Tunnel Exercise with Easy 3000

On April 27th, 2011 Leader North America had the opportunity to work with the City of New York Fire Department (FDNY) in a training exercise in an abandoned tunnel. The FDNY US&R Team traveled from New York City to the Center for National Response (CNR) on the border between Virginia and West Virginia. Here they conducted advanced Search/Rescue Training. (Information about the training site can be viewed here.)

The training scenario involved a “dirty bomb” explosion in a New York City Subway collapsing part of the tunnel on to train cars and pedestrians. Extrication equipment including gasoline powered cutting saws and core drilling machines were operated inside the confines of the tunnel. Also service trucks and “Gator” four wheel drive vehicles were used to transport manpower and equipment deep into and out of the tunnel. These motorized pieces of equipment caused dust, debris, and obviously Carbon Monoxide to accumulate in the tunnel in high concentration.

The tunnel’s built-in exhaust fans were disabled or not working at full capacity and were presumed to have been damaged in the explosion. Therefore other means of ventilation of the tunnel atmosphere was badly needed.

The Leader Easy 3000 Large Flow Ventilator was brought in to ventilate the tunnel. The unit was towed to the training site by a Dodge minivan and once unhooked from the vehicle was moved easily into its position by two firefighters.

From the photos you can see that the Easy 3000 was set back over 40 feet away from the tunnel opening and out of the way of Gators and other vehicles entering and leaving the staging area and the tunnel.

Three exhaust hoses were attached to the Easy 3000 carrying the exhaust 30 feet away down-wind from the fan’s intake. CO measurements taken at the mouth of the tunnel failed to register any CO levels going into the tunnel coming from the Easy 3000. The exhaust hoses did their job!

Immediately when Gasoline Powered Saws were cranked inside the tunnel, concentrations of CO reached the 80 parts per million levels near the work site and continued to climb from there. The Easy 3000 was cranked and within less than one minute CO levels throughout the tunnel dropped to below 30ppm and never got above this while the fan was running. Also, floating dust and debris were carried away from the work sites by the “breeze” created by the Easy 3000.

The exercise ran throughout the day and all night long. The Easy 3000 was cranked and re-cranked several times by quickly trained operators as new crews were dispatched into the tunnel for different training evolutions. The result was always the same: high CO levels reduced to acceptable levels and hot air temperature inside the tunnel dropping to the ambient temperature of the outside air pushed through the tunnel by the Easy 3000.

The event was witnessed by some of the top officers of FDNY, all of which were impressed by the Easy 3000′s “one man” maneuverability, high air movement performance in volume and pressure, and ease of operation overall.

Click here to see a video of the Easy 3000 in operation.

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