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Basic and Advanced Firefighting Courses under STCW for Seafarers and Designated Personnel Ashore
Maritime firefighting skills are essential to the seafarer and training is a compulsory requirement to raise awareness on fires on seagoing vessels and increase safety in the event of a shipboard fire. Shipboard fires can occur in any environment. The principal causes of fires at sea on vessels are accidents, collisions, mechanical failure in engines and cargoes catching fire. Fire hazards associated with shipboard fire varies widely and depends on the risks of accidents, combustibility of the materials used in structures, the types of cargoes carried in ships etc.
The primary focus of the STCW Marine Firefighting training programs provide both officers and crew with the knowledge and skills to confidently deal with fires on board a ship. The training increases crew and passenger safety and reduces the potentially serious incidents. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 includes detailed fire safety provisions for all ships and specific measures for passenger ships, cargo ships and tankers.
Also anyone who owns or operates a boat needs a basic understanding of marine firefighting and the regulations under IMO, STCW, and local administrations have clearly defined training standards and requirements for seafarers onboard and also deputed personnel working ashore.
STCW Fire Fighting Courses
- Fire Prevention and Fire-Fighting (1 day course): This course provides mandatory minimum training in fire prevention and fire fighting and is based on the provisions of table A-VI/1-2 of the STCW Code. It deals with the precautions needed to minimize the risk of fires, how fires are caused and how to extinguish them. Participants must be fit and able to complete all aspects of training since this is a physically demanding course and they are required to complete a medical declaration prior to the commencement of the course. Upon successful completion, all candidates are issued with a local administration approved STCW Fire Fighting & Fire Prevention certificate. The course is included in the STCW Basic Safety Training (BST).
- Advanced Training in Fire Fighting (4-5 day course): This course covers training in fire fighting and is based on the provisions of table A-VI/3 of the STCW Code. This course is for deck and engineering officers who wish to qualify for a Certificate of Competency and crew who are designated to control fire fighting operations. Participants are exposed to different fire scenarios where they apply their training and use firefighting equipment. A variety of practical exercises involving fighting fires of different types and intensity are generally included. All participants must be in possession of a valid seafarer medical certificate issued by an approved medical practitioner and show evidence of attending STCW Basic Training.
- Under the new STCW 2010 requirements: See below
- Validity (All Certificates): 5 years
- Refresher (All Certificates): Every 5 years
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS UNDER STCW 2010
- Training may take the form of e-learning, shipboard drills and training or shore based training
- Following courses require refresher training every five years: Fire Prevention and Fire-Fighting, and Advanced Training in Fire Fighting