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Kensington Fire

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Kensington Fire

Old 17th Jun 2017, 05:43
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hompy View Post
I know it has been discussed before on this forum:

http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/292...per-fires.html

Just wondering if or why they weren't tasked to 'have a look'.
Solution exist, was discussed in 2010. here ->
http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/410...elicopter.html

Who is ready to pay that ?
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 07:17
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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There has also been some testing with a skycrane in Istanbul fitted with a watercanon?
Can't find a decent reference on the web (from my mobile)

SLB
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 07:59
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Was the SAR helicopter at Lydd even thought of or requested? Even if they had managed to get in and save one life it would have been worth the effort.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 08:48
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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The short answer is that no crew should ever attempt to undertake a rescue [particularly at night] without a great deal of practice, onto an unsurveyed site in an environment where there are unknown thermals.

The need for a roof rescue appears to be once in a lifetime across the UK. So you might consider training up one crew [police, fire or coastguard perhaps] to undertake the mission that they might have to undertake just once in their career. If that crew is untrained for the mission they should not promote the capability because it will just add three more to the pyre.

Simply to pre-survey the rooftops in London during daylight will take weeks and that needs to be done every year without fail to guard against some new aerial, some new wire...... now multiply that by every city in the UK with high rises..... 6,500 is a number that has been bandied about.... and the planning alone is breathtaking.

Then you need to consider how you lift 50 people off a roof using a 20 seat helicopter.

The plan in New York [where they have some experience of planning and training for just such an instance] includes interting armed officers first to clear the rooftop of debris then to control boarding....

During 9-11 the trained NYPD crew in a Bell 412 considered a roof landing in daylight. After one tower was hit both towers were covered in smoke and only a tiny part of one tower could be considered a landing spot clear of smoke shrouded wires. We now know there was no way anyone could get through the locked roof doors of the WTC but clearly there were other issues that suggest that roof rescue is fraught with so many questionmarks.

Perhaps, and it is a big ask, the only people who might have the experience [?] would be the remaining military SAR as they might be training to undertake risky rescues that might be not too different from high rise .... but that does not remove the need to survey 6,500 roofs and make it readily available 24/7.

This is not my personal opinion, it is simply a condensed version of an experts presentation - a man who was at the WTC on the day.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 11:14
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Re. use of military S&R, possible but. The main point made when I trained was that we had standard procedures but it was drummed into us that EVERY job was different and that most would require some 'on the spot' adaptation. Considering three out of those I was involved in, one was 'unusual' and successful, one, 'unusual' and became a body recovery and one was rejected because it was impractical ... recovering an injured rigger from the middle of an aerial 'farm' of numerous 300' plus structures with a maximum winch length of 180' (60' of cable plus 120' of long line tape).
Considering this incident (from a distance, via TV) helos possible, maybe for the initial period (30 minutes?) but, thereafter, I would suggest that you would likely be adding to the casualty toll.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 12:33
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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It's not military SAR any more but most of the crews are ex-mil.

Every job is different and you use your best judgement and experience to perform the rescue and, if it really is too risky, you don't do it.

But they should have been given the chance to assess it and winch if required rather than landing.

A rooftop in the dark is no more tricky than a mountainside in the dark or a fishing boat being tossed around in 30' waves.

I have put a winchman into a building through a window before and it isn't that difficult - at least the building stays still.

Have a look on jetblast - there is a link to a hotel fire in Las Vegas many years ago where military helicopters winched from balconies on the burning building - they saved many lives.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 16:05
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Even a standard SAR job can become non-standard in the blink of an eye. Which is why SAR training should be aimed at being flexible and extremely proficient in the use of the equipment and teamwork. It is not about training every scenario ad nauseam, it is about learning to put what you have to optimum use in different conditions and knowing when to call it quits.

In my limited experience in SAR, the crews were highly motivated, very intelligent and practiced very good CRM. We were maritime SAR in a mountainous region, so take your pick of scenarios..we trained for many, in the " train hard, fight easy" mindset.

I am confident that the available SAR assets could have saved lives had they been deployed, and that they would have backed off when it became too dangerous. Like Crab said, most likely winching ops as landing on a building that is on fire at night does not sound like a winning plan. Having said that, perhaps a " light on wheels" touchdown might have been feasible; we will never know.
Time to start putting the trust back where it belongs, with the professionals. Procedures only go so far. A sadly missed opportunity and one of the many hard questions that needs to be asked in the aftermath of this drama.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 16:33
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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How about running the winch cable out to its practical limit....."long lining" type of a rescue procedure.

If you worry about dropping someone to their death.....think about the alternative of them burning to death with no rescue attempt made.

We call a fixed length line...."Short Hauling" and practiced that each quarterly training session for the Sheriff's Office Dive Team.

As Crab correctly states....it has been done before in other places.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 16:37
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Folks....read the JB Thread about the Fire.

Short version....Welcome to the Big City with all its attendant problems and issues.

Old buildings, poor Fire Codes, worse enforcement of Fire Safety Requirements, Privatization of Inspections, obsolete design of buildings, lack of emergency evacuation routes and procedures, bad Response Protocols, inability of Fire Equipment to reach the site....the list is a long one.

The Investigation, if done properly, shall be a very nasty review of what is wrong with multiple layers of Bureaucracy, Corruption, Political failure, and lack of proper prior planning and execution of emergency efforts.

Lots of brave people trying to help others in a terrible time....but a disaster that was easily foreseen had anyone really been looking and wanting to do something about preventing it.
SASless, but that costs money!
For any interested, nice video of the 1980 MGM grand hotel fire. See this post by megan.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 17th Jun 2017 at 17:20.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 18:37
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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So what stopped the SAR from self deploying?
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 01:39
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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After watching numerous interviews by witnesses it is clear that many victims could have made it down the stairs, but they were fearful of the smoke.
In particular a guy had prepared a rope made of sheets and had tied his daughter to his back! He said he wasn't going to die not trying to escape. He was on the 14th floor.
https://youtu.be/U8A8KgBV6J4
Fortunately Firemen arrived and told them to run down the stairs.


