NASNI Builds Navy's First Submarine Firefighting Trainer

By Todd C. Behrman
Monday, November 04, 2013
Nick Lugue Jr., a welder with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, welds a new firefighting trainer into place at Naval Air Station North Island. The trainer is the first of four new trainers the Navy is building that will simulate potential fire hazards aboard submarines. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Todd C. Behrman)

Smoke bellows out the ventilation ducts. The glow of the blazing fire emanates down the passageway. Firefighters move with precision and purpose, pausing to unleash a torrent of water towards the fire as they kneel before it. Such was the scene at the Navy's first submarine firefighting trainer, located at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) Oct. 29.

Commander, Navy Installation Command (CNIC) approached Kidde Fire Trainers almost one year ago in response to the incident on the USS Miami, in which a fire caused over $400 million of damage to the submarine.

Numerous issues arose from the incident, primarily firefighter response and the readiness of base firefighters to deal with fighting shipboard fire. The need for additional training resources was identified in order to train base fire departments on what they'll encounter when fighting fires in the tight quarters of a submarine.

Kidde Fire Trainers is scheduled to build three other modular trainers at Naval bases around the country in addition to the NASNI trainer, and has also currently stationed mobile training units at Naval Bases in Kings Bay, Ga. and New London, Conn. The new firefighting trainer at NASNI is the first of the four permanent modular trainers to be built.

The other three trainers purchased by CNIC will be located at Portsmouth, N.H.; Norfolk, Va. and Bangor, Wash. These trainers, located in four different regions, will allow federal firefighters, emergency services and outside agencies access to a proper trainer to increase operational capabilities in the event that a live incident or fire occurs on a ship, said David Salerno, Assistant Fire Chief with Southwest Region Fire and Emergency Services.

"The major problems we have in ships or submarines is figuring out where the fire is internally, figuring out where you are, and being able to deal with the horizontal and vertical passages that aren't typical," said Salerno, who is also the NASNI training center manager and San Diego metro area training officer.

The accuracy of the submarine's representation in the new trainer will provide firefighters the best possible training available. "The way this has been designed with the specifics in it that replicate the interior of a submarine, with submarine hatches, they can drill and train on those specifics and get their skill level up so if they do have to respond in the dockyard they'll be ready for it," said Cumming.

In addition to the hatches, the trainer has scuttles, grates, a galley, a main space, electrical panels, cable trays and simulated wires throughout bulkheads, said Mike Tenney, a captain with Federal Fire Department San Diego stationed at Naval Base Point Loma Fire Station 111.

"This gives our firefighters an opportunity to figure out ahead of time, before they're actually in a real fire, how to navigate their way through a ship," said Salerno. "It provides a large measure of realism that will be taken with each of those firefighters when they go to the real fire."

Tenney, a former damage controlman in the Navy, understands the difficulty of navigating through a ship or submarine without previous shipboard experience.

"A lot of the guys haven't been on ships, they haven't been in the Navy, so this is going to teach them the tactics needed in assisting the ship's crew with shipboard firefighting," Tenney said. "This is going to give great awareness to people that don't have much experience."

When fighting a fire in the dockyard, typically, the ship's force begins the process. They determine where the fire is, set their boundaries, and start the fire attack. However, if they realize they need more resources to deal with the incident, the base fire departments are called in and respond to the situation, said Salerno.

"Now that we have this trainer we have something that's specific to our needs, something we can internally develop training objectives to and then train to those objectives on a schedule that works for us on a regular basis," said Salerno. "It will make us infinitely more effective when we're actually fighting a fire on a ship."

Training in the new facility has already begun, with scenarios designed to push the capabilities of the trainees. Two classes of firefighters completed a two-day course on Oct. 29 and Oct. 31, respectively, to become instructors on the new trainer, familiarizing themselves with the various operations and safety features of the facility.

While the firefighters continue to train and acclimate themselves to the unique challenges of shipboard firefighting, the Navy will reap the benefit of having its base and local fire departments better equipped to handle ship and submarine fires thanks to its new firefighting trainers.

Todd C. Behrman is Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

navy.mil
 

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Largest All-Electric Pipe Bender Starts Operations at Newport News Shipbuilding

Unison has commissioned what is believed to be the largest all-electric tube bending machine ever produced. The machine has started operations at Newport News Shipbuilding,

Damen Delivers Stan Patrol Vessel to RBDF

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) has taken delivery of the fourth and final Stan Patrol 4207, named HMBS Rolly Gray. The four Stan Patrol 4207s form part of the six-year Sandy Bottom project.

China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted

News

Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Delaware River (Link to Video)

Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay is investigating a ship aground in the Delaware River near the Burlington Bristol Bridge, which connects Burlington, NJ and Bristol Township, PA.

Largest All-Electric Pipe Bender Starts Operations at Newport News Shipbuilding

Unison has commissioned what is believed to be the largest all-electric tube bending machine ever produced. The machine has started operations at Newport News Shipbuilding,

Oceanex Named One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Oceanex Inc. was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies Gold Standard Members in 2014. This national award is sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post,

Maritime Safety

Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Delaware River (Link to Video)

Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay is investigating a ship aground in the Delaware River near the Burlington Bristol Bridge, which connects Burlington, NJ and Bristol Township, PA.

BMT Comments on Recent Barge Casualties

Recently, BMT was consulted in a number of cases/casualties involving the breaking and subsequent salvage of inland navigation barges. The incidents all occurred during loading operations.

Hapag-Lloyd Improves Safety of Dangerous Goods Transportation

Last year, Hapag-Lloyd discovered 2,620 cases of incorrectly declared dangerous goods that were prevented from being shipped. Dangerous goods experts at Hapag-Lloyd investigated over 162,

Eye on the Navy

Navy Awards Austal $691M for Two Littoral Combat Ships

The U.S. Navy has ordered two new littoral combat ships from Austal, the shipbuilder said in a press release today. The two orders, worth $691 million, are part

Damen Delivers Stan Patrol Vessel to RBDF

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) has taken delivery of the fourth and final Stan Patrol 4207, named HMBS Rolly Gray. The four Stan Patrol 4207s form part of the six-year Sandy Bottom project.

China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted

Subsea Defense

China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted

Going Nuclear in Indian Ocean

As India, Pakistan and perhaps China develop their naval nuclear forces, they will enter increasingly murky waters, says a report published in the National Interest.

US to Test 'Submarine' Drone That Can Launch from Ocean Floor

USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is testing a drone that can hibernate on the ocean floor for years at a time before being launched to the

Underwater Engineering

Canadian Government Unveils 3D Model of HMS Erebus

A partnership between Canadian government and private industry today unveiled high precision 3D printed models of HMS Erebus, Sir John Franklin’s lead ship found

US to Test 'Submarine' Drone That Can Launch from Ocean Floor

USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is testing a drone that can hibernate on the ocean floor for years at a time before being launched to the

Keppel FELS Delivers 11th Jackup to Mexico

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered a KFELS B Class jackup rig to Mexican national oil company,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2759 sec (4 req/sec)