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    MARINE FIREFIGHTING TRAINING AND ENHANCEMENT FOR VELA MARINE INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP By: Craig H. Shelley Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Saudi Arabia    An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program July, 2002   Appendices Not Included. Please visit the Learning Resource Center on the Web at http://www.lrc.dhs.gov/ to learn how to obtain this report in its entirety through  Interlibrary Loan.  2  ABSTRACT Marine Fire Fighting states that “Of all the perils at sea, one of the most frightening is fire. Difficult to deal with and devastating in its effects, fire at sea leaves the mariner caught between two unforgiving elements” (International Fire Service Training Association [IFSTA], 2000, p. 1). “Fires on board ships can be both complex to deal with and at times may test the expertise of firefighters and their physical endurance” (HM Fire Service Inspectorate [Home Office], 1999, p. ix). The problem that initiated this research project was a fire on board a VELA Marine International (VELA) supertanker carrying crude oil. After the fire, the internal investigation report stated that “The firefighting techniques were questionable, although successful” (Zain, Haworth, Lacey, Rammah, & Scott, 2001, p. 6). The author was contacted by senior management of VELA to undertake a study of marine firefighting training given to junior officers and crews, i.e., those serving under the ship’s master (captain) or chief engineer. The purpose of this research project was to examine the marine firefighting training received by the junior officers, but also to evaluate innovations, techniques, and technologies used by land-based firefighters and determine if they could be used by ships’ crewmembers on board VELA ships. This project employed historical and descriptive research consisting of a literature review, personal observations, and personal communications to answer the following questions: 1) What is the quality of marine firefighting training received by junior officers and crews of VELA?  3 2) What techniques and tactics currently used by land-based firefighters could be employed by VELA personnel with regard to firefighting on board ships? 3) What technological improvements currently employed by land-based firefighters could be used by VELA personnel to assist with firefighting on board ships? 4) What additional training could be performed by VELA to improve the quality and efficiency of their personnel in responding to fires on board their ships? The results of this research clearly indicate the need for additional training for VELA personnel in marine firefighting.   The author found that there was a broad spectrum of quality while still meeting the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s   (1996) International   Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW95).  The results further indicated that there are many operational and technological improvements that have been adopted by land-based firefighters that can be useful to VELA crews when fighting fires on board their ships. Recommendations were made to guide VELA in improving the quality of training for their junior officers and to give guidance when evaluating operational and technological improvements in land-based firefighting for use in the marine environment. These recommendations included the selection of marine firefighting schools; increased training in firefighting; the development of standard operating procedures for firefighting on board ships; the purchase of thermal imaging cameras; and the purchase of personal alert safety system (PASS) devices.

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