer, Senior Chemist R&D and Technical Manager for Solberg’s Asia Pacific region spoke on technical developments and application techniques associated with RE-HEALING™ Foam and Nigel Holmes, Principal Advisor Incident Management Central Queensland, Incident Response Unit Environmental Services & Regulation, Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection who spoke on “The Environmental Implications of Foam” with reference to the Queensland / Western Australia draft foam policy.
Re-Healing foam concentrates from Solberg are an innovative, high fire performing environmentally sustainable fluorosurfactant and fluoropolymer-free firefighting foam used to effectively extinguish Class B fuels with no environmental concerns for persistence, bioaccumulation or toxic breakdown. RE-Healing foam can be used with fresh, salt or brackish water and possess excellent burn back resistance due to its remarkable flow and rapid sealing characteristics.
Solberg Re-Healing foam concentrates can be used to prevent re-ignition of a liquid spill and control hazardous vapours. The advanced firefighting foam was designed to replace traditional AFFF and AR-AFFF foam concentrates and older fluoroprotein foams. Concentrates are available in 1%, 3%, 6% and 3×6% ATC formulations and carry various product certifications and quality programs such as UL, FM, EN, ICAO and LASTFIRE.
The Foam School was a great opportunity to witness the performance of a variety of Re-Healing foam concentrates. As well as hold question and answer sessions with factory personnel to further respond to industry questions and to educate fire service and emergency response personnel on fluorine-free foam technology
Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin with operations in Bergen, Norway and Sydney, Australia, Solberg has been involved with the manufacture of firefighting foams since the mid-1970s. Additionally, Solberg manufactures a complete range of traditional C6 compliant foam concentrates, Class A and High-Expansion foam concentrates including foam systems hardware.
Solberg’s unique technology is preferred by customers in the aviation, chemical, energy, fire services, oil and gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, solvent and coatings markets.
For more information, go to www.solbergfoam.com