Whilst it's easy to throw forward alternate scenarios after the event, Fireman did make the call to evacuate, by my esiimates at 1.20 am, but they had no resources and no plan to lead residents down through a smoke filled stairway.


Apparently for around at least two hours (probably for the duration of the entire event) the radient heat on the fourth and fifth level in the stairwell was bearable.
Seems that the smoke extraction was ineffectual.

Even wearing BA, a densely smoke filled environment is a frightening experience, some people will freeze others won't. Once in starwell, navigation is not a problem.
Breathing filters, ogygen generators ect delivered to residents both by firemen climbing stairs and a few on call specialists (SAS?) dropped onto roof is doable using existing tech.

The influential folk working in highrise towers in the City of London are all ears.

Mjb
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 02:55
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
SASless, but that costs money!
For any interested, nice video of the 1980 MGM grand hotel fire. See this post by megan.
Money is no good unless it is spent.
Here it seems the funds were abundantly there, 250 million in reserves and yet a 30 million underspend in the most recent year. No savings was too small, so 5000 pounds which would have allowed fire retardant cladding to be used was disallowed.
Appalling meanness with lethal consequences. There is no technical fix for that.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 05:15
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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A good pilot in anything with a hook on it could place a line, with a cage or scoop net, onto a roof top have people hop in and then fly them down to the ground. Obviously want VFR but as long as you are out of the smoke, and generally smoke doesn't go directly up in these fires, often one side/corner of the building is reasonably clear.

Lots of problems and issues with it, i.e. access to roof top, too many people trying to get in at once etc, however if the building is reasonably stable, you fly one fire fighter/crewman up they coordinate loading people and you get into it.

I would guarantee that a JR or 500 short hauling on a hook, will get more people off the roof faster than any heli out there winching, simply four or five jump into a cage within 30 secs-1 minute they are on the ground and the cage is going up for another load. Obviously a bigger cage under a bigger helicopter would be faster again. Imagine how fast they could get people off a roof 20 at a time under a 92!!

Helicopter goes nowhere near the roof, so less worries about wires, aerials etc.

In a big city with lots of high-rises you wouldn't even need to take them down to ground level, it would be quicker to just fly across the road to the next rooftop, let them off there and coordinate evacuation from that building...
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 10:55
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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"So what stopped the SAR from self deploying?"
In the 60s it was accepted that we could do so and even up to the mid 70s (in Cyprus), however, the heavy hand of the bean counters entered the arena and call-outs for hospital transfers etc. would be billed against the hospitals involved and so it went on. I have been a long time away but I understand that, nowadays, most anything will require 'central' authorisation. 'Crab' will, no doubt, have the correct detail.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 14:07
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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All well and good having an S92 circling outside the block to collect people from the roof, but if you cannot get out your flat door due to the smoke filled stairwell then its completely irrelevant.

Many people have already asked why the NPAS aircraft circled and didn't appear to do anything, (if it was the london cab then it should have been relaying imagery of the fire on the upper floors to the LFB command unit).

Whilst sprinklers may have made a difference, so would smoke hoods....

CM
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 14:07
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
"So what stopped the SAR from self deploying?"
In the 60s it was accepted that we could do so and even up to the mid 70s (in Cyprus), however, the heavy hand of the bean counters entered the arena and call-outs for hospital transfers etc. would be billed against the hospitals involved and so it went on. I have been a long time away but I understand that, nowadays, most anything will require 'central' authorisation. 'Crab' will, no doubt, have the correct detail.
ARCC desk, run by MCA Aviation, at the NMOC, is the tasking authority.


(MCA Aviation's periodic reports, though excellent, do not plot the requesting organisation. Previously, MoD-DASA reports plotted this variable. Most jobs were requested by Coastguard, Police or Ambulance Service. Fire requests, if any, would have appeared under 'other'.)
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 14:09
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Obviously want VFR but as long as you are out of the smoke, and generally smoke doesn't go directly up in these fires, often one side/corner of the building is reasonably clear.
How likely is a flameout in a hover in or near the rising plume?

Mjb
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 14:19
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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So what stopped the SAR from self deploying?
In practical terms because the crew will have been asleep in bed in the wee small hours, not watching TV. The MCA control room could have scrambled them if they had thought it necessary or if they had been asked - chances are neither happened because the MCA are maritime focussed (the clue is in the name) and that the Met police probably have had few dealings with the SAR flight at Lydd and barely know they exist let alone what capabilities they have.

As to costings - the new system may have changed but the only thing SAR billed the NHS for was hospital to hospital transfers - any rescue/medrescue that resulted in a casualty being taken to hospital was always free of charge.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 18:06
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Surely a job for a Billy Pugh on a winch or even the hook - might scare them fartless but I'd guess they'd have preferred the option - and yes maybe they couldn't get to the roof after the fire took hold but surely a muster on the roof before it did would at least be an option.
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 18:53
  #40 (permalink)  
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As everybody is 'all ears' somebody senior at the ARCC or MCA should have a word with somebody senior in the fire service to let them know that tasking is possible.

As has been stated, there are thousands of towers in the U.K. and if this 'once in a lifetime' event should happen again I am sure the crews would want to have a go, at least. It might not have made a difference in this case but it just might have, even for just one or two lives. The tasking authority should have confidence in their 'asset's' professionalism not to add to the casualty list, despite the danger. Risk assessment is what they do on every tasking.
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