The Aéroports de Montréal Fire Service (ADMFS), along with all other airport fire departments across Canada, must comply with strict federal regulations concerning emergency response procedures and equipment.
Did you know, for example, that ADM firefighters must be able to respond to an emergency anywhere on airport property within three minutes? This is made possible through regular training and the use of high-quality equipment.
The ADMFS comprises some 45 firefighters. Each of the two airports – Montréal–Trudeau and Montréal–Mirabel – has its own fire station, strategically located next to the runways. Each station has four teams of firefighters, working in shifts to provide protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The ADMFS has its own training centre where aircraft fires can be simulated. The centre is located at Montréal–Mirabel, in an area of the airport safely removed from regular operations and urban areas.
The training centre includes:
- a full-size aircraft mock-up
- a burn area
- a fuel system
- a system for capturing waste run-off using membrane technology
The ADMFS maintains a fleet of vehicles specially designed for fighting aircraft fires, including an Oshkosh Striker 4500. This 43-ton juggernaut is unequalled when it comes to dealing with burning aircraft.
Only one person is required to operate the Striker’s state-of-the-art equipment, including:
- an articulated arm with a vertical reach of 15 metres
- a water cannon able to spray 4,500 litres per minute
- a titanium nozzle able to pierce the fuselage of any aircraft
In addition to fighting fires, the ADMFS is also involved in several other aspects of airport safety, such as:
In cases of fuel or contaminant spills, firefighters are called in to secure the area, contain the contaminant and remove it as promptly as possible.
A program is in place to prevent the incidence of fires or contaminant spills. Through regular inspections of facilities and equipment, potentially dangerous situations can be identified and quickly remedied.
Lastly, the ADMFS is responsible for managing wildlife on airport property. Of primary concern are birds, which can collide with aircraft. The firefighters are assisted in this work by a team of professional falconers, who use birds of prey and various pyrotechnic devices to manage the situation.