Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 14, 2013

Firefighters hone skills

VALDOSTA — A training burn held by Lowndes County Fire & Rescue could not have come at a better time. Following the recent propane gas explosion at Denny’s at the Flying J truck stop in Lake Park,  the training burn on Saturday afternoon was focused on putting out flammable liquid fires.

“The importance of flammable liquids is to understand you can’t use regular water to extinguish it. You have to use foam because it smothers it. And also it cools the liquid down. When you use water, you have some flammable liquids that don’t mix with water and you can actually spread the fire,” explained Sgt. Ben Amiot of LCFR, who also acted as an instructor during the burn.  

Chief Richard Guyton spoke of what happened in Lake Park saying, “It really brings this back to light. We want to make sure we are prepared.” While Lake Park’s explosion did not erupt, if it had it would have been a very similar burn to the one that the firefighters were working with on Saturday.

During the training burn, firefighters from LCFR, Valdosta Fire Department, Hahira and Echols County were present as students.

This burn was one of the elements required to receive their Fire Fighter II certification. Instructors for the burn came from Lowndes County, Valdosta, Grady County, Donaldsonville, Colquitt and Miller County.

The burn, which was held at Lowndes County Fire Rescue’s Station 10, highlighted a new propane trainer that was recently added to the departments drill field.  The instructor for the burn led the firefighters through practical rotations as the trainer burned off the oil, which was donated by Owens Propane out of Quitman.

LCFR plans to make this a permanent part of their training program. Chief Guyton said of the training, “Safety is our primary goal. We really stress safety to these firefighters. They are doing this to be better themselves to better serve their county, because the better trained our firefighters are, the better service we can give our citizens.”

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