Good evening all,
I am part of a new task force working with our Training Division. Our first group task is to address and possibly lay down the foundation for Dock/Boat/Marina SOP's. While there is plenty of information regarding land based tactics and stories on the results of boat fires and the suppression of those fires, I have been hard pressed to find anything regarding training and tactics BEFORE the fires are put out.
I have picked up pieces here and there and and have spoken with other departments in the local area. I would be interested in hearing what the SOPs are for other deprtments with docks and/or marinas, even private, commercial and possibly industrial.
Some topics that I would be interested in hearing about would be similar to the following:
- Standard response (number of apparatus, types, equipment)
- Placement of apparatus (which will obviously be restricted by the terrain and environment)
- SOP's regarding single and multiple vessels
- SOP's regarding docked, dry docked, and moored vessels
- Foam vs. water
Our department has a rescue boat, but it is not equipped to pump. The Coast Guard is 20 - 40 minutes away in response time. Some ideas I have been looking into are portable pumps to bring to the end of the dock, floating pumps for possible use off the rescue boat, and submersible pumps.
Any input would be very helpful. We have been very fortunate with the number of boat fires both offshore and land based, and we are looking to address the issue before we have to have a trial by fire.
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Thread: Dock/Boat/Marina Training
03-09-2006, 08:36 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
03-09-2006, 09:19 PM #2
We have SOGs for shipboard fires, ships were crews would have to do interior opps. But as for docks/marinas involving privately owned craft, we really dont have anything other then our standard structural SOGs. For that a first alarm gets 3 engines, a quint, a heavy rescue and a Chief. First engine is attack, second is supply and 3rd is RIG (RIT/FAST). On a fire of this type the quint and rescue are assigned as IC determines after size up.
The main thing is to have in-depth pre-plans of the docks /marinas. Document distances so you have an idea of how much hose your going to need. Access points are also very important.
Weve found that some docks/marinas have standpipes, so we operate as we would on a hi-rise. For the ones that dont, its more of a courtyard (apartment) lay situation. With both, the ability to flow foam is a requirement, due to the large number of fiberglas boats and the large amounts of fuel most hold.
One thing we have done is too have the owners of some of the complexes have on site foam storage for our use.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Dave1983; 03-09-2006 at 09:23 PM.Fire Marshal/Safety Officer
"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
Success is when skill meets opportunity
Failure is when fantasy meets reality
03-09-2006, 10:14 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
We have approx. 10 marinas (believe its 12) in our response area. Each has a 3-5 story boat rack containing anywhere between 50-200 boats on each. Every call we get within one of these will get your standard structure fire response (1 Ladder, 3 Engines) and additional alarms will be assigned depending on the fire load. As for boats in the water, 2 engines on the initial response and additional companies (including the ladder for possible master stream ops) depending on how many vessels are involved. We are very lucky to have the Coast Guard 5 mins out and we always get them started just in case.
Just some things to remember that I have picked up. The fiberglass that is burning from the boats gives off some nasty Sh*t. Just my thoughts but although you are in an open environment I would wear SCBA when getting close, you donít want to inhale that stuff. Be very carefull when fighting a fire inside the cabin of a boat, especially the larger vessels. Foam is your friend!!! If the boat is well involved chances are the lines (rope) has been burnt through and that boat is free floating. If conditions allow, you may want to try and tie off the boat before you push it into the middle of the river with your streams (makes it pretty difficult to fight a fire 200 + yards away). And the most important, it is hard enough to stay afloat with turnout gear, add SCBA to the picture and good luckÖ.
03-10-2006, 10:42 AM #4
Lucky to have Coast Guard nearby? I wish ours was farther away, they tend to cause more problems at boat fires than any help. Many stories about their "tactics".
Anyway, we have decent number of small boatyards/docks/etc. SOP's are pretty much standard as for other fires, just a few key things to remember.
Full gear including SCBA due to as mentioned above, lots and lots of plastics.
If boats in water, make sure there are multiple lines securing it to dock.
