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February 12, 2004

Tug crews get Fi Fi Class 1 training

The Marine Firefighting Institute recently provided Moran Towing Corp. and Mc Allister Towing with familiarization training in Norfolk, Virginia, on the new Fi Fi Class 1 Firefighting equipment installed on their new boats, utilizing the Kay E. Moran and Emily Anne McAllister.

The new Fi Fi Class 1 boats, each feature two massive fire monitors capable of a combined output of over  10, 000 gallons per minute (22 tons), make the boats capable of extinguishing, and/or controlling, most marine fire incidents.

The remotely controlled monitors are able to project a straight water stream 400 feet or convert to a misted stream to cover larger deck areas with cooling water.

The training is being provided so that the crews can safely operate these monitors and other new firefighting equipment such as a water deluge system. The deluge system is a configuration of fixed pipes and nozzles, which can cover the entire bridge and deck area with a misted spray of protective water.

This system can be used in conjunction with the monitors or by itself to protect crewmembers and the tug from radiant heat while operating on a fire. This system will allow the tug to either closely approach a fire or protect the boat and crew if they must withdraw in an emergency.

The Fi Fi Class 1 boats also come with four sets of protective clothing and 4 complete sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with spare air bottles. There is also the capability of refilling the SCBA air bottles onboard.

After the classroom session all crews boarded the Kaye E. Moran to put the monitors through their paces. The Norfolk waterfront was presented with quite a display as both monitors were maneuvered into all positions and the water stream was converted from a thin straight stream into a wide dispersed stream reflecting the beautifully sunny, but cold (30 degree) day.

The second part of The Marine Firefighting Institute's training for Moran and Mc Allister involved familiarization with the properties of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and also familiarization with existing firefighting tactics used at an LNG incident. This training is prompted by Moran and Mc Allister's recent contract to provide ship-assist services to LNG tankers into the Cove Point LNG facility in the Chesapeake Bay. The excellent safety record in the LNG shipping industry will continue to be maintained by Moran and Mc Allister's new boats as well as their commitment to safety and training.

The President of The Marine Firefighting Institute, Tom Guldner is a retired 33-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. Tom spent the last 10 years of his firefighting career as the officer of FDNY's only full time fire/rescue boat and as the training officer of FDNY's Marine Division. He also holds a USCG 100 ton Master's License and is a nationally certified instructor.

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