State Fire Offers Flammable Liquids Training to First Responders

ALBANY, NY (12/15/2011)(readMedia)-- The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) recently piloted a live fire flammable liquids course entitled "Emergency Response to Ethanol Incidents" in Ballston Lake NY. Firefighters from Saratoga County participated in the 12-hour course where they learned and practiced skills necessary to extinguish fires of spilled fuels.

According to Ronald Dunn, OFPC Chief of Special Operations, the program was developed, and funded through a joint effort between OFPCs' Hazardous Materials Bureau and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The curriculum addresses the increasing exposure to risk created by wider production, transportation and use of renewable resource fuels like ethanol.

Participants received an overview on ethanol as a motor fuel, the use of firefighting foams on polar solvent spills, foam nozzles and proportioning equipment, and determination of foam resource requirements.

Firefighter's skills were tested using a new training device purchased by NYSERDA – an O-100 Flammable Liquids Training Trailer made by Kidde Fire Trainers, which provided participants with live fire scenarios involving leaks and spills around a simulated tank truck emergency.

"It's an actual fire. The only thing simulated is the incident. The training is intense and gives students experience handling class B foam under extremely realistic conditions," said Fire Protection Specialist Edward Fletcher, one of the lead instructors for the course.

The course will be offered to fire departments statewide beginning in April 2012 on a regional basis. Requests for the training should be made through county fire coordinators offices.