October 20, 2011
What: Annual MFSA (Maritime Fire & Safety Association) Shipboard Firefighting Drill
When: Saturday, October 22nd from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; skill stations begin at 9:45 am
Where: Cascade General,5555 N Channel Ave., #71,Portland,OR97217
On October 22nd, Portland Fire & Rescue, along with fire departments from Vancouver, Astoria, Longview, Kelso, and Clatskanie, will participate in a joint training for firefighters involved in fighting shipboard fires. This specialized type of shipboard training is essential to regional firefighters' ability to set up, use, and move equipment on a shipboard fire incident. It is also an important time for firefighters to go over communications use, limitations, and abilities in case of an actual shipboard fire incident.
North Portland Fire Station 24, a specialty station and the only station in Portlandthat is trained for land-based marine firefighting, will be participating in the training along with Portland Fire Station 6.
This type of specialty training has been utilized in fires that would have otherwise been fatal to ship crew members. Shipboard fires and incidents can require any and all of the training that a land-based fire or incident would have.
"Ships are like floating high rises, but instead of housing offices, they are often stocked many stories high with weapons, millions of barrels of fuel, or hazardous cargo," said Public Information Officer Paul Corah. "That's why this shipboard drill is such an important component of our firefighters' training."
Overseen by the MFSA, participants will be divided into four groups. Individual stations will focus on the following: communications set up, air monitoring, patient packaging, foam tender operations, equipment and hose set up, and use of bulk CO2 suppression systems.
In 1983 after a fire destroyed the M/V Protector Alpha, killing one Coast Guardsman and injuring a local firefighter, the Maritime Fire & Safety Association (MFSA) was established with the mission to promote fire protection, safety, and the enhancement of navigation on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.