Fire Education Takes Cambridge Firefighter to Faraway Destination to Assist

10/30/201310 years ago

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DFC Frank Murphy in Qatar

The first week in October is designated Fire Prevention Week in the United States. During this week, fire departments across the country conduct open houses and have displays of their firefighting equipment. Many also provide safety tips and give demonstrations on handling fires and using fire extinguishers.

One member of the Cambridge Fire Department went out of his way during this year's Fire Prevention Week because of a 2012 devastating fire in the Villagio Mall in Doha, Qatar, where 17 people were killed during a fire that broke out in the daycare center located in that facility.  Most of the victims were children. After that fire, the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, proclaimed that would never be allowed to happen again in his country.

The Ministry of Civil Defence (sic) was charged with identifying the best practices using modern or futuristic technology and implementing them immediately. Qatari officials looked to the United States seeking individuals willing to come to Qatar and provide ideas, demonstrations and training of theses best techniques. That's where Cambridge's Deputy Fire Chief Frank Murphy comes in. He had previously traveled to Turkey in 2011 and worked with the Turkish Government in a collaboration and exchange of ideas about firefighting. Deputy Murphy, along with several other Boston area firefighters, is part of the Boston Fire Services Group that promotes the use of Cold Fire, and similar "green" non-toxic, environmentally safe products.  Cold Fire is a SNAP product identified by the US EPA as a "Significantly New Alternative Product."  It is a fire extinguishing agent that is a Universal Extinguishing Agent that can be used on all Class of Fires, A, B, D and K. It's the only product to date that is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and safe for use on all non-electrical fires. Once applied, anything it comes in contact with is drastically cooled and it prevents re-ignition. It has been used outside of New England, in many states across the country, as well as worldwide, for almost 20 years. It is especially useful in arid climates and rural areas because it's usage drastically reduces the need for large amounts of water, a scarce resource in these areas.

Photo: Deputy Murphy with the new recruits from the Doha Fire Department and an instructor.