To become a firefighter is not an easy job. To become an aircraft rescue and firefighter (ARFF) takes a special individual because of the unique level of duties it requires. There is a great deal of preparation and skills that ARFF personnel must have to respond effectively to any aircraft accident or incident. “Because of the extensive nature of emergencies” that ARFF personnel may come across, they must be well trained to handle any of these circumstances (Jenkins, 2008). ARFF personnel are and have to be universal in a wide range of duties. ARFF personnel must have the comprehension and ability to handle fires, emergencies, and any other types of situations that they may encounter. Some other requirements for ARFF personnel to have may include an emergency medical technician (EMT) certificate or a paramedic license. “ARFF personnel will likely encounter rescue, mass-casualty, fire fighting, and hazardous material operations” (IFSTA, 2008). ARFF personnel are usually the first to respond to an aircraft incident or accident and must be fully prepared to address any hazards or dangers at the scene. This paper will discuss the different types of aircraft hazards and support equipment for ARFF personnel.
The Different Types of Aircraft Hazards and Support Equipment for ARFF Personnel
There are many types of aircraft hazards that ARFF personnel will encounter and/or must be familiar with at an airport. ARFF personnel must know and understand the different types of aircraft hazards. Aircraft accidents will have potential hazards that involve fluids, structures, and components which can all burn at high temperatures. ARFF personnel should always avoid inhalation or ingestion of smoke, fumes, and particles of an aircraft emergency. ARFF personnel responding to aircraft accidents must take necessary safety measures to protect themselves.
Aircraft structures and components can be hazardous to ARFF personnel which consist of aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy, steel, and composite materials. Magnesium burns at a very high temperature and can react violently when extinguishing agents are applied to it. Aluminum and magnesium alloys are used for aircraft wheels and engine parts. Steel is used for engine parts, engine firewall panels, and hydraulic tubing. Composite materials are made up of fiberglass, carbon, and boron fibers are used for doors, panels, and flight control surfaces. Composite material can emit toxic fumes when heated or burned. In a broken aircraft, these structures and materials can be dangerous. The structures can be sharp and jagged which can cut personnel or tear their PPE. The structures stability is another hazard to be concerned about. The aircraft structure and fuselage sections can “collapse, roll, shift, or slide” when least expected (IFSTA, 2008).
Other hazards involve types of fluid: fuel, hydraulic fluid, oxygen systems, and lavatory waste spills. Aircraft fuel is normally distributed...