On-site training for propane tank fires took place at the Cairo Community Center parking lot on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Over 50 Volunteer Firefighters representing nine area communities attended. The Firefighters had attended a required class a week earlier sponsored by the Nebraska State Fire Marshall Training Division, in cooperation with the National Propane Gas Association. Mr. Brian Busse was the instructor.
The Volunteers were instructed in the proper way to attack a burning propane tank. Extensive teamwork was required as water capacity, water pressure, tank and propane temperature and pressure, were all variables to determine prior to the attack. Additional considerations included weather conditions, site conditions, manpower, and equipment availability.
Nothing was left to chance as the water pressure was ramped up, two heavy fog sprays were employed, and the teams moved in toward the burning tank. Between the two hose teams was the Firefighter designated to close the valve and eliminate any further gas escape.
Any other option would have left all of the people on site in grave danger.
The evening’s controlled practice allowed all of the Firefighters to have actual hands-on experience. The event brought the prior week’s instruction into reality.
On a more personal note, the drill allows for a heightened sense of awareness as all of us–neighbors and friends–go into this spring. It is good that we look after one another.
Thanks again to Brian Busse of the NE Fire Marshall Training Division, and the National Propane Gas Association for helping to make this exercise possible.