The McMurdo Station, a research outpost located in the southern part of Antarctica, made headlines this month after a U.S. expedition member suffered a medical emergency and was evacuted by a New Zealand medical team.
According to ABC News, the patient's condition was such that the medical team at McMurdo needed additional help, and the New Zealand team braved the harrowing flight to the bottom of the world, which is in the middle of a six-month winter season.
The story brings to mind a feature in NFPA Journal, which describes how fire safety concerns are taken very seriously at the facility. A number of NFPA codes and standards are used to safeguard the station, which includes (rather surprisingly) three bars, a barbarshop, a chapel, a fitness center, and a library.
Here's a snippet of the story, authored by Carol Fey:
Fire safety is a constant concern. Some of McMurdo’s buildings date from the 1950s and are constructed of wood — they were intended as temporary buildings, but have been modified to be permanent — and are situated close together, creating the risk of fire spreading, whipped by the relentless wind. All employees receive ongoing safety training. At the station, all employees are required to attend weekly safety meetings, where fire prevention and extinguisher operation are often on the agenda. No open flame is permitted in any building, including the chapel. Collection boxes are available at the beginning of each season so that personnel can turn in any fire-related contraband. Smoking is permitted only in designated, ventilated metal buildings. A special permit is required for work such as welding.
Discover other interesting aspects of the McMurdo Station by reading the feature in NFPA Journal.