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© 2005-2009 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

   

Airport opens advanced firefighting training center
By A.B. Snedeker

Airport firefighters must be ready to face blinding smoke, blistering heat and
blazing fires at a moment’s notice. To ensure that its firefighters are ready to
meet these challenges, Hartsfield-Jackson has opened a state-of-the-art
Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) training facility.

The 10-acre site near the Airport’s fifth runway became operational in July. The ARFF facility’s most visible element is a large, yellow shell of an aircraft. This empty hulk is used primarily for aircraft evacuation drills and mass casualty exercises.

Another aircraft mock-up has been built in the middle of the jet fuel burn pit. The aircraft is about 75 feet long and can be remotely ignited to simulate fires in seven separate areas of the plane. The jet fuel burn pit measures more than 150 feet across.

This simulated aircraft presents different situations — such as wing and engine fires, wheel and brake fires, and broken hydraulic lines — that firefighters are likely to face. This steel plane has a sprinkler system to keep it from warping during extended training sessions.

“Our goal is to provide our firefighters with a state-of-the-art facility capable of creating a variety of live fire, [hazardous materials] and other emergency training scenarios,” said Swift Pascoli, assistant resident engineer. “The ARFF facility gives our firefighters ready access to the training they need to meet and exceed all certification requirements.”

Along with a two-story control and observation building, the ARFF features advanced pollution controls, including a recycling system that separates waste fuel from reclaimed water. The waste fuel is collected and reused in future training exercises.

 


Airport Fire Rescue Exercise

The yellow shell of a plane at the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting facility is used to give firefighters practice in handling evacuations and mass casualties.

Fire Recycling System

A charred black plane amid the jet fuel burn pit can be ignited remotely
for training exercises. A recycling system reclaims the waste fuel
for use in later training.


© 2005-2009 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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