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Hampton Roads Marine Firefighting Symposium

“Industrial Emergency Services (IES) and Ardent (formerly Svitzer Salvage) again participated in the recent Hampton Roads Marine Firefighting Symposium. The two have supported the annual event since developing a program in which IES provides marine firefighting support for Ardent’s salvage efforts under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.”

This Marine Firefighting Symposium is the premier marine-focused firefighting course presented in the United States, bringing students from around the globe together to learn how to manage a marine incident and overcome challenges unique to a water-borne emergency. The experience is designed to familiarize land-based firefighters and maritime personnel with procedures necessary to handle various marine incidents within port or in open waterways. The course meets National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 1005 “Professional Qualifications for Marine Firefighting for Land-Based Firefighters.” Students may also receive certification as Marine Firefighters if course prerequisites are met.

Course topics include the following:

  • Vessel construction
  • Vessel Safety
  • Firefighting tactics
  • Incident management procedures
  • Vessel and terminal operations
  • Vessel firefighting systems
  • Legal issues
  • Live firefighting evolutions
  • Waterborne exercises
  • Vessel tours
  • Case studies
  • Contingency planning

A unique live component of this course is the final practical exercise that sees firefighters respond to a ship fire in the James River utilizing vessels of opportunity. All equipment and personnel needed offshore must be loaded on vessels, brought to the location and offloaded for deployment. What may be simple for a fire at the pier now becomes a logistical challenge.

IES is proud to be a participant in this program on its 25th anniversary, and looks forward to continuing a working relationship between ARDENT, IES, and the Hampton Roads MIRT. This commitment allows for the Hampton Roads Maritime Incident Response Team (MIRT) to provide incident support to Ardent/IES marine operations, while IES/Ardent dedicates its support to this marine firefighting symposium by providing five students and two instructors to the symposium annually.

For further information on this symposium, please contact Bill Burket, MIRT Director at



IES Marine Response Training

Students debriefing after engine room fire scenario


IES Marine Response Training

Students receiving instruction on foam trailers used in marine firefighting by IES instructor


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