MIRGA European project bringing together firefighting teams from England, France, Belgium and Holland are set to create jointly formulated Standard Operational Procedures in order to streamline responses to incidents of fire at sea.

The Interreg IV A 2 Seas MIRG-EU project brings together fire-fighting teams from Zeeland (NL), Antwerp, Beveren and Ghent (BE), Calais (FR) and Kent (UK) provide a co-ordinated response to incidents on board ships.

Jointly they establish international, specialist teams called Maritime Incident Response Groups, the fast and effective intervention of these teams in the case of fire or incidents involving hazardous substances prevents victims and evacuations at sea and helps to combat environmental pollution.

Each country supplies its own MIRG team. Together, all the country teams form a single MIRG-EU team. The teams can relieve each other in the case of protracted incidents.
Each partner country normally follows its own national firefighting protocols, uses its own equipment and complies with its own training requirements.

Ahead of the new agreement, project leader Jeroen Zonnevijlle said: "In this international context it is essential that the teams are coordinated. This means they can deal with incidents using the same methods, use interchangeable materials, have the same training and use the same terminology."

On 26 September representatives from all the partners will officially sign these Standard Operational Procedures during a special meeting at the Antwerp fire station.

After the signing ceremony the Antwerp Fire Department will demonstrate the entire MIRG process: from the initial alarm and the arrival at the site of the incident by air, through to the actual fire-fighting activities.

For more information visit www.mirg.eu