FF safety, consider adding a water rescue team of some type to your initial dispatch. You can float for quite a while with your gear on if you know how and practice, but you will need someone available to get you back out of the water. We have a dive team dispatched on all fires near the water.
Don't overload docks.
Most boats, when stored on land, tend to have their fuel tanks topped off to lower the amount of condensation buildup.
More often than not, a boat on the fire is the same as a car - a total loss. (obviously depending on size/style of boat). Risk what is needed when needed."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
03-11-2006, 06:19 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
As Murphy said, that moored boat will have a excellent chance of becoming an unmoored boat. In some of the marina fires I have done (3), the formerly moored now unmoored burning boat has served to spread the fire to other vessels. These vessels may be on other docks. You may have a tactical problem when you have fires on two different docks.
Also, I'd throw some booms in that rescue boat. The crap that gets released in one of these fires is nasty.
03-11-2006, 09:53 AM #6
If you are trying to put out the fire to save the boat, use water judiciously. A boat full of water sinks, and is as much a loss as one that burns.
03-11-2006, 11:12 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Good call with not overloading the docks bones, didnít think of that. Never had a problem with the Coasties out of Sandy Hook. They always have a quick response and never had a problem with following orders given to them by our brass. They actually follow orders better then some of our own guys (just my experience). Plus once your done playing and put the fire out, you can just take up and leave them with the mess to clean up.
03-12-2006, 09:59 PM #8Originally Posted by Murphy4329"This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
03-13-2006, 10:19 AM #9
I would be very interested in getting some suggested SOG's for this as well. We have several marinas in our area and had a pretty large fire last summer which took out a couple of boats (1@36' and 1@42').
We stopped the fire before it got on any of the other boats but it was a learning experience. We just basically agressively attacked the two burning boats with all the water we could get on them until they were knocked down enough to get close for lots of foam. There were 10 other boats on the same dock of similar size so we could have had an even more impressive blaze.
In my 8 years, we've never practiced with the marinas but that will be changing this spring. I've been planning to get set up as soon as the ice is out and there are no boats docked so we can experiment with our deck guns etc.
There were several bystanders at this fire yelling that everyone should run away as "every one of those boats is a bomb that's going to go off!" Personally, I took the stance that we should defuse the bombs and we attacked the fire and knocked it down in decent time for the size. Pretty impressive to see! My house is only 42 feet long, we had a combined 78 feet of fibreglass burning!
Have to run, s'posed to be werkin.
03-13-2006, 09:42 PM #10
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
We also have afew marinas in our area. We have use several floating pumps for drafting and fire suppression. For our fireboat we opted for a mounted pump that drafts over the side. One problem with floating pumps is the trying to keep them from floating around, also if they get dunked under they are usually out of service for awhile.
03-14-2006, 07:46 AM #11
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Good morning all.
Thank you for all of the input. Each posting presented another good idea to add to the list and a few even presented some caveats for consideration. For example, the floating pump getting dunked. I wouldn't even have considered pump performance after submersion or even a wave breaking over it. None of the specs I read on the pumps even mentioned "recovery time" and is something more to look into. We are also considering portable pumps that one or two men can carry out to a dock end for use. The floating pumps I looked over averaged about 120 pounds; a little more difficult to deploy with two men in full gear, a rocking dock, and narrow walkways.
I printed out the threads and brought them to the discussion group last night and we have more information to mull over. I will continue to collect more as we work towards our next meeting. I look forward to more experiences and SOP's and suggestions as they are offered up. All of this has been invaluable.
We've had our share of boat fires and each one was a learning experience, and each one was reviewed later on with "we should have done this or that."
03-28-2006, 11:23 PM #12
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Follow up to Dock Fire SOP
We had an initial meeting consisting of the "Dock Fire Group" this past week. We laid down the plan of attack for the SOP's as a presentation to the department is due in May.
Thus far we have agreed that the complexity and course of attack is too much for a single meeting night. The presentation will be split into classroom/tactics and HOT/simulation.
