A review of competencies in tunnel fire response seen from the first responders’ perspectives

Norway has an increasing number of long and complicated road tunnel designs, which can be defined as complex sociotechnical systems. To avoid major accidents and fire situations, knowledge about the fire safety is required by both the fire and rescue services and the society. This article focuses on how representatives from fire and rescue services express uncertainties and expectations regarding the knowledge dimension of the road tunnel fire and rescue systems. The article is based on investigations of two tunnel fires in Norway, in addition to data from a workshop with tunnel fire response experts. The data has been analysed using systems engineering approach combined with an understanding of learning. This study has revealed tunnel fire safety concerns related to the Norwegian emergency response personnel’s state of competence both in the pre- and post-accidental phases. The situation regarding tunnel fire safety is unclear and fragmented, with corresponding weaknesses in the existing knowledge. The future will bring even more complex road tunnels, also subsea-crossings, that challenge all parties: road owners, road users, vehicle producers, emergency responders and authorities. Norway needs facilities for tunnel safety training that can complement existing facilities and provide new knowledge.


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  • Accession Number: 01677568
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 9 2018 5:24PM