Tactics and methods utilized in fire during ground

A subway train fire in a tunnel. How should the rescue operation be conducted in an efficient way? The purpose of this research project is to develop tactics and methods that can improve rescue operations in buildings below ground, such as tunnels and underground stations.

Project name: Tactics and methods utilized in fire during ground

Research specialisation: Future Energy Center

Primary funding organisation(s): Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency

Secondary funding organisation(s): SP, Faculty of Engineering (LTH) at Lund University, The Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade and Borås Fire Brigade

Co-operating/Co-production partners: SP, Faculty of Engineering (LTH) at Lund University, The Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade and Borås Fire Brigade

Project leader: Mia Kumm, Licentiate of Engineering with Specialization in Fire Technology, Mälardalen University

Project start date: 2012-01-01

Project end date: 2014-12-31

Funding: 5.8 million SEK

Description of the project

Underground structures are often part of the critical infrastructure that rarely withstands long interruptions. This in turn places stringent requirements on the emergency service’s knowledge of and ability to conduct rescue operations under ground.

The tactics and methods used in fires in buildings above ground are not always adequate when an emergency occurs below ground. An example that shows how difficult rescue operations are in complex structures below ground is the fire in a subway train in Rinkeby subway station in Stockholm on 16 May 2005. After an analysis of the accident, the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority instructed the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency to develop tactical rescue operation planning for metro stations.

The project intends to clearly illustrate how the local emergency services in an effective way, can plan and carry out rescue operations underground . Methods that facilitate the choice of tactics based on available resources should be developed for different building types. The project will study the emergency services in metropolitan areas as well as in smaller municipalities with part time employees.