On October 29, 30, and 31, 2014, numerous firefighting organizations around the Evansville area converged at the Evansville Regional Airport to participate in this training exercise. Participants included the Evansville Regional Airport Fire Rescue, Evansville Fire Department, Perry Township Fire Department, and the Terre Haute Fire Department, as well as many other career and volunteer firefighters. More than 80 firefighters participated in this training, which was conducted both during the day and in the evening.
Part of the training consists of a simulated burning fuel spill, and to accomplish this simulation, trainers use propane as the fuel source. ARFF Specialties of Hermantown, Minnesota, conducted the training. Lin-Gas provided the propane and attended the training to assure the simulation was conducted safely.
“Using propane for a live fire training scenario is preferred because responders are able to get an understanding of what the heat exposure will feel like,” says Chris Gibson, a Lin-Gas employee who is also a Perry Township firefighter. “The training allows you to see, feel and hear what a liquid fuel fire will be like realistically.”
Using propane in training simulations such as this gives a greater understanding of possible scenarios on airport grounds. “This particular training allowed the simulation of multiple liquid fuel spills on the runway, compromised passenger compartment, and search and rescue operations involving rescuing placed dolls,” says ARFF Specialties instructor Jerry Huberty.
After the FAA established certification guidelines for airports in 2004, yearly firefighter training became a requirement to maintaining certification. Trainers such as ARFF Specialties train onsite, allowing firefighters to use their own equipment as well as follow policies and procedures established by their department. Using propane allows for a controlled environment in which to learn in advance of a real-world scenario; Lin-Gas is honored to participate in the development and improvement of local firefighters’ skills.