Going forward with the "classroom" portion first, we started to review foam vs. water, equipment to be considered part of the "dock fire kit" (similar to a high rise kit), and additional equipment that may need to be purchased to assist in an effective, or at least safer fire attack. Some other ideas suggested involved the property owner perhaps getting involved, at least in a passive role with ideas such as on site storage of additional foam and/or portable pumps for FD use only.
I will try to post notes on the progress of the group and look forward to hearing feedback and input on what we come up as the reserach evolves.
03-29-2006, 03:49 AM #13
Originally Posted by Bones42
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
03-29-2006, 06:32 AM #14
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
When you are making plans, make sure you deal with the fire scenario you would be faced with if the boats are winterized and stored on land. Fire spread is rapid, collapse hazard (from boats toppling off their blocks) is huge and the potential for arson evidence is high. The boats are stored so close together that I have dealt with fires involving 3-5 boats on arrival-on land.
03-29-2006, 08:38 AM #15
swfire42, we are well aware the CG is not supposed to be actively fighting fires anymore, think that's been for the last 6 or 7 years now at least. We used to be able to call over to the CG station (which is right in town) and they would send guys over to help with clean up and hose rolling. Were generally a good group of guys/girls at that time. Got a new station commander, lot of turnover in the station, seems like a different mindset now. And that is fine, they are not there for us and we have no problem with that. Even though FF'ing is not one of their duties, they still manage to show up with one of their 41/47' boats and throw some water around. They still have portable pumps and hoses. They will not board a boat on fire, which is correct being as they have no turnout gear to use.
Depending on who gets the report first, (911 or CG) will determine who gets there first. They can be on scene in as little as 2 minutes. The 20 minutes you referenced above was from BristolFD.
We work very well with our Coast Guard, even go and "rescue" them when their building is surrounded with flood waters Not having them feebly attempt firefighting is a good thing. If they were trained, and we drilled/trained together, I'm sure that would work as well.
The boats are stored so close together
03-29-2006, 12:36 PM #16
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Memphis Tn,USA-now
A couple years ago,my old volunteer department and other West Kentucky departments had a man from FDNY's Marine 1 come down for a session on marina firefighting.The points covered about watching shore electrical,water and fuel connections and collapse hazards,and release of mesobutylbadstuffs into the water were covered.
You will also want to designate someone as safety observer that is holding a life ring on a line to throw should anyone go overboard.
One interesting tip was using capped hoseline filled with compressed air as makeshift containment booms for the aforementioned mesobutylbadstuffs.
This tip is from 7 years of working as a towboat deckhand/engineer and 100 ton Master-Western Rivers:NEVER,EVER turn your back to the river,whether laying rigging on a barge or fighting a marina fire.It is too easy to lose track of where your feets are and take that last wrong step that puts you in the drink.Not a good thing to have happen,even if he show us a picture of a firefighter floating happily in a swimming pool while wearing turnout gear sans SCBA.
One question we all had was"What if he fell into the Tennessee River?How long would he float in a current like that?"
There is a website that may help: http://www.marinefigrefighting.com
Hope this also helps.
04-01-2006, 01:38 PM #17
Wear a PFD at all times. Its a huge pain in the butt, but with a PFD on you'll have on less thing to worry about if you fall in.
Consider the availablility of heavy construction equipment. Our marinias stack boats like cord wood in the winter, if we do not catch the fire before it spreads beyond 2-3 boats it will be a major confligration (automatic "Big Box" on anything showing at a marina). A bull dozer can cut a fire break/path to get into the labrynth (though it will be expensive and ins. co's will scream about excessive damage, you may save a good part of your city).
Local USCG has come out with a "new" new policy on firefighting again this summer, they will not engage in any suppression attempts except to execute a life safety rescue, period. Not sure if this is a national policy or not.
