The Mathews Volunteer Fire Department hosted a free all-day training session on handling propane tank fires on Oct. 6 at Cobbs Creek Station 4.
Sponsored by the Virginia Propane Association and Phillips Energy, the session included 19 firefighters from the Mathews, Gloucester, Deltaville, Urbanna, Waterview, Hartfield and Abingdon fire departments.
Mathews Training Captain Steve Ray said that Phillips Energy provided propane for the session, while the VPA provided all the equipment. This included a special trailer outfitted with gauges to feed propane through copper tubing and shoot it out under a household-sized propane tank to simulate actual fire conditions. Ray said the tank was filled with water rather than fuel for safety purposes.
Firefighters were lined up along two hose lines and were shown by VPA’s father-and-son training team Dennis and John Cruze how to march together toward the tank while training water on it. As they drew closer to the tank, said Ray, they widene...
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