Firefighters learn techniques to extinguish propane fires

Firefighters from six different stations converged in West Ishpeming Wednesday night to deal with multiple propane fires.

Luckily, the fires were planned.

Fifty-one firefighters attended a training session put on by the Michigan Propane Gas Association.  The firefighters practiced a number of different scenarios.

The  MPGA travels all throughout the state training firefighters on how to properly handle a propane fire in case a situation presents itself in their daily grind.

“Propane fires are kind of unique because we’re not actually trying to put the fire out, we’re trying to shut the source of the product off that’s feeding the fire,” MPGA chairman Brian Lincoln said. “We’re actually trying to get the means of where the product is coming from, we’ll be able to shut that down and the fire will go out itself so it’s a whole different tactic, a different attack.”

“This is a good reminder–or for new firefighters–it gives us the training on stuff we don’t normally see on a daily basis, especially with propane,” Ishpeming Township Fire Department fire chief Jerry Hebert said. “We have to have all of the right tools and how to put it out successfully, never having to put it out without a proper water source and being able to shut it off so this will give us a better understanding of how to put this fire out properly and safely without being hurt.”

Each firefighter who attended the training session will receive a certificate from the state.