When I am working marine salvage I always carry the components for a double ended anchor set up, one end had a 25lbs bruce anchor (holds in just about anything) the other a very nasty looking 5 point grapling hook. Both ends had 15' of chain with 100' of 5/8" sinking dacron between (floating line might burn if fuel spills). Right at the 50' mark there is a 2' float ball. The idea is to toss the graple into a burning boat which had burned its mooring/anchor line off. I could tow the boat out and ditch the bruce in deeper water then fight the fire or intentionally sink it (easiest thing to do). The ball would allow me to find the line if the boat sank.______________________________ __________________
If you are new to posting please CLICK HERE for an essential lesson
A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!
IACOJ Fire Boat 1
07-14-2006, 04:11 PM #18
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
marina/dock/pier fire tips
Thoughts based on a few large marina/dock fires.
It all depends on your fire load, construction type, and combustible storage practices. Then you figure out what resources you have on scene and can bring in.
We usually assume we will lose the initial boat on fire in the water and one or two exposures boats. We have about a 4 minute response time usually.
On a dock, the shoreside firefighers can stop the fire, but who stops the fire from extending OUT on the dock. If you can't stop the fire, you must make a strategy decision, do you tow the fireboat away or the exposure boat. Remember, you usually will have several boats to tow and tying onto a buring boat by a civilian is risky. We plan to disconnect and tow the exposure boats away if the fire has extended. Volunteers from adjoining marinas are helpful.
Fiberglass boats are three dimensional gasoline fires.
We use a combination of 2 1/2" hose line and 1 3/4" foam to mount the attack. The 2 1/2 to knock fire down and the foam to smother.
Dock lines that secure burning boats always burn away.
Grappling hooks (with wire lines for a few feet) and LONG poles are essential to pull or push burning and non burning boats. Judicious use of hose lines on 'unmoored' boats is critical or you can push a burning boat into an exposure. (been there, very sad) Fire 304 post is good (see below)
Fixed fire protection systems are essential for larger structures.
Underpier sprinklers are necessary whenever the ability to reach the 'middle' under a dock is impossible from a boat or shore. Consider Standpipes of size based upon flow required to put out several burning 'on the dock structures' and protect exposures. ( we have some 8" standpipes for docks that are 600 feet long.)
If you have sprinks/ standpipes you need to have them tested periodically so they work. The flex hose between floating docks (and drydocks) is the weak link. Hydro test annually. By the way, saltwater eats galvanized sprink/ standpipes, hydro test these more often.
For larger piers you will need distributor nozzles and a way to cut a hole through the pier surface. Our piers are 6 x 8 timbers. You will need distributors even if you have under pier sprinks. (been there)
Floating underpier pumps/ nozzles with TRAINED swimmers are essential. Do not put an untrained person in the water, ever.
If anyone works on, close, or over water, they shall wear floatation devices. Rescue swimmers to save our soggy behinds is only important if you care about your fellow ff. You might also consider rescue swimmers to save people who would rather tread water than burn up on their boat. Not every boater can swim, especially nasty in colder waters.
If you have a marina, you will have a fire. If you have a fire, someone will fall in. Practice your water rescue protocols. This is a MAYDAY scenario. By the way, SCBA's are not S C U B A gear although in a specific circumstance you may be able to catch a breath from the SCBA in the water.
Never cut a burning boat loose unless you have taken a few seconds to KNOW where that boat will go. Towing a burning boat and watching your tow line melt is 'sad'.
Big Rack storage of fglass boats creates fire loads beyond what many fire departments can handle. Have a FPE calculate the fire loads and tell your chief that you can't stop the fire. Plan to mount a defensive attack to save the bldgs, other rack storage etc. Find out how to operate the boatyard lifts to move a few rows of boats out of the way and create a big gap. (personally I like the bulldozer idea, but I dont have one handy)
Putting lots of water on rack storage boats is a good way to bring the boats down to the ground. The racks cannot handle a few boats full of water. Create collapse zones early. The fire can cause rack failure quickly even without a water load.
