Cold Fire Featured in the First Responder Newsletter: Sept. 15, 2011
I know that most of us don't think of fire extinguishers or fire suppression equipment as equipment that is essential for traffic incident management. However, as with the other aspects of managing incidents, I believe we need to take a close look at the fire suppression equipment that we are equipping our trucks with, and using at incidents on the highways.
The MoDOT and Kansas Highway Patrol Motorist Assist and Emergency Response trucks in the Kansas City Metro area are all now equipped with the large Cold Fire extinguishers. In addition, many of the trucks are also equipped with the Cold Fire Tactical spray cans. These extinguishers have proven their value in Kansas City, and in other areas of the country. Cold Fire is much more effective than dry chemical extinguishers on all types of automobile fires. In addition to extinguishing the fire, the surface is cooled allowing responders and rescuers to approach a vehicle. This greatly increases their ability to save a victim in a burning vehicle.
While we don't expect our Motorist Assist and Emergency Response to be firefighters, we do know that they are often the first responders at incidents involving fire on the highways. It is essential that they have all of the tools that they need to control vehicle fires if that becomes necessary. Cold Fire Fire Suppression gives responders the option and opportunity to control or extinguish a fire until fire department personnel arrive. There have been many instances across the country where Cold Fire was used to extinguish fire allowing rescuers to save a victim. In addition, the Cold Fire Tactical spray can has been used in the Kansas City Metro area to extinguish a brake fire on a tractor-trailer. This was done after the driver had emptied a dry chemical extinguisher in an attempt to extinguish the fire.
Cold Fire is an environmentally friendly fire extinguishing agent that puts out ANY fire faster, safer, with less water, less damage to property, and less risk to responders. Cold Fire is 100% biodegradable, non-corrosive, and non-toxic so it requires little clean-up, no agitation, and no flushing out of equipment after use. It is one of the few, possibly only, fire suppression agents available to extinguish E85 and all other alcohol/bio-fuel fires.
The recurring costs of recharging dry chemical extinguishers is eliminated by using Cold Fire. The Cold Fire extinguishers are refilled by our personnel and the cannister charged with air with an air compressor. When a Cold Fire extinguisher is partially used, the extinguisher can still be used until it can be refilled. While there are up front costs involved to deploy Cold Fire in emergency equipment, those costs will be recovered by the elimination of regular inspection and recharging of dry chemical extinguishers. And, the agency owns the equipment.
By equipping the Motorist Assist and Emergency Response vehicles with Cold Fire, we have the ability to extinguish small fires, thereby reducing the need for additional emergency equipment at the scene of highway incidents. This reduction in emergency equipment at an incident scene reduces congestion, and reduces the number of emergency responders and emergency equipment that is exposed to traffic. Cold Fire is a very valuable tool for use by our personnel even if the nature of the fire requires response by additional fire equipment. Cold Fire will improve the safety of responders who must use fire extinguishing equipment, and will increase the probability of rescuing a victim from a burning vehicle.
We work in an inherently unsafe environment on the highways in this country. We need to make sure that we are equipped with the necessary equipment to make our jobs as safe as possible. Cold Fire is one of the tools that all responders should have at their disposal when responding to incidents on the highways. In addition to improving the safety of our work environment and increasing the likliehood of rescue for victims in burning vehicles, the use of Cold Fire will reduce the cost to agencies for fire extinguishing equipment in the future.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about our experience with the Cold Fire products that we currently use.