Hudson Fire Department trains to attack gas firesMore than 25 members of the Hudson Fire Department including two firefighter explorers recently conducted a training exercise dealing with propane gas fires.
More than 25 members of the Hudson Fire Department including two firefighter explorers recently conducted a training exercise dealing with propane gas fires.
According to firefighter Shawn Pettee, when dealing with propane gas leaks, the main concerned is B.L.E.V.E - Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion.
“The biggest precaution from a firefighting standpoint is cooling the tank to prevent a B.L.E.V.E. Once cooling begins using a straight stream from a distance, we cautiously approach the tank and switch from a straight stream to a fog stream. The fog stream will protect our personnel and push the flames away, which will allow the team leader to reach in and shut off the main valve. If the valve is compromised, we may opt to evacuate and cool the tank from a distance until the gas runs out. Of course if it is a big tank, we would evacuate citizens as quick as possible,” explained Pettee.
Team coordination, nozzle control, water supply and stream selection are the most crucial. As the photos indicate, a straight stream from a distance is important in this kind of fire. In a real fire situation firefighters would start further back, but this was a controlled situation.