Setting up a water curtain to protect an exposure has limited success. Plan to put water directly on the exposures. Consider long lasting foam ( wildland ff use it for structure protection). Foam it down before the fire gets there and pray. It might work (never tried it, ..... yet).
Burning boats all have flam liquid and gases - paint cans, propane tanks, etc. explode and create a serious hazard to ff and easily extend the fire. A burning boat can have anywhere from a few gallons to several hundred gallons of fuel on board. Diesel is slow to ignite but burns like a sob once it gets going. Once a boat sinks, all the fuel will try to get to the surface. Once the fuel gets to the top it may burn. contamination booms are plastic and melt or burn (been there)
PPE, SCBA is only important if you want to see tomorrow. The toxic gases from a boat fire are (as a previous poster put it s&*(!)
Know how many ff and equipment the floating docks can handle, they don't always sink, sometimes they tip (seen it).
Accountability for the fireground is not an option.
Every firefighter who might show up should know the agreed signal for abandoning the dock or pier. Practice doing roll calls, you will be suprised.
Know where you can commander additional boats and equipment. Which local boats have ffighting capacity. Some tugs have serious waterflow potentials. Coasties no longer fight fires, they do know boats pretty well though and have access to resources to help clean up.
The marina lighting will fail.
Sometime in the middle of the fire, someone should be thinking about temporay lighting. When the bright fires die down, it is pretty darn dark at zero dark thirty with a bunch of sooty, burned out boats on foam slickened docks.
We had a marina fire with 30+ fglass boats on fire (25-50 footers). The structure was covered with a layer of steel roofing panels (corrugated) over the the older aluminum panels (also corrugated). The fire was so hot the aluminum melted on top of us (by the way, dripping aluminum is hot), but the steel kept the fire from venting. The smoke produced was coming out, under pressure, along both sides of the covered marina to within about 2 feet of the waterline. The opening was 18-20 feet high and 100 plus feet long on each side.
Prevention is best.
Single station Smoke detectors are cheap and work on boats, both liveaboard and especially the non liveaboard. Heat detectors can be placed in dirty environments where smokes don't work.
Develop a plan to notify boaters (portable air horns work well) and evacuate.
Account for the occupants, common meeting place?
Drill with the people who work at the marinas and piers so they know to call us asap.
Shore power can be turned off at the main box (only if it doesn't run the sprinks pump).
LOTS of fire extinguishers should be handy, as well as long poles and spare lines with hooks. A couple of sledge hammers will allow fellow boaters to break into a boat in a hurry if necessary.
life rings with lines are required.
New covered marinas should have sprinks (code required if a certain size), or at least low temp meltable roof panels to allow the heat to escape. Meltable panels are a good idea on retrofits.
Will be back later if I thing of something else.
By the way, if you work around water, you should learn how to swim or at least tread water.Scorch
07-18-2006, 02:15 PM #19
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
Marina fires II
Forgot to mention that a fire can burn UNDER the pier, float, raft, etc, even if there is only a small clearance above the water. Having a few companies out on a long dock and seeing the flame behind you (i.e. the only dry way out) is a learning experience.
We differentiate between boats ( less than 50 feet) and ships, bigger.
Cruise ships can handle up to 5,000 people. Think triage.
Sometimes you may be faced with a boat or ship intentionally run aground or up against a structure, because it was sinking, or on fire.
You must know where the nearest fireboat, tug, coast guard, or private vessel is located that can be used, and the response times for each.Scorch
07-31-2006, 11:58 AM #20
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- Joshua Texas
If you are fortunate enough to have CAFS, or a neighboring company with one, you will be able to manage long lenghts of hose with long reaching streams of durable foam requiring less manpower on the dock or boat. The fire hose will floate on the surface of the water and can be used as a temporary boom or lifeline. The CAFS foam can extinguish the burning fiberglass and synthetic materials and emulsify and vapor seal the flammable liquids. Be sure to train the nozzleman how to create a fan stream with the straight bore nozzle of the CAFS for close in or interior fire fighting.Mark Cummins
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