GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Heavy demand is expected throughout
the state for a 500-gallon propane simulator being used to train
firefighters in central Nebraska.
The Nebraska Propane Gas Association donated the simulator last
week to the State Fire Marshal Division. The tank's remote
electronic controls will allow trainers to simulate a variety of
fire scenarios, giving those in training the opportunity to learn
various firefighting procedures.
Joe Hanson, the State Fire Marshal Training Division manager,
doesn't expect the simulator to spend much time in Grand Island.
He said the simulator will be transported all over the state for
training.
People from each of the division's six regions in Nebraska came
to Grand Island to be trained how to use the simulator, he said,
adding that several members of the Grand Island Fire Department are
also part-time trainers for the State Fire Marshal Training
Division.
Michelle Swertzic, executive director for the Nebraska Propane
Gas Association, said her organization donated the simulator to
provide Nebraska's fire departments with the knowledge and skills
to respond to propane-related incidents.
There's another good reason to use the simulator, Hanson said.
Propane is a clean-burning fuel, which means that it is safe for
the environment when used during training exercises.
Hanson said his division uses propane to simulate car fires,
Christmas tree fires and in pans to simulate surface fires.
The tank donated Friday will allow training sessions to simulate
other conditions that firefighters may face, he added.
"We have 500-plus fire departments in Nebraska," said Hanson,
predicting heavy demand for the simulator.
The best way to schedule a training session will be through
mutual aid associations, which gather several departments
simultaneously for training, he said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APTV 10-26-03 1813EST