FIRE FIGHTING AND SEARCH & RESCUE TECHNIQUES Training with the Istanbul Fire Department

АКОМ Disaster Coordination Center

My condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. I wish success for the rescuers in their selfless efforts. Тhe Municipality of Burgas sent me on a mission with the support of the Bourgas and Karnobat Fire Department to share know-how that can benefit our SAR society and the Balkan Cities Network.

АКОМ Disaster Coordination Center

Here is our discussion with Mr. Remzi Albayarak, Head of Istanbul Fire Department, regarding high-rescue in Turkey, Dubai, Greece and Bulgaria. It was an amazing experience and thanks for the great and warm hospitality provided by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul Fire Department for the “FIREFIGHING and SEARCH & RESCUE TECHNICUES” held in the Istanbul Fire Training Center. I am now waiting for any moment for the call back to go to assist in Urban SAR with the next shift of Bulgarian rescuers.


Fire and Air Rescue Challenges

Ivan Kristoff: There’s been a lot of discussion about fire rescue, particularly air fire rescue like in Dubai. Given the proximity to the beach and the need for various types of helicopters for sea rescues, can you elaborate on the different equipment used for these operations?

Remzi Albayarak: Sure. The helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft used to extinguish fires at sea and in forests are quite different from those used in residential areas. For example, the helicopters used in residential areas need to be equipped with a water cannon at the front. This allows them to spray water with a pressure of about 50 or 60 meters. These helicopters also have a container or reservoir that can hold three to four tons of water, which they can release gradually in stages – maybe a quarter, half, or third of the reservoir at a time.

Ivan Kristoff: That’s interesting. So, for larger fires, like the one in Bulgaria where you needed the Russian SU-26, what’s the benefit of using such a large aircraft?

Remzi Albayarak: The SU-26 is a large airplane that can carry more water than the bamboo system you mentioned for helicopters. In situations with massive fires, especially during the summer, having an aircraft that can transport a large amount of water is crucial. For instance, in Turkey, the Ministry of Forestry rented 29 helicopters and about 15 planes to extinguish fires. This ensured they had enough resources to tackle the blaze effectively.

Ivan Kristoff: Wow, that’s impressive. How about high-rise rescue operations, like those needed in tall buildings? For example, in Dubai, there was a massive fire where the flames reached up to 20 stories high. How do helicopters handle such challenges?

Remzi Albayarak: High-rise rescues present unique challenges. At heights of around 200 meters, you can see the buildings clearly, but beyond that, it becomes difficult. For these operations, we rely on experts who understand the specific requirements. We usually rent the necessary equipment and personnel and let the experts carry out the mission within the established guidelines.

Ivan Kristoff:

Remzi Albayarakra: Absolutely. It’s crucial to have the right expertise and equipment to ensure the safety and effectiveness of rescue operations.

Моите съболезнования на жертвите на земетресението в Турция и Сирия. Пожелавам успех на спасителите в техните безкористни усилия. Ето нашата дискусия с г-н Ремзи Албаярак, ръководител на пожарната служба в Истанбул, относно височинно, спасителните операции в Турция, Дубай, Гърция и България. Беше невероятно изживяване и благодаря за съдействието на Община Бургас, и страхотното и топло гостоприемство от Столичната община на Истанбул и Пожарната служба на Истанбул за „ПОЖАРНА ТЕХНИКА и ТЕХНИКИ ЗА ТЪРСЕНЕ И СПАСЯВАНЕ“, проведено в Истанбулския център за обучение по пожарна безопасност. Сега чакам всеки момент да ми се обадят, за да отида да помогна в следващата смяна български спасители.