16th December 2019

The Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs National Fire Service College (NFSC) Nagpur and leading global insurer, FM Global, have unveiled a new Fixed Firefighting Simulation Zone. The new facility – the first of its kind in India - has been designed to provide hands-on training for trainee firefighters, allowing them to witness first-hand a variety of active fire protection systems and solutions, including automatic sprinklers.

D K Shami, Fire Advisor at Union Ministry of Home Affairs, officially opened the facility in the presence of Dr Louis Gritzo, Vice-President, Manager of Research at FM Global and Dr Christopher Wieczorek, Vice-President, Manager of International Codes and Standards at FM Global along with Dr G S Saini, Director at NFSC.

The opening of the facility coincided with the 5th annual meeting of the Fire Loss Prevention Forum of India (FLPFI). Supporting fire loss prevention education, awareness, training and information sharing at a national level has never been more important. The FLPFI aims to help drive regulatory change and promote best practice by bringing together like-minded organisations to help drive positive change through the development of knowledge share on loss prevention standards and loss prevention technologies to support building resilience in India.

Based on a concept and design by NFSC and with the technical support of FM Global, the fixed firefighting simulation zone consists of three interactive spaces, including automatic fire sprinklers, sprinkler risers, and fire pumps that will facilitate training for fire fighters and fire engineers to learn the functionality and inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire protection systems.

D K Shami commented: “At a visit to FM Global’s research campus in Boston as part of an FLPFI organised knowledge share event, I witnessed their simulation zone in operation. I realised how beneficial it would be to have a similar resource in India as until now we have not had any way of providing training in the use of fixed firefighting systems such as sprinklers. By creating this facility, we are able to provide professional training ensuring that the first time firefighters encounter such systems isn’t in an actual fire scenario but in a controlled, laboratory environment.”

“Understanding how fixed firefighting systems operate is critical for all fire professionals,” added Dr Louis Gritzo. “We are delighted to have been able to provide technical support and guidance to help the NFSC create its own simulation zone to aid the professional development of the firefighting community in India.”

Dr G S Saini commented: “The new state-of-the-art Simulation Zone is one of a kind in India. It is the first Fixed Firefighting facility in the country and will provide vital training for all fire officers and fire protection engineers graduated from the College. It will provide training and necessary critical thinking skills to the fire safety community of India, and ultimately help facility managers to keep the loss prevention equipment in working order.”

Fire and Emergency Services in India are not only involved in firefighting but also in the implementation of fire prevention and protection measures. Understanding active firefighting systems like sprinklers, detectors, hydrants and hose-reels play a vital role in mitigating fire accidents. Dr G S Saini commented: “It is imperative to build competencies through effective training in the operation of fixed firefighting measures. The training facility at NFSC is a major step in that direction.”

The NFSC was established in 1955 and has trained over 10,000 fire officers. The College offers a number of courses, including a Bachelor of Engineering and has a student output of 350 per year.