Tunnel control centre operators have a vital role to play in the event of a fire. Their decisions and actions in such an emergency scenario are key to how well the tunnel’s fire-protection and ventilation systems are managed and any evacuation is handled.
Responding appropriately to a real fire scenario requires the ability to take critical decisions under extreme stress – both one’s own and that of any people who may be trapped in the tunnel. As such, having practical experience of tunnel fire situations, with real fire and smoke, can make all the difference.
TUNNEL TRAINING WITH REAL FIRE AND SMOKE
Applus+ TST has a 600-metre-long testing tunnel for undertaking practical tests. It resembles a two-way road tunnel and is equipped with emergency exits leading to a service shaft and the most common ventilation systems found in tunnels.
The testing tunnel has been specifically designed to carry out practical exercises with real fire and has a long history of training control centre operators, highway and maintenance personnel, firefighters, mining brigades and other professionals who may at some stage be required to manage an emergency in an enclosed space.
During the two-day training programme, participants will – in addition to learning the theory of how a tunnel fire evolves – undertake three practical exercises inside our tunnel:
- Test demonstration with real fire:
- From inside the tunnel: evacuation exercises
- From the control room: smoke behaviour
- Test demonstration with white smoke from inside the tunnel
- Practical training in fire extinction
Our training programmes last two full days, with food and refreshments provided.
All exercises are coordinated and supervised by Applus+ TST professionals, who ensure that all the necessary safety measures are in place. A mining brigade is on hand to monitor and control the development of the fire and to take appropriate action if required.
PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE AN APPLUS+ CERTIFICATION
The certification process includes:
- Pre-assessment of the candidate: according to his training and work experience
- Classroom-based training provided by Applus+ experts
- Practical drills involving real fire and smoke
- Aptitude verification
- Evaluation of the Applus+ certification committee
- Issuance of an Applus+ identification card as a certified tunnel control centre operator for fire management, with a validity for 10 years.
The certification renewal period will be subject to the maintenance of the operator activities and position. In case those conditions vary substantially, a new training with updated content could be mandatory to maintain the certification.
This certificate gives participants official recognition of their technical competencies in emergency situations.
For a tunnel management company, having employees certified by Applus+ generates confidence among both users and opinion leaders. Applus+ certification enhances transparency and boosts confidence in the capabilities of the workforce since it is underpinned by an impartial, independent certification body with extensive technical expertise in the field of tunnel fire safety.
WHO THE CERTIFICATION IS AIMED AT
This training programme has been designed for professionals employed by road-tunnel operators or maintenance companies, tunnel safety managers, emergency personnel, tunnel control centre operators and tunnel maintenance staff.
The training might also be of interest to engineers and consultants involved in tunnel planning, public servants involved in tunnel and road management, insurance companies and any professional who develops an activity related with tunnels.