FDIC 2018: Incident Management in Underground Transportation Systems

Markus Vogt
Head Consulting and Instructor
International Fire Academy

Monday, April 23, 2018: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The focus is on tunnels and underground transportation systems, which are “man’s largest buildings”: safety factors, safety installations, location and structure, incident services, self-rescue, traffic, tunnel fires. Incidents in tunnels (mostly in Europe) are discussed and analyzed with regard to fires: heat in combination with air flow, long distances, and human behavio; ventilation and air flow and the influence on fire, heat, and smoke; the time factor and its significance when managing incidents in tunnels; communication, the most difficult part. Other topics addressed include training requirements, reconnaissance, the differences in fighting fires in this these systems and in buildings, and search and rescue.

This workshop will be conducted with a mix of presentations, group work and exploring case studies. The presentations introduce the participants to the basics of incident management in UTS. Therefore, using the vast and broad range of knowledge of the International Fire Academy.

Available as case studies are two of the major decisive incidents for the creation of the tunnel training facilities in Switzerland, the Tauern tunnel incident May 1999 and at the Gotthard tunnel incident October 2001. These studies contain all details found by the incident investigation boards and therefore show very clearly what lead to the fatalities and enormous damage of the tunnels.

The purpose of the group work is to demonstrate how important communication is, but also how difficult it can be. Closing topic presented to the participants are possibilities to train operations in UTS.

The purpose of this workshop is to sensitise incident commanders on incident management in UTS (Underground Transport Systems). It will point out the necessity of tactical training and technical knowledge for operations in UTS. The workshop conveys the HOW and WHY of the training, but also demonstrates strikingly that NO special equipment is needed. The standard equipment of fire services is sufficient.