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  • Maritime/Shipyard Fires

    I want to do a study on civilian techniques and tactics on this, compared to how I do it with the military on a daily basis. For those of you with waterfront responsibilities or shipyards in your AOR, what are your SOPs for fires aboard ships? Do you make interior attacks, or standoff and make a defensive effort? If you go internal, what tactics do you use? Any info would be appreciated.
    AZ2 Erik Prager



    ------------------
    USS Kitty Hawk(CV-63)
    Flying Squad
    "Freedom's Firefighters"

    ***These statements do not neccessarily reflect the views of my command, the US Navy, or the US Government. They are strictly my own.

  • #2
    As a fellow military firefighter, used to be a shipboard FF (I'm a DC2) while underway, but have been stationed as a structural firefighter with shipboard responsibilities (both military ships and civilian marinas). Our first priority is to supplement the existing firemain system in case the firepump(s) fail. We lay a 5" line from the hydrant to a manifold, then 3" to a jumper valve on the main deck. Our next responsibility is to help/replace the duty section's fire team. We use, believe it or not, structural 'techniques'. No fog patterns (too many steam burns) and we open everything up for ventilation, and dear God...NO OBA's!

    Most of the military firefighting training is from WWII, and most of the instructors have little or no actual fire experience other than becoming an instructor and having the propane system turned off if they do everything 'by the book' or it gets too hot...Not trying to bash the system, because I've been there...but it is time for a change.

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    • #3
      Former firefighter (civvy) here, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard FD. The majority of the vessels still berthed at what remains at PNSY are property of NISMF, and as a result, are very poorly equipped for firefighting, and of course, no crews. Any and all equipment is brought on board. You would think that inactive vessels would have no fires, but you'd be surprised how many tossed cigg butts have caught mattresses, combustibles, etc. Any time a fire of significance was detected, the City of Philadelphia Fire Dept was contacted to respond a full assignment of 4 engines, tow ladders, a heavy squad, and two battallion chiefs. Training was performed in the DC school, using the mock-ups, and diesel/kero mixes- HOT HOT HOT!!! A few members even got to do the buttercup training (though I didnt.)

      ------------------
      "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

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      • #4
        I've been involved in shipboard fire fighting for 20+ years. Worked at PNSY during the SLEP (Kitty Hawk, Saratoga, Forrestal & JFK)program and regular ship overhauls. I've seen the way military operates first hand and you are way past due for a change. There are some good fire fighters, and I believe these are the guys who really do an outstanding job but the majority of the fire parties should just stay in qtrs and I'll leave it at that. Your equipment, methods & tactics are outdate. The one thing you did have going for you were some good fire DC schools, but you closed a good one (Phila) so they blew that too. If you ever get a chance, look at the operations on a British Ship, the whole set up it above and beyond the USN, or just look at the way your civilian base department operate, they are far above the best shipboard fire fights in the entire USA, big city included (City depts don't have a clue and they don't want to either) they count on DoD Depts, they use their heads, now if they only listen when they respond onto the sites. I biggest beef is when the PNSY FD showed up, we had to wait until the OOD gave us the OK to fight the fire, I saw times when 30-45 mins went by before the OOD realized his people couldn't handle the fire. If you at sea, you don't have a choice, in port let the professionals handle it. But not to sound too critical, you do the best you can with what you're given to work with and to tell you the truth, that's not much. "STAY SAFE AND KEEP ON DOING YOUR BEST"

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        • #5
          I have recently started at Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City. I respond to fire medical and safety inccidnets, Since I am FF2 certified, they have put me in charge of the fire brigade. I was wondering if any of you had any SOP/SOG's for firefighting abourd a vessel. Im trying to put together a pre fire plan for the shipyard but have come to a stopping point with with the ships because I don't know the differances between strucural and vessel fires(yet). Any advice, or input is greatly appreciated.

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          • #6
            Posted deleted. Misread OP.
            Last edited by MassFireGuy; 08-04-2008, 09:05 AM.

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            • #7
              Marine Firefighting

              There is or at least was a very good offshore firefighting program at Texas A&M. Its more aimed at the offshore oil industry but there is a marine firefighting component there. You might try contacting them and see what they offer.

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              • #8
                IFSTA also has a manual for shipboard firefighting. I managed to get a copy a couple years ago, since having served aboard navy ships and been taught (Canadian Navy) shipboard firefighting, figured it was a good thing to have in case I go back to the Fleet.
                If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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                • #9
                  IFSTA actually has two texts on marine firefighting:Marine Firefighting and Marine Firefighting for Shore-based Firefighters.
                  They're both geared to ocean going vessels with little mention of inland river vessels with which I am most familiar.There's enough difference that it does matter.I have never seen an"International Shore Connection"on any vessel I have worked on that had a fire pump on it.Short version of towboat firefighting is:If the generator is shut down,you have no power and will have to use available trash pumps or work an engine close enough to use its pump and hoses.The hull and superstructure are steel and will take too long to cut through with a torch.Use horizontal ventilation.
                  One problem at a local shipyard during my time on a Kentucky volunteer department ws that we couldn't get the yardbirds to leave without one of our SO members having to offer to arrest them if they did not vacate the dredge immediately so we could hit it with the deck guns.
                  The River School,a license preparation school for the river industry has a better (IMHO) book for fighting towboat and tankbarge fires called,wisely and respectively:"Towboat Firefighting" and Tankbarge Firefighting".
                  The River School's website is http://riverschool.com
                  and there is a marine firefighting school that teaches ocean going firefighting to landbased FFs at http://www.marinefirefighting.com.
                  Hope this helps some.
                  Last edited by doughesson; 08-04-2008, 03:18 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Theres a phrase that has been used several times within several posts on this thread that make me smile. I made similar statements early on in my shipboard career and was "Put To Rights" by a fellow shipmate who was also a Shipwright.

                    I made comment about "Hull and Fire Pumps", to which he very quickly asked me:

                    "What is a "hull and fire pump"? Why would you want to pump fire?

                    When I tried to explain that I was referring to the pump that controls the firemain water pressure, he promptly informed me that the correct term was "Firemain Water Pump", as the system is not designed to pump anything except water. Fire being a "something" that does not get pumped anywhere.
                    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Slightly off topic

                      In case anyone needs it, I have an AutoCAD file of the international shore connection flange. As a side note, I'm pretty sure you could find a hose adapter as military surplus under NSN 4730-00-932-4753

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                      • #12
                        Not many folks here would know what NSN means. Other than in my "regular job" I don't encounter parts listed under the NATO Stock Numbering system at all.
                        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees NSNs on a regular basis on their day jobs? Very cool

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                          • #14
                            When I see civilian FD gear with a NSN stamped on it, I get to wondering... and thats a bad thing! LOL
                            If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                            "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                            "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                            Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                            impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                            IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Strangely enough a guy on my last course (here in NZ) was an ex Navy FF from the Royal Navy, specialising in training ship fire techniques, he offered the following sage advice.

                              "When faced with a fire in a submarine the most effective method to extinguish it is to open the door."
                              Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
                              Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

                              Comment

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