b'18 YTZENVIRONMENTALYou also may have to reapply [fluorine-free foam] more often than you would with AFFF, adds Smith. We had to train our firefighters in application. Training can be difficult because there is always an environmental concern, even with fluorine-free products; and there is always a cost. But we need to ensure firefighters understand the process of foam application. Recommendations for SuccessWith the switch to fluorine-free complete at YTZ, Smith has one key suggestion for other airports: Build a transition team that includes the foam manufacturer, vehicle manufacturer and internal resources. YTZ mechanics and technical staff from Oshkosh Airport Products and Perimeter Solutions were all part of my technical support team, and they were a huge asset throughout the transition, The foam manufacturer, truck manufacturer and internal staff were all key to the airports transition.says Smith, noting that the group worked together for over five months. You will need documentation from the other common disposal methods forWhatever process is used, its vital tosupplierand you will need support from airports are incineration and deep welluse personal protective equipment. Ithe truck manufacturer for all physical injection. made sure our firefighters were wearingtesting, he elaborates. The testing we did Smith verified PFAS levels in the rinsegloves, masks, eye protection, and Tyvekwith Oshkosh Airport Products made me water were at acceptable levels bysuits because PFAS poses a great risk tofeel confident that the product was going overnighting a frozen sample to SGSpersonal health.to work for Billy Bishop Airport [YTZ].Analytical for analysis.Another important objective wasBermingham notes that Oshkosh Siem notes that the ridges, pocketscontinuing to meet airport categoryAirport Products does not make specific and crannies inside ARFF trucks makerequirements during foam transition andrecommendations for processes or agents it inherently difficult to remove all tracestesting. to ensure a vehicle is clean, but its internal of PFAS. The entire system needs to beexperts and network of local service rinsed many times to achieve the levelsTraining Needs providers are available to help modify the government considers safe, he adds.Switching to fluorine-free foam requiresARFF trucks and assist with fluorine-free firefighters to adjust their applicationfoam selection. In 2022, the Environmental Protectionmethods, notes Siem.Agency updated its lifetime health advisorySmith emphasizes that YTZ could levels for PFAS chemicals in AFFF. ForWhen using AFFF, firefighters oftennot have made the switch successfully perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), thebuild up a blanket of foam next to a fire,without a great team of mechanics on recommendation is now 0.004 parts perthen push it into the fire. Another commonstaff. We had to modify the trucks trillion; for perfluorooctanesulfonic acidmethod is to push foam at the aircraft andand make sure we were compliant with (PFOS), it is 0.02 parts per trillion. Althoughlet it bounce off and land on the burning fuelall Transport Canada regulations, he the Environmental Protection Agency is aunderneath. Sometimes, foam is shot intoexplains. We had to make sure we had U.S. agency, it implements environmentalthe air so it can land on a burning surface.a third vehicle and were ready for service. agreements and cooperative frameworksFluorine-free foams should not beOur mechanics played a tremendous role with Canada and Mexico.applied directly and/or forcefully onto ain that process. There are a lot of different processessurface, Siem advises. He recommendsIn short, the transition to more and cleansing chemicals you could usethe DFW Fire Training Research Centersenvironmentally friendly firefighting foam to cleanse your vehicle today than werepreferred method: building up foam inrequired the right partnerships, products available when I did this, Smith advises.front of the fire, then changing the nozzleand people. pattern to spread the foam out.October 2023AirportImprovement.com'