The Russellville City Fire Department conducted a live Propane Burn Thursday, Oct. 25 using the State Fire Rescue Bobtail Propane Prop. Southern States of Russellville supplied the Propane for the burn.
“The objective of this type of training is not actually trying to put out a propane fire of this magnitude because that would be impossible. The training objective is to get everyone to work as a team handling the fire hose while flowing 125 gpm of water, which is difficult to do while advancing forward and even more difficult retreating (moving backward),” said Fire Chief Billy Poole.
A four hour classroom session was held last week teaching firefighters the dangers of propane fires.
Propane is a Liquefied Petroleum Gas and it is widely used as a fuel source in homes, the workplace, in bulk transportation on board tank trucks or rail cars, or more recently, as a fuel for motor vehicles.
“Firefighters need to have a working knowledge of the properties of propane. Some of those are, it is one and a half times heavier than air which means when it escapes its container it will seek low lying areas and could find an ignition source and flash back to the tank causing a BLEVE, a (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion). Other properties are its expansion ratio which is 270 times its original volume and its boiling point is -44 degrees F, this means anytime it escapes it will boil and cause a fire hazard,” explained Poole.