USS Warrior holds Fire, Man-Down Drills during DSRA
U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) Detachment Sasebo successfully conducted a fire drill and a man-down drill on the Avenger-class Mine Countermeasures Ship USS Warrior (MCM 10).
Recently docked by SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo for her first Docking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) since forward-deploying to Fleet Activities Sasebo in February of 2013, Warrior is a part of U.S. 7th Fleet’s Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF).
According to James Whalen, safety and environmental manager at SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo, U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) released a new fire safety and prevention manual for all ship repair and construction activities, Feb. 6. The manual integrates existing shipboard fire safety requirements with lessons learned from the major fire that occurred in USS Miami (SSN 755) at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 2012.
“Dry dock is a high-hazard working environment,” said Whalen. “This requires SRF-JRMC to plan and practice both a fire drill and a man-down drill to ensure the Commander, Navy Region Japan (CNRJ) Regional Fire Department, ship’s force, SRF-JRMC Detachment employees, and contractors fully understand emergency procedures in the event of a fire or other types of emergency.”
SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo Safety Office, USS Warrior Sailors and CNRJ Fire and Emergency Service planned and conducted a very successful fire drill and man-down drill. For the man-down drill, Sasebo portal crane was used to retrieve and evacuate a simulated injured person from the floor of the dry dock to the pier.
Chihiro Iwasaki, a safety manager at SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo, observed people’s actions and performances during the drill. “This time the ship’s Sailors took the lead during the drill. I think everything went well, following the processes of the new fire safety and prevention manual,” said Iwasaki.
According to the Safety and Environmental Office at SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo, the new manual provides a policy on proper safety procedures for hot work during an industrial availability, handling of flammable and combustible materials, and fire prevention and safety inspections. Every ship repair and construction activity will be required to perform an annual fire drill to test its full fire response plan and emergency response capability. These drills will provide a forum for each activity to validate the effectiveness of their local plan.
According to Whalen, it is important that the shipyards and maintenance activities implement the requirements judiciously.
“Since the manual covers all ship availabilities, it provides tiered risk mitigations based on the amount and complexity of the work being performed. It provides the flexibility to address unique and challenging situations. Commands are empowered to address specific circumstances and determine how to apply the requirements for each ship’s availability,” said Whalen.
To successfully conduct the annual fire drill, CNRJ Regional Fire Department Sasebo Detachment, ship’s force, SRF-JRMC Detachment employees, and contractors must work together as a team, with well-organized mutual communication, to plan the fire drill and implement it safely. “SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo work, especially in the dry dock, can be dangerous, requiring every employee to be observant and aware of his or her environment at all times,” said Whalen. “Whenever a short cut is taken or a standard is violated, it raises the risk factor to a higher level. Therefore we need to look out for individual safety and the safety of our co-workers. Safety is a team effort.”