Last year, Rosenbauer reported back from the ARFF User Group Conference in Las Vegas. This year, the conference took place from June 1 to 2 in Copenhagen. There were 130 participants from all over the world – from New Zealand to Hawaii, from where even the Airport Fire Chief had arrived.
On a personal note, I enjoyed a discussion with a firefighter from Greenland very much, since you don’t often get a chance to speak with an Inuit. His greeting was met with a big laugh when he said: “Hello Markus, I’m Manu from Greenland, but don’t go thinking that I live in an Igloo.

Motto “Future Aviation Safety”

ARFF Working Group Conference - RosenbauerThe theme of the conference – “Future Aviation Safety” – was highly exciting, with very interesting lectures on the safety requirements of airport fire departments.

For example, a firefighter from Brussels Airport talked about his experiences of last year’s terror attacks and how prepared – or unprepared – one can be for an event like this. Mr. Brian McKinney from Dallas Fort Worth Airport reported in detail on his attempts at extinguishing burning JET-A fuel with fluoride-free foams. In a major thematic block, the focus was placed upon new materials in aircraft construction. and this must also be taken into account in aircraft fire-fighting. For example, the burning time of a cabin made of carbon fiber reinforced material is significantly longer than that of glass fiber reinforced aluminum. The dangers for the personnel involved in such a fire are enormous without respiratory protection, and even if one is not directly at the scene of the emergency, there is a very high risk of carbon fiber microparticles entering the lungs.

And we, as Rosenbauer, also had a lot to offer.

Valuable Feedback

ARFF Working Group Conference - RosenbauerOnce again, we were able to meet the expectations of airport fire departments with our instinctive focus on safety in the development of the new PANTHER generation.
The crash-tested cab and the RSC driver assistance system are just two of many examples in this respect.

My colleagues Wolfgang Vorberger and Michael Kaiser were able to present the details to a large audience.


The new PANTHER Cockpit Simulator

ARFF Working Group Conference - RosenbauerBut there is also a lot to report about the safety of airport fire departments off the tarmac. We brought our brand new PANTHER cockpit simulator to Copenhagen especially for the conference.

With the PANTHER Tactical Simulator, we offer absolutely safe training for aircraft firefighting. This simulator not only protects the environment, since here no foam or other resources are spent, but also the training budgets of fire departments. More importantly, with this simulator, you can train as often as you like, and this saves valuable time and increases confidence when things get serious.

ARFF Working Group Conference - RosenbauerThis simulator has a built-in swap body container and can be used flexibly.
In order to make simulator training even more successful, together with the training center of Copenhagen Airport we developed an e-learning component for the basic training of trainee aircraft firefighters, and presented it at this conference. This program is now completed prior to each simulator training, and optimally prepares the participants.



Gathering Ideas

In summary, the ARFF Working Group Conference – my first – was very insightful, and I would highly recommend participation to anyone who works within or around airport fire departments. Details on the conference can be found here.

The first learnings will now be incorporated into the simulation software, such as the finding that carbon fiber reinforced cabs take much longer to burn through.