three firefighters with a hose trying to put out an industrial fire
September 10, 2020

Industrial Firefighting Tips

Tips For Strengthening Industrial Fire Brigade & Municipal Fire Department Relationships

three firefighters with a hose trying to put out a fire

Communities that have an industry with on-site fire brigades and local municipal fire departments are in a unique situation where hazardous emergencies are a part of the scenarios in which emergency responders must be ready for. Ensuring a strong working relationship between the two response groups helps enhance the overall effectiveness when a situation arises that affect both industrial facilities and local communities. 

By working together in lockstep, public safety can be significantly improved. To build a strong working relationship, fire departments and brigades can utilize opportunities such as emergency planning, training, understanding capabilities, and sharing resources and information. 

Conduct Pre-Incident Planning

Dealing with potentially hazardous situations not only has the possibility of happening on the industrial site but also throughout the municipal fire department's territory. When hazardous material is transported to and from the industrial site, situations can occur while in transit. Both emergency organizations need to come together to go over all potential hazards on and off-site. With being informed of what incidents have the potential to come to fruition, a plan can be assembled for better response approaches and procedures.  

Work Together For Training and Drills

Fire brigades might have access to specialized training to deal with the hazards that municipal departments don't and visa versa. Coordinate with other fire departments and schedule a time to co-participate in training and drills. By practicing emergency response together, both groups can evaluate overall effectiveness, coordination, and compliance. This cooperation also improves situational awareness for both parties, as having a better understanding of the emergencies of an industrial facility can change how a municipal fire department typically approaches a fire. 

Review Both Groups’ Equipment Capabilities 

Both municipal fire departments and fire brigades may have access to different equipment to address emergency needs. Exchange information with one another in an attempt to understand what specific equipment both parties utilize (from PPE to fire extinguishers). Having this sort of knowledge will come in handy if a unique emergency situation arises that may require equipment that one department or brigade doesn't possess.

For example, on industrial sites, there may be rack hoses (such as BullDog's RackhoseTM) throughout the facility that may save time in getting water to a fire. If a supporting municipal fire department is aware of this, they might be able to utilize that hose before needing to deploy their own. 

Exchange Information Regularly

Keep each other up-to-date on any changes to operating procedures, training, equipment, on-site activities, or new hazards. Both groups will be better prepared to address various needs as they evolve over time. This reduces the likelihood of uncertainty in an emergency and makes the response more effective.

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