Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Tunnel Firefighting Operations

Issue 4 and Volume 169.

BY MARKUS VOGT After several tunnel fires in Europe in the late 1990s that resulted in many casualties, trucking companies and the fire service were very uncertain about the best way to handle such incidents in road tunnels. Subsequently, the Swiss government gave the International Fire Academy (IFA) the tasks of developing a specific tunnel firefighting procedure, building tunnel training facilities, and training the Swiss fire service in the procedure. Today, fire service personnel from many countries come to the IFA to train on the Swiss tunnel firefighting procedure. Tunnel Fires On March 24, 1999, a truck fire burned for more than 50 hours within the 7.2-mile (11.6-kilometer) Mont-Blanc single-tube road tunnel connecting France and Italy, killing 39 people. As a result, the tunnel was closed for three years and traffic was rerouted over a much longer route. The entire ventilation system was replaced during this time. (1) Photos courtesy…

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