Managing a major event in a road tunnel requires more resources than an open-air event. In the case of fire, the confined environment of road tunnels can represent a critical situation for both users and rescuers. The safety level of a tunnel can be estimated by using dedicated risk models that consider, on the one hand, the traffic (type, quantity and distribution) of a tunnel and, on the other hand, the structural and plant safety measures. According to the European Directive, road tunnel managers can adopt additional safety measures aimed at increasing the level of safety for users exposed to the consequences of an accidental event. One of these measures is the rapid intervention of emergency teams located in the proximity of the tunnel. These teams use pick-up and scooter vehicles properly equipped to cope with a fire event and have detailed knowledge of the specific tunnel system. A further advantage of the emergency teams is the possibility of supporting the evacuation of tunnel users by providing indications on emergency exits, bypasses and safe places considering the evolution of the specific event. In this perspective, the present research contributes to the evaluation of the emergency teams’ effectiveness. Thus, the emergency team was included as a safety measure within a risk analysis model for road tunnels developed by the authors in previous works. After an analysis of the technical and scientific literature, we focused on 15 interventions carried out on some highway tunnels in Italy between the year 2019 and the year 2021. The intervention times of the teams were analyzed using data provided by Strada dei Parchi S.p.A., a company that manages 14 highway tunnels in Italy. These 14 tunnels range in length from 589 m to 10,121 m and are subject to the European Directive. The observed intervention times of the emergency teams range between 2 min and 10 min with an average value of 5.9 min. Such a short intervention time is possible because emergency teams are in the proximity of the different tunnels. Because of the short intervention time and the training of the personnel, all the fires were properly managed by the teams. Furthermore, considering the results of the scientific literature and the data presented in this work, it was possible to estimate and validate an effectiveness value (higher than 90%) of the emergency teams to be used within the risk analysis model developed by the authors and which can also be used in other risk analysis models.

Road Tunnels Operation: Effectiveness of Emergency Teams as a Risk Mitigation Measure

F. Borghetti;A. Frassoldati;M. Derudi;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Managing a major event in a road tunnel requires more resources than an open-air event. In the case of fire, the confined environment of road tunnels can represent a critical situation for both users and rescuers. The safety level of a tunnel can be estimated by using dedicated risk models that consider, on the one hand, the traffic (type, quantity and distribution) of a tunnel and, on the other hand, the structural and plant safety measures. According to the European Directive, road tunnel managers can adopt additional safety measures aimed at increasing the level of safety for users exposed to the consequences of an accidental event. One of these measures is the rapid intervention of emergency teams located in the proximity of the tunnel. These teams use pick-up and scooter vehicles properly equipped to cope with a fire event and have detailed knowledge of the specific tunnel system. A further advantage of the emergency teams is the possibility of supporting the evacuation of tunnel users by providing indications on emergency exits, bypasses and safe places considering the evolution of the specific event. In this perspective, the present research contributes to the evaluation of the emergency teams’ effectiveness. Thus, the emergency team was included as a safety measure within a risk analysis model for road tunnels developed by the authors in previous works. After an analysis of the technical and scientific literature, we focused on 15 interventions carried out on some highway tunnels in Italy between the year 2019 and the year 2021. The intervention times of the teams were analyzed using data provided by Strada dei Parchi S.p.A., a company that manages 14 highway tunnels in Italy. These 14 tunnels range in length from 589 m to 10,121 m and are subject to the European Directive. The observed intervention times of the emergency teams range between 2 min and 10 min with an average value of 5.9 min. Such a short intervention time is possible because emergency teams are in the proximity of the different tunnels. Because of the short intervention time and the training of the personnel, all the fires were properly managed by the teams. Furthermore, considering the results of the scientific literature and the data presented in this work, it was possible to estimate and validate an effectiveness value (higher than 90%) of the emergency teams to be used within the risk analysis model developed by the authors and which can also be used in other risk analysis models.
2022
road tunnel, emergency management, emergency team effectiveness, tunnel safety, tunnel resilience, tunnel operation, tunnel accident, fire fighter, highway tunnel
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1224528
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