MFI goes International in Conducting Tugboat Firefighting and LNG Familiarization
In 2008 Marine Firefighting Inc. expanded its LNG program internationally by providing training to the Servicios Marítimos de Baja California, S. de R.L de C.V. marine towing company in Mexico. This new company is a joint venture between Moran Towing Corporation and Compañía Marítima del Pacifico S.A. de C.V. to provide tugs and other marine vessels to assist LNG vessels calling at the Energía Costa Azul LNG Import Terminal. The terminal is being constructed and operated by Sempra LNG a subsidiary of Sempra Energy at a site located approximately fifteen (15) nautical miles WNW of the port of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Marine Firefighting Inc. (MFI) has been working with Moran Towing Corp. and Mc Allister Towing to provide familiarization on the new Fi Fi Class 1 Firefighting equipment installed on their new boats and also familiarization with the LNG product. The first session was conducted in January 2004 in Norfolk, Virginia and has been ongoing. These companies have been providing LNG vessel assist into the Dominion Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland..
As of 2006 we have also been training the tug boat crews of Crescent Towing and Moran Towing in Savannah, GA. They are both engaged in vessel assist for the ships offloading at the Elba Island LNG facility operated by Southern Natural Gas
In 2007 we also started providing the same familiarization training for G & H Towing, Bay Houston Towing and Sudderman & Young Towing in Galveston, Texas. Each of these tug boat companies have purchased these new Fi Fi 1 class boats and will be providing LNG vessel escort service for the Freeport, Texas LNG facility which began operation in January 2008. This facility is owned and operated by Freeport LNG Development, L.P.
In 2008 MFI also trained the Moran Towing Corporation crews in Port Arthur, Texas who will be operation at Sempra LNG's Cameroon LNG facility in Hackberry, Louisiana when it opens in early 2009.
In 2008 Marine Firefighting Inc. also provided an evaluation of a full scale emergency drill scenario involving the tug boats, an LNG ship, and an LNG facility. This service evaluated the coordination of the different training procedures provided to the principals involved in the marine transfer of LNG.
At the end of 2008 we also provided this same familiarization program for the tug boat crews of Edison Chouest Offshore whose tug boats will be escorting LNG ships into the new Golden Pass LNG facility near Sabine Pass, Texas. Golden Pass LNG is a joint venture involving Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips
In 2011 we visited the newly opened Gulf LNG in preparation to provide these same programs for the boat crews of Colle Maritime, a subsidiary or Signet Maritime.
The tug boats, each with two massive fire monitors capable of a combined output of over 10, 000 gallons (37,854 liters) per minute (40+ tons or 36+ metric tons), make these boats capable of extinguishing, and/or controlling, most marine fire incidents. The remote controlled monitors are able to project a straight water stream 400 feet or convert to a misted stream to cover larger deck areas with cooling water or divert an LNG plume.
. The deluge system is a configuration of fixed pipes and nozzles which can cover the entire bridge and deck area with a misted spray of protective water. It can be used in conjunction with the monitors or by itself to protect crew members and the tug from radiant heat while operating on a fire. During familiarization we discuss one of the problems which may be encountered because of the effectiveness of the deluge. Visibility can be greatly reduced and crews were made aware that they might have to rely on radar. The system will allow the tug to either closely approach a fire or protect the boat and crew if they must withdraw in an emergency.
These boats also come with 4 sets of protective clothing and 4 complete sets of Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with spare air bottles. There is also the capability of refilling the SCBA air bottles onboard.
After the classroom session all crews boarded their boat under the supervision of the vessel's master to put the monitors through its paces.
The waterfronts in Norfolk, Savannah, Galveston, Sabine Pass, Freeport, and Port Arthur were presented with quite a display as both monitors were maneuvered into all positions and the water stream was converted from a thin straight stream into a wide dispersed stream.
The crews realized that these monitors are no toys and must be handled with care.
The volume of water delivered necessitated caution and continuous training with realistic fire drill scenarios. By the end of the morning session everyone had a new found respect for these excellent and powerful new tools.
You cannot just place theses powerful tools on your boat and then just tell your crews to use them. Someone will get hurt if you don't also provide the training in how to safely use this new equipment.
The second part of the Marine Firefighting Inc. sessions for Moran, Mc Allister, Crescent, Bay Houston, Sudderman & Young, and G & H towing involved familiarization with the properties of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and also familiarization with existing Firefighting tactics used at an LNG incident.
This familiarization is prompted by the tug company's contracts to provide ship-assist services to LNG tankers into the Cove Point LNG facility in the Chesapeake Bay, Elba Island in Savannah, GA, Freeport LNG terminal in Freeport, TX., the port of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, and Camaroon LNG, in Hackabery, Louisiana.
The excellent safety record in the LNG shipping industry will continue to be maintained by Moran, Mc Allister, Crescent, Bay Houston, Sudderman & Young, G & H's, Servicios Marítimos de Baja California, and Edison Chouest Offshore by their crew's commitment to safety and training. If your company is engaged in the LNG delivery and/or receiving industry then perhaps this training could benefit your employees also. We also provide ongoing Firefighting training aboard any work boat or ship.
Whether you are a private commercial marine company or a municipal Fire Department, Marine Firefighting Inc. will be able to provide the familiarization, consulting, or informational training and seminars that your employees need to perform their jobs safely. All aspects of Marine Firefighting can be covered. Whether your hazard represents a small boat and marina fire or a fire aboard the largest tanker or cruise ship afloat we have the expertise to handle your training and seminar needs.
Tom Guldner is a retired Lieutenant of the New York City Fire Department's Marine Division where he was the Officer in Command of a fire/rescue and also the Training Officer of the Marine Division.
Tom held a US Coast Guard License as a Ships Master and is certified as a fire instructor both within New York State and Nationally in the USA.
He is currently a participating member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) Fishing Vessel Operations and Safety panel and also their Small Working Vessel Operations and Safety panel.
Tom is also a Principal Member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Merchant Vessels.
His articles on Marine Firefighting have been published both nationally and internationally.
Tom's company Marine Firefighting Inc. is involved in consulting and training mariners and land-based firefighters in all aspects of marine firefighting. To date Tom has trained over 120 Fire Departments in over 28 US States as well as Canada and Mexico. Visit his web-site at www.marinefirefighting.com or E-mail Tom at MarineFires@aol.com
If you have any questions for Marine Firefighting Inc., or if you would like to schedule this training seminar for your company or Fire Department you can e-mail Tom Guldner at MarineFires@aol.com