In the harbour of Rotterdam you will find the unique and realistic training centre of RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy. Public and industrial firefighters from all over the world come to this centre to train as they fight.
History and organisation
RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy was first established in 1985 under the name of Rotterdam International Safety Center (RISC). Together with Nutec, it became part of the Falck organisation in 2004, and RISC was later renamed as Falck Fire Academy. In 2019, the academy’s name was changed to RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy.
RelyOn Nutec is an international organisation that specialises in preparing people and companies to operate safely. They offer advice, education and training courses to emergency services, industrial and municipal fire brigades, and professionals from the offshore, maritime and wind energy industries. Jointly with their customers, they have already been looking after the safety of their customers’ workforce for more than 35 years.
Unique and realistic training facilities and incident scenarios
At the 6.5-hectare training centre we offer realistic industrial process installations, both in open and enclosed structures, a large storage tank including a bund area and a (un)loading area. For interior firefighting, we have several simulators where carbonaceous fuels are used to simulate real-life situations. Because emergency services are increasingly involved in incidents with hazardous goods, our hazardous materials training area has become an important component at our centre.
To offer delegates realistic training scenarios, it’s important that the delegates can train with various types of fuel such as hydrocarbon liquids, propane (liquid and gas) and solid carbonaceous fires, and therefore, many clients for this reason like to train with us. In addition, delegates can train with the correct extinguishing agents and products.
Due to the realistic set-up of our training centre and the extensive possibilities, customers come to our training centre to test their new vehicles and/or extinguishing agents. They can manoeuvre through the challenging narrow access between various training units or try their extinguishing agents at one of our training units.
At the design phase of our facility back in 2018 we consulted our customers regarding the wishes in training in the coming times. Many of those suggestions were incorporated in the finished design, such as a logical process layout to simulate process operations combined with fire brigade activities and linking our seven process units with each other with pipe bridges to simulate product leakages from high angles. In general the simulators have between 15 and 25 fuel releases, which can give many differing realistic possibilities.
At all simulators we can provide basic training such as cooling and extinguishing techniques, but we are also able to create scenarios for first responders up to multi-agency escalating incidents. This way we can train at operational, tactical and strategic levels combining the actions of process control with those of the fire brigade.
The 15m-high atmospheric storage tank at our tank storage area is surrounded with a realistic tank bund. We can create rim seal or full surface tank fires for fixed or mobile attack and scenarios in the bund from small flange leaks to large scale 120m2 spill fire.
The last decade insights into safe fire operations and knowledge regarding fire behaviour have changed significantly. We have adapted our interior fire simulators to those new insights and training needs for (public) fire services. To be able to simulate fire development under realistic circumstances we use different types of carbonaceous combustibles and in our dedicated fire-behaviour simulators we teach delegates the characteristics of fire behaviour and up-to-date interior firefighting techniques.
For more complex team exercises, we offer multi-storey indoor fire objects with realistic indoor fire simulations.
LNG safety training
At the RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy training centre there is the opportunity to participate in unique real live LNG fire demonstrations. The training facility consists of a 10m3 LNG storage tank, which feeds the various training simulators. The installation has a number of safety provisions that meet the latest safety requirements. During the exercises boil-off gas (BOG) is released that creates relatively large clouds of flammable gas. The LNG fire ground alone already covers 400m2 and has a round fire pit of 3.8m2 in the middle.
In the engineering of the LNG installation, RelyOn Nutec took into account the wishes of customers and focused on practical objectives for the emergency response teams and people who work with LNG in their installation, such as those on board of LNG-driven ships. At the first LNG facility developed in 2014, it was only possible to simulate an LNG pool evaporation. With the new facility it is also possible to connect an LNG hose with fittings to simulate an LNG flange leak with a possible 2-phase Jet Fire and the operation and release of a Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) and Thermal Expansion Relief Valve (TRV), but also sealing a flange leak is possible.
Options for local training
The training courses are not just held at the training centre in the Netherlands. RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy can also provide a whole range of training courses at other locations, globally. In some cases it’s more cost efficient to conduct the training at your own location. This can also contribute to an even more realistic training experience as the delegates will train in their own environment and use their own equipment.
The options will depend on the objectives to be achieved. Skill-based and procedure-based training courses, special equipment operator courses can all be successfully provided on-site/at your location without hindering your normal operations.
RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy also has a range of model demonstrations, which include a miniature storage tank park, hydrocarbon and hydrogen gas behaviour tables, foam laboratory and a table to demonstrate water-cooling techniques. The tables are designed to enhance the learning experience, bridging the gap between the theory and the reality. The tables can be incorporated within a training programme at our training facility or in certain circumstances can be transported for use at the customer’s location.
Customised training courses
The quality of the company’s emergency response organisation is mainly determined by the competencies of its members. They must have the correct set of skills and be fully prepared for your company’s specific incident scenarios.
Your organisation must be certain that these individuals know what to do in an emergency so that they save lives, protect their assets and protect the environment in a safe manner.
Based on credible scenarios for your organisation and scope of responsibilities for their responders, RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy develops identifiable, realistic and tailor-made training programmes. These are based as much as possible to match your own working environment and activities, for all the various levels within your emergency response organisation, from first responders, fire teams, Incident Commanders and Crisis Management Teams.
E-learning and adaptive learning
During the Covid-19 pandemic many emergency response organisations faced the challenge to maintain their required competence levels as most of their training programmes were put on hold or even cancelled.
To prevent a degradation in competences e-learning programmes and webinars made their appearance. Our newly formed digital division has developed e-learning programmes to meet the challenge of building and maintaining competencies. RelyOn Nutec and Area9 joined forces to provide a personalised learning experience called adaptive learning.
Adaptive learning is a technology-based approach to learning. It combines theories of optimal learning with the capabilities of algorithms and computers. The study material simply adapts to the learner, ensuring that time is spent on the subjects that need the most attention. This significantly boosts the efficiency of the learning process. At the same time, the process reveals blind spots, perhaps unknown to the learner, that are important to address – e.g. safety protocol and response.
For more information, go to www.relyonnutec-fireacademy.com