Semiconductor fabs often use a large variety of gases and chemicals while clean rooms tend to be large, enclosed spaces, leading to higher risk of fires. Fire prevention measures used in these facilities also differ from those traditionally employed. In April 1999, UMC established a high tech Fire Brigade under the Group Risk Management & Environmental, Safety and Health Division, making us the only electronics company with a dedicated fire brigade in Taiwan. The Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) Fire Brigade of UMC was officially founded in 2013, which is responsible for safeguarding and performing emergency rescues within the STSP plant sites.
Fire fighters in the Brigade serve 2-year terms, with the 9th cohort serving the term of 2015-2016. Personnel composition included 13 full-time fire fighters and 93 members delegated to specific tasks. Most fire fighters and members of the Brigade are holders of Master's degrees and skilled in semiconductor processes, making the UMC Fire Brigade the best educated firefighting team in Taiwan.
Professional Skill Training
Professional firefighting training: Training themes focus on basic orientation training for new recruits, which would then be followed by strategy and tactical training. Every new member must undergo professional disaster relief training and examination which would include professional disaster rescue for simulated fires and response skills to oxidation disasters. In order to improve and maintain firefighting skills and professional competencies of Brigade members, practical training and exercises were carried out regularly every month in order to improve disaster response abilities. During their term in the UMC Fire Brigade, members would participate in both organizational and external rescue missions.
Emergency response training for fellow employees: UMC also organizes emergency response training for the entire company to educate and improve employees’ knowledge of safety, protection, and emergency response skills. Practical exercises and examinations including various training courses, building safety evacuation drills, and unannounced day-time / night-time / theme-based fire drills were implemented to establish the concepts of fire prevention, fire safety, and disaster response within the minds of every employee.
In addition, an “ERT Competition” Activity was held during UMC’s Work Safety Environmental Protection Month in every year. Through the participation of games and competition involving emergency response skills, these skills were significantly improved among employees.
Advanced Rescue Equipment
The UMC fire brigade is among the top fire brigades in Taiwan in terms of its equipment and training. The UMC fire brigade is equipped with thermal vision helmets, which enable fire fighters to rapidly search for and extinguish the source of fire in a smoked-filled room. Moreover, UMC also adopts an internally developed mobile spray sprinkler system in its cleanrooms and high-risk areas. This system possesses several advantages such as zero pollution, conservative water use, portability, etc.
Social Responsibility of UMC Fire Brigade
The brigade actively participated in large-scale drills in the community, and assisted the Environmental Protection Administration with toxic chemical disaster training. In coordination with the UMC Culture and Education Foundation, the UMC fire brigade also conducted safety education in elementary schools to instill and ingrain disaster prevention into community consciousness and conduct.
In 2009, southern Taiwan was severely hit by Typhoon Morakot. Following the disaster, UMC promptly established a volunteer team and dispatched the UMC Fire Brigade to the affected areas to assist victims and the local government for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. The company also provided volunteer leave to employees and encouraged them to help in the disaster areas. During that period, UMC Fire Brigade was dispatched 92 times, with employees volunteering a total of 598 times company wide.
The brigade also provided fire safety consultation and inspection to the Company's energy conservation and safety teams, and participated in a total of 20 events in 2016.
When a disaster occurs in a neighboring company, UMC Fire Brigade takes the initiative to rush to assist. UMC responded to emergency situations at companies including Taiwan Power Company Long-Song substation, WSMC, XAC Automation Corp., Powerchip Semiconductor Corp., Fu-Guo Chemical, Lite-On IT corporation, Motech, UTAC, DuPont Taiwan, Accton Technology Corp. and Savior Lifetec Corporation. In 2016, we assisted with fire rescue in EPISTAR Corporation, Sing-Yu Recycling Center and helped perform a hydrochloric acid leak rescue in Wistron NeWeb Corporation.
In 2010, UMC Fire Brigade was awarded with the Best Partner Award from Hsinchu Science Park Administration.
The professionalism of UMC Fire Brigades disaster relief has earned recognition from the government's Emergency Response Team for Toxic Substance. Our efforts on fire safety and emergency response can ease the minds of customers and shareholders.