WEST ALEXANDRIA — Preble County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) worked in conjunction with Preble County Fire Chief’s Association and West Alexandria Fire Department to host a propane training and live burn on Saturday, Nov. 2.
The training was conducted by Bob Herron, Lead Instructor with Safety, Training and More LLC. It was open to departments in Preble and Darke County. Departments participating included Liberty Township, New Madison, Lewisburg, West Alexandria, Gasper Township, and West Manchester.
The departments started their Saturday with four hours in the classroom. According to West Alexandria Fire Chief Jeff Shafer, they covered the following topics: propane safety, propane history, how to address a propane leak or fire, and how to keep the community and emergency personnel safe.
“To cause a fire or a leak, someone could hit a valve out mowing their lawn or doing any sort of outdoor activity. A spark is all it needs to ignite a propane tank,” Shafer explained.
Shafer is also President of PC Fire Chief’s Association. According to him, propane training and live burn has been something they have requested for years.
“We were pretty adamant about making this live burn come true. That being said, I volunteered our services to have it out here and make it happen,” he said.
Preble County EMA Director Dave Anderson added, “One of my duties as the EMA Director, I’m also in charge of LEPC and they deal with hazardous materials. This is a training on propane the Preble County Fire Chief’s Association asked me to get. About two years ago, I got one, but it was just the basic classroom setting. They asked if I could get a live burn after that, so the fire fighters could get hands-on, real life experience.”
Anderson worked with Wood Propane Corporation to secure 1,000 gallons of propane. Wood Propane discounted the price to no more than $0.50 a gallon.
“I also found out, too, that Wood Propane is a very first responder-friendly company. This is something they do, not only in Preble County, but according to Safety, Training and More LLC, he’s helped them out in other trainings like this too,” Anderson said.
For Anderson, it is imperative that Preble County emergency services are able to receive hands-on training for propane.
“This is stuff you have to experience, because if you don’t, you just don’t know what you’re going to do in an emergency situation. This is done in a controlled setting, they have a lot of safety people here keeping an eye on things, and that is the whole point in doing trainings like this – to make sure everybody goes home at night,” he said.
Shafer added, “Everybody has propane in their communities and surrounding areas. It is something that effects every Fire Department in the State of Ohio. If you smell [propane] call, get out, and evacuate. Do not stay in the residence or around the area, get out of its way.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH