Woooooooo……Woooo………The siren sounded. All of us looked at each
other with excitement. The time has come for us to go into action.
From all over the building, we can see Emergency Response Team
members coming out, some looking a bit dazed. A general alarm had
been sounded and the ERT has been activated!
At the command post, the “Commander” quickly briefed all the ERT
members about the situation. There was a fire at the LPG storage
tank, and there was an urgent need to put out the fire before the
tank becomes so hot and pressurized that it explodes. Very serious
and widespread damage will certainly occur if that happened.
So all the ERT members swung into action. From the command post,
they ran all the way to the LPG area. One member was assigned to
the fire pump house to take care of the fire pumps. This type of
fire needed a tremendous amount of water to cool down the tank.
A few members barricaded the area leading to the fire. This was
necessary to ensure that the scene of the fire be restricted only
to people who are able to help, to ensure that the fire brigade
has free access, and for controlling the crowd.
As the ERT members reached the scene of the fire, the Commander
directed the operations while keeping in touch with one member
who was assigned for communications work at the command post.
The Direct Attack Team swung into action with their hoses. There
were 4 persons in each hose team – the first nozzle member, the
second support, the third runner, and the fourth hydrant valve
operator. Each member played their part to make the hose
connections, operate the valves, and advancing as smoothly as
The LPG fire need to be extinguished – but not by the water.
Extinguishing the fire in this way will create another hazard.
If the gas were to escape unburned, it could be more dangerous.
Any spark later on can ignite the gas and cause a bigger fire,
possibly causing a tremendous rush of expanding gases. So the
hose team have to try to approach the fire in order to close the
gas valve. That will stop the fire and the escaping gas.
There were sufficient people to operate 3 hose teams. While one
team approach the flaming area with a water-wall spray, another
two teams directed the water to the top of the LPG tanks with
water jet for cooling.
After a while, it was discovered that there was a casualty.
Somebody has been overcome by the smoke and has fainted. He has
also sustained a fracture on his arm. The first aid team was
called in, and they rendered first aid to the victim.
Within a few minutes, the fire was put off, and the building
was no longer in danger.
Fortunately, this was not a real fire. It was just a simulation,
using real LPG gas and burning in a controlled manner. This was
done to give the ERT members some feel of the real thing, to
check on our readiness, coordination, and skills so that they
can improve and develop their actions.
This type of simulation was very beneficial to the ERT members as
it gave them a first hand knowledge of what to expect in an actual
situation. high pressure portable fire fighting pump