Canadian Consulting Engineer

New training centres simulate emergencies on board ship

TRAININGThe Canadian Navy is building a new generation of emergency training centres on both the east and west coasts. Elisha Gallup of the Winthrop/ Fowler joint venture in charge of the project says...

May 1, 2000   Canadian Consulting Engineer

TRAINING

The Canadian Navy is building a new generation of emergency training centres on both the east and west coasts. Elisha Gallup of the Winthrop/ Fowler joint venture in charge of the project says the damage control and firefighter centres are the “Cadillacs” of such facilities and will draw international attention when they are completed by the end of this year.

Unlike most training facilities where different fire simulations are carried out in separate buildings, the new centres in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Esquimalt, British Columbia incorporate several fire scenario rooms. The rooms are laid out to replicate a ship, with a galley, engine room, etc. Thus, trainee sailors can be subjected to complex and interrelated disasters as they would be on board ship, facing scenarios such as multiple fires and equipment malfunctions.

While the computer-controlled propane fires generate real heat and smoke conditions, a sophisticated system of sensors and evacuation can restore conditions to normal quickly. Other areas within the building simulate flooding and even nuclear-chemical and biological contamination.

The facilities are also designed to minimize effluents and smoke contamination so that neighbouring communities will not be worried by possible environmental hazards, as has been the case at the existing training centre in B.C.

The prime consultant on both projects is a joint venture between the Winthrop Group of Connecticut and Fowler Bauld Mitchell Architects of Halifax. International Code Services of Aurora, Ontario designed and built the fire training systems. Morris & Richard of Halifax are the mechanical and electrical consulting engineers for fire protection and plumbing. Mansour & Associates of Ottawa is the mechanical engineer for ventilation systems and Herold Engineering of Nanaimo, B.C. is structural engineer. Other firms involved are O’Halloran Campbell of Halifax, Pomeroy Engineering of Burnaby, B.C., Graham /Mathiasen Architects of Chilliwack, B.C., and Hanscomb Consultants of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.


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