Volunteer firefighters get rare chance to learn how to fight gas fires

By John Asebes
KSN – April 25, 2018


Wind, fire and new firefighters. It sounds like cause for an alarm, but this combination is one of the most important days for new and upcoming firefighters.

It’s an event put on by Black Hills Energy so firefighters can learn how to put out gas fires.

“We are going to go in here and learn how to put out natural gas fires,” says Colwich Fire Chief Mike Rout. “We have four members here going through a fire 1 class right now and this is going to be there first time going through a fire event.”

Amanda Rose and Krista Cameron are training with the Halstead Fire Department and they fit that description.

“Technically, we are training and volunteering. We have a firefighter one class that we are going through in Halstead which ends this week. Our testing is Friday and Saturday,” says Rose.

Cameron usually is used to responding to accidents not fires.

“Fire is something that always gets me going,” says Cameron.”This is definitely something new to me.”

She grabbed a bottle of K2, an agent used by energy companies like Black Hills to control gas fires

She nailed it.

“Every little bit of training I get is definitely valuable for me,” she explains.

This group of firefighters are learning exactly it means to manage a gas fire.

It’s not like putting out a grass fire.

“We, as firefighters, actually do not turn off pipe lines. So we have to wait and contain the fire until corporate sources can come off and shut off the gas.”

As a 911 dispatcher this is a new experience for rose..

“This is really cool to watch the chemicals,” Rose says.

But with this hands on training she looked like a pro on her first try,

“It is really valuable,” says Rose. “We are likely going to be the ones that respond and we are likely not going to have training outside of this.”

Black Hills officials say when they put these events on they also learn from the local fire departments.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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