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Chief attends flammable liquids training - GFD - 12/04/2006


Chief Labrie attends Flammable Liquids training class in Nevada

ELKO, NEVADA - Goshen Fire Chief Sue Labrie (front row kneeling, second from the left) attended a "Flammable-Liquid Fire Fighting Techniques for Municipal and Rural Firefighters" class at the University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy last week.  The school received a U.S. Department of Energy grant to train municipal and rural firefighters in industrial fire fighting techniques used to fight incidents often associated with terrorist threats.

While terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, were devastating and drew great attention, many less-visible locations throughout the United States have been identified as vulnerable to terrorist tactics as well. Such municipal and rural "soft targets" susceptible to simple explosives, vandalism and sabotage include pipeline pumping and transfer stations, truck and rail terminals and various nuclear and industrial facilities in communities large and small.

The concepts learned in the classroom were augmented and applied through hands-on live-fire training on the school's prop field.

The 32-hour training course emphasized:

  • Training in industrial fire control through classroom instruction and hands-on participation on a fire-suppression team
  • Understanding of terrorist behaviors, and tactics common in terrorism incidents
  • Chemistry of flammable liquids and gases, and real-life simulations that reflect facilities, characteristics and conditions encountered in liquid-fuel fires
  • Hose handling and effective streams for combatting pressurized and pool fires
  • Dry chemical extinguishers with water/foam and the use of combination devices and multiple agents
  • Use of equipment already available and/or easily obtainable by most fire departments

Fire fighting in such industrial situations often involves large quantities of flammable or combustible liquids and can be very different from incidents normally encountered by municipal and rural firefighters. Yet these are the very firefighters responsible for protecting these highly vulnerable locations. 

(December 4-7, 2006)