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 August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

HII Appoints Brenton as Corporate Director

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that Capt. Kevin Brenton (U.S. Navy, Ret.) has joined the company as corporate director of customer affairs for submarine programs.

EDGE Facility to Develop, Deliver Security Capabilities

Center in Nova Scotia will focus on rapidly delivering new technologies and capabilities to the Royal Canadian Navy as they transition to future fleet.    General

Northrop Grumman Advances Unmanned Maritime Capabilities

Innovative unmanned systems program moves forward to Phase II.   Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is developing new, advanced unmanned systems to support

News

Kounalakis Joins OW Bunker N. America

OW Bunker, a reseller and physical supplier of marine fuels, announced the appointment of Georgia Kounalakis to its physical supply operation in North America.

Louisiana to Get Natural Gas Liquefaction and Fueling Facility

Tenaska Bayou LNG expected to meet growing marine, transportation and oil and gas exploration and production demand on the Gulf Coast Tenaska NG Fuels, LLC and Waller Marine, Inc.

New Simulation Tool for Collision Reconstruction

BMT ARGOSS and BMT Surveys, subsidiaries of BMT Group Ltd, the international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, announced an innovative new service

Maritime Safety

USCG Cutter Rush Returns

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Rush returned to its homeport following a successful 72-day deployment in the Central and Western Pacific, Monday. Rush departed

Report on MOL Comfort Incident is out

In response to the casualty of “MOL COMFORT” which occurred on 17 June 2013, ClassNK established the Investigative Panel on Large Container Ship Safety, comprised

NAT Tankship Rescues 150 in Mediterranean

Nordic American Tankers Limited ("NAT") says the one of its vessels, the 'Nordic Passat' performed a rescue operation, involving 150 people in the Mediterranean last Saturday afternoon,

Eye on the Navy

EDGE Facility to Develop, Deliver Security Capabilities

Center in Nova Scotia will focus on rapidly delivering new technologies and capabilities to the Royal Canadian Navy as they transition to future fleet.    General

VADM Hilarides Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command

Vice Adm. William Hilarides, the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), recently spoke to a small group of reporters about his vision for NAVSEA and

General Dynamics Bags U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $311 million contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat to provide planning yard work, engineering and technical support for nuclear submarines.

Subsea Defense

HII Appoints Brenton as Corporate Director

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that Capt. Kevin Brenton (U.S. Navy, Ret.) has joined the company as corporate director of customer affairs for submarine programs.

EDGE Facility to Develop, Deliver Security Capabilities

Center in Nova Scotia will focus on rapidly delivering new technologies and capabilities to the Royal Canadian Navy as they transition to future fleet.    General

Ulstein Wins Design, Equipment SRI Contract

Ulstein  has been awarded the design and equipment contract for Van Oord’s new subsea rock installation (SRI) vessel ‘Bravenes’.   Working in close cooperation with Van Oord,

Underwater Engineering

N-Sea Completes Inaugural System Diving Scope

Inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) specialist N-Sea has recently completed its inaugural diving scope with the TUP Diving System (Transfer Under Pressure).

Schlumberger Releases 2014 Software Platforms

Schlumberger has released the 2014 versions of its industry leading software platforms. The Petrel* E&P software platform, Techlog* wellbore software platform,

Ulstein Wins Design, Equipment SRI Contract

Ulstein  has been awarded the design and equipment contract for Van Oord’s new subsea rock installation (SRI) vessel ‘Bravenes’.   Working in close cooperation with Van Oord,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar 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: 0.1946 sec (5 req/sec)