Reality-based training for fire brigades in tunnels - first experience report

The VSH Hagerbach Test Gallery comprises an underground research and training facility with a total network of 5.5km of galleries. The galleries cover all cross-sections from a man-size tunnel to a two-lane motorway tunnel. The International Centre for Safety in Tunnels areas of involvement include fire detection, testing of fire resistant building materials, extinguishing of fires and fire fighter training. The use of the Test Gallery for a fire fighter training course for the personnel of the Westerschelde tunnel in the Netherlands is described. The topics covered include tunnel incidents using artificial smoke, fire fighter communication and behaviour, managing accidents with unknown chemical goods, and simulated small fire attacks. At the end of the course, all separately trained elements are brought together with the simulation of real tunnel accidents with real fires in the 200m-long fire gallery. Even for fully trained fire fighters, training in tunnel situations was found necessary as small procedural mistakes in a tunnel situation may lead to fatalities among injured persons. Tunnel structure had an important role in meeting the requirements of fire fighters. For the covering abstract see ITRD E124500.


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  • Accession Number: 01011513
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2005 3:15PM