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So once again we ran across an article about firefighters having trouble extinguishing fires that occur in metal buildings. This one particular story comes out of Williamsburg, Indiana at a barn to be specific. There is a clear opportunity here for the metal construction industry and firefighting associations to discuss the difficulties and how they can help each other. 
So why isn’t it happening? We don’t want to call the firefighters an industry but there must be an association that represents them that could quite possibly talk to the Metal Construction Association about these issues. Think about it one is an expert in putting out fires and the other an expert in building with metal. So why? Is it because there is no financial gain for either or is it because the problem hasn’t been addressed before? It may be a combination of both or neither. Our first objective in the metal construction industry should be safety, sometimes we may look at how quickly we can put the structure up and forget about human errors and how natural disasters might affect the structure.
Does anyone have an answer to this gripping issue? We covered a story months back about firefighters and their troubles in fighting fires in metal built structures so why is it months later we have no resolution or discussion even being started? Is it possible that METALCON may be the avenue to start this education process for both associations?
Anyhow if you’d like to read the story about the fire please click here.

2 Comments

  1. The IAFF (International Association of Firefighters) may be a good place to start. This organization is responsible for most fire fighters and paramedics across the US and Canada. Although I am not personally a member of the organization, i have been a volunteer firefighter for over 14 years. During this time, I have fought numerous fires involving metal roofs over wood frame structures and entirely metal structures. I feel education for firefighters and the MCA is imperative to moving this conversation further toward action that would benefit both associations. Keep in mind that this article calls out only one very specific incident and that the Chief indicated that the contents of the building posed an equal hazard to the structure type. Metal poses a special set of circumstances for responders, but with proper training and preparation, it can be dealt with just like any other challenges.

    • Jonathan thanks for responding. Maybe it is possible you could talk about the challenges that firefighters face specifically in fires in metal structures. At that point we might be able to have the MCA address it together with the IAFF

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