One of the most difficult situations for shipboard fire teams during a shipboard fire, is handling the hose line (advancement/retreating), especially in gas cooling operations. After years of international marine fire fighting experiences, BC Luca Beltrami and LT Francesco Cecconetto, of the Genoa Fire Department, in Italy, have patented a special device called the ‘hose line air supply system 900’, to improve hose line handling during fires on board ships and to train crew members so they are prepared for such incidents.
Ship fire crews in Italy used to train with empty hoses due the impossibility of draining water on board in areas such as accommodation zones, passenger cabins or machinery spaces. Training with empty hoses does not gives a real perception of the difficulties faced by firefighters in a real scenario. The hose line air supply system 900 fills the hose line with air, giving the firefighter a real perception of hose line handling difficulties along staircases, vertical access points, corridors pinch points etc.
The device, which is produced and distributed by the Saldotecnica Europe Srl, a Genoa-based leader in the production of oxy-cutting machines, can be positioned in the outlet of fire hydrants without needing to modify ship safety conditions. The system is totally eco-friendly and hoses can be restored without cleaning.
The hose line air supply system 900 forms part of a five-day fire fighting training programme undertaken by ship fire crews called ‘hands on training’. Once experienced, crew members are then able to train themselves during general drill on board.