Successful final demonstration of the FIREM project

On Thursday May 28, a final demonstration of the project Fire Rescue in Mines (FIREM) was conducted in Luleå, in northern Sweden. Behind the project are Robotdalen and Mälardalen University, together with Boliden Mineral AB, Cold Cut Systems AB, Luleå University of Technology, Volvo Construction Equipment AB and Örebro University.

- There are already a large amount of work utility vehicles in and around a mine. The goal of the FIREM project is to investigate whether, by combining modern extinguishing technology with an existing remote-controlled wheel loader, it is possible transform this vehicle into a firefighting unit that can rapidly begin a firefighting effort without endangering the safety of the on-site response personnel. Additional positive side effects are reduced response times and increased ability to quickly evacuate mining personnel, says Lennart Karlsson, Robotdalen’s representative and project manager for FIREM.

Lennart Karlsson, Robotdalen

The mining industry in Sweden has a central role in the overall mining industry in Europe and currently employs approximately 10 000 people. The production rate and pace of development is high and in order to become even more efficient, the mining industry investigates various opportunities for automation of activities, such as with remote-controlled vehicles. The combination of human and vehicle puts high demands on security. There are many risks associated with working underground and all incidents can have devastating consequences due to confined spaces and inaccessible means of escape.

- Safety is imperative for us at Boliden. This kind of remote-controlled fire extinguishing equipment enables us to begin a firefighting effort without risking human lives. This means that we can further increase security at our facilities, says Ulf Marklund, development engineer at Boliden and one of the project participants in FIREM.

Thus, the project, financed by VINNOVA, aims to lead to a safer environment for those working in the mine as well as the on-site response personnel. Further project ambitions are; a more efficient use of the work utility vehicles for the mining companies, less downtime and a more effective fire prevention. The FIREM methodology could also be used in environments other than mines.

At the final demonstration, a simulation of a remote-controlled fire extinguishing response took place in an industrial park in Luleå, under the supervision and help of Luleå firefighters. 

Below is a movie from the final demonstration.




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