Fires involving propane seem like they might be severe incidents. But when first responders have trained alongside propane industry members, they can mitigate that response much more easily. That is why the Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) recently teamed up for a two-day course on handling propane emergencies.
A similar full-week course has been offered in the past at the Brayton Fire Training Field. But this new two-day offering, sponsored by ProCOT, gives firefighters and other first responders from rural volunteer agencies the chance to take this vitally important training. It also allows first responders the chance to learn side-by-side with members of the propane industry. Jackie Mason, Education & Marketing Director with ProCOT, said, “It’s important that these relationships are built before an emergency event. The time for responders and industry members to meet is not during a disaster; it’s before that happens. Now they have these relationships already established.” She also said, “I was very impressed with the amount of open discussion that happened during the classroom portion of the course. It was amazing to watch.”
Lead instructor for the course, Mark Holloway, Director of Supply Chain Operations for AmeriGas Propane LP, said, “What is really valuable is that these students not only get great training in the classroom but then they can take what they’ve learned out onto the firefield for hands-on application. I’ve been teaching on this field for 20 years and am passionate about the propane industry. Bringing first responders and people from the industry together is a win-win for all of us.”
Tracy Wells, a student attending the course from Gas Equipment Company, said, “[This was] great training. The propane industry comes together for this event and did a good job. The amount of experience of the instructors was impressive.”
“I was very pleased with how enthusiastic the instructors were; it certainly helps when a student sees how much they care,” said Bobby Fennell with Austonio Volunteer Fire Department.
Rickey Allred, Private Sector Industrial Fire Training Manager with TEEX, said, “We were able to develop realistic training props with input from the propane industry. This partnership gives us the opportunity to create hands-on training to prepare responders not just from Texas but from around the nation in how to handle propane emergencies.”
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Vita Vaughn | Director of Marketing and Communications/CMO