COLLEGE STATION — About 30 BP firefighters from around the world are participating in a training program this week at the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s Brayton Fire Training Field to learn about fighting liquefied natural gas (LNG) fires.
The three-and-a-half-day program and the TEEX LNG facilities are sponsored by BP, one of the world’s largest natural gas companies, with LNG a growing part of its business. The unique training program represents a long-standing partnership between BP and TEEX, which culminated in BP’s sponsorship of the construction of TEEX’s state-of-the-art LNG training props, which were completed in 2004.
The program is aimed at front-line emergency fire supervisors and responders, LNG project coordinators and facility managers who may be faced with an escape of LNG vapor or liquid, though the chances of such an occurrence is low. The training props at the Brayton Fire Field give emergency responders the opportunity to learn about the properties of LNG and how it burns, as well as receive hands-on practice using proven techniques for extinguishing an LNG fire.
“We were delighted when BP approached TEEX to host their program,” said Chief Les Bunte, division director of TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute. “BP has not only funded the construction of specialized facilities but also attracted many leading manufacturers of firefighting equipment who have incorporated their products as part of the new facility. As well as training firefighters, the program will be an important research opportunity to deepen knowledge around LNG, test firefighting equipment and improve the firefighting techniques we teach even further.”
LNG is expected to play an increasing role in helping to meet the United States’ growing demand for clean-burning natural gas, and BP is the world’s second largest non-state supplier of natural gas to liquefaction plants, in addition to operating its own fleet of LNG vessels.
TEEX’s Brayton Fire Training Field is the largest live-fueled fire training facility in the world, and the agency trains more than 50,000 firefighters from across the United States and more than 40 countries each year. A smaller scale course on LNG has been conducted by TEEX for more than 20 years.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. TEEX programs include fire, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue and technology transfer.