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Panhandle firefighters practice battling flames during natural gas fire safety training

Panhandle firefighters practice battling flames during natural gas fire safety training
Photo courtesy of Black Hills Energy media

Natural gas utility Black Hills Energy conducted natural gas fire safety training this week in Gering for volunteer firefighters from Gering and nearby fire departments.

Over 50 firefighters from Gering, Minatare, Gering, Scottsbluff and other communities participated in the natural gas education and safety training session led by Black Hills Energy’s natural gas operations trainers. The training provided firefighters the opportunity to practice techniques to effectively contain and extinguish actual natural gas fires under controlled circumstances.

“Natural gas has an excellent safety record, and fires are rare,” said Scott Borders, operations manager for Black Hills Energy. “The best way to learn the traits of natural gas and gain experience in fighting a natural gas fire is during a training exercise like this.”

Black Hills Energy has offered fire safety training for many years to firefighters throughout Nebraska and the other states the company serves.

“We work closely with emergency responders at municipal, county and state levels,” Borders said, “and this training is another way we encourage and develop the close ties and teamwork it takes to successfully manage a natural gas incident.”

In one exercise, firefighters use fire hoses and chemical extinguishers to put out a controlled natural gas fire fed by a pipe leading under an old automobile. The result simulates the potential outcome when a car strikes a gas meter. Simulated pipeline punctures and other sources of natural gas fires also are created.

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