The Marine Firefighting Institute

Photos of the Month

Boat Explodes at Fuel dock

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Fire Confined to Single Boat

Last year The Marine Firefighting Institute presented its seminar on "Small Boat and Marina Fires", for the Branford, Connecticut Fire Department.

At the end of June, 2003 they got a chance to put some of that information into practice when called to a boat explosion and fire at the fuel dock of a local marina.

Our seminar stressed the need for boaters to properly vent their boat of flammable vapors by operating blowers after refueling. The attendees were also told that in this marine environment pre-fire plans should be in place for shutting the gas and electric to fuel docks when those docks are involved in fire.

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Another part of our seminar in Branford dealt with protecting exposures. We stressed that you had an option in the marine environment that is not available in structural firefighting.

At a marina you may be able to move the exposure away from the fire! You can either move the exposed vessels or move the burning vessel. At this fire the burning vessel was towed away from the surrounding exposed boats as well as the exposed fuel dock. This action narrowly averted an even greater fire.

After the burning boat was removed from the dock the BFD extinguished the fire from the safety of their boat with no additional injuries. Good job BFD!

Is your Department informed about small boat and marina firefighting?

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During all of my seminars I constantly stress safety by repeating several basic rules for marine fires. One of those rules I mentioned, SEVERAL TIMES, was to use the reach of your stream for the safety of your Firefighters.

There were four burn injuries prior to the Fire Department's arrival but none after arrival.

I guess these Firefighters must have been listening to my words at the seminar. Always keep in mind the explosive potential of a boat fire. If there is no life at risk, don't risk yours!

A quote from my seminar states, "Don't let an incident that would have only required a call to the boaters insurance company escalate into one which forces you to call a Firefighter's next of kin!" .

Email us for information about our "Small Boat and Marina Fire" seminar.

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If you have a marina or a body of water in your district then you need this information. Please keep The Marine Firefighting Institute in mind when you plan your training schedules.

Whether it's for our seminar on Small Boat and Marina Fires, or one of our many other seminars, we will deliver the information that will allow you to do your job while insuring the safety of your members and the public.

The Branford Fire Department is to be commended for a job "Well Done." It is lucky that they have a Training Chief, who cared enough to supply the needed training.

Doesn't your Fire Department deserve this information?

The Coast guard will not fight marine fires. It will be up to Municipal Fire Departments.


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Whether you have a Fireboat or not, is your Department ready to handle a large scale Marina Fire? Do your Firefighters know how to safely operate at a marina or small boat fire?

Contact The Marine Firefighting Institute today to set up your date for our three hour mini-seminar about "Small Boat and Marina Fires"

Thanks to the Branford, Connecticut Fire Department and congratulations, brothers and sisters, for a job well done in preventing a major marina fire.

To have your Department featured here, contact us via email for directions on how to send us your marine fire photo files.

Be Safe!

The Marine Firefighting Institute