To ensure optimum fire safety, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has its own fire brigade. Under normal circumstances, the airport's fire service can get to the scene of an aviation incident within three minutes of it being reported, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Fighting aircraft fires is a specialist task. There are many flammable substances, and the airport naturally prioritises the safety of passengers and staff. The fire service must therefore reach incidents extremely quickly, with all the right equipment. In order to guarantee this rapid response, there are three fire stations at the airport: Post Sloten, Post Rijk and Post Vijfhuizen. This allows the 'crash tenders' to reach all the runways within three minutes.
Each fire station has three crash tenders with a total of:
- 100,000 litres of water;
- 7,000 litres of foam;
- over 2,000 kilos of powder.
A different fire every day in the FireFly aircraft fire trainer
Schiphol's fire service has a very special aircraft fire trainer: the FireFly. The FireFly is a combination of three aircraft types: a Boeing 747, a DC10 and a Boeing 767. The exterior of the FireFly can be set on fire with three engine and landing gear fires, a broken wing fire or a large-scale surface fire measuring almost 860 m². Twelve separate fires can be lit inside the FireFly, making it possible to simulate various incidents effectively.
During the exercises, Schiphol's fire service uses propane to reduce the environmental impact. Another environmentally beneficial measure: the water used to extinguish the fires is recovered and reused for cooling the fuselage.
The FireFly is an extremely good training location, and even colleagues from foreign fire services come to Schiphol for training and education.