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    Propane Industry to Distribute New Training Program to Every Fire Department in the United States



    July 26, 1999

    Lisle, Ill/Washington D.C., July 26, 1999 - The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Propane Education & Research Council (Propane Council) have developed the first comprehensive program and textbook on how to respond to propane emergencies. Propane Emergencies is designed to help emergency responders, primarily firefighters, develop the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively manage a propane emergency in transportation or at fixed facilities.

    Developed by NPGA and funded by the Propane Council, it was authored by Michael S. Hildebrand and Gregory G. Noll. "It is the first text of its kind made available to the emergency response community. Over 50,000 copies have been published and there is a dedicated website (www.propanesafety.com) which we can use to update the information as needed," said Hildebrand, partner, Hildebrand and Noll Associates, Inc., Port Republic, MD.

    "By working together, the fire community and the propane industry have created a safety program that provides comprehensive information on propane, containers, hazards and risks in a format that is interesting, flexible, and easy to follow," said Roy Willis, president, Propane Council."The initial response from the fire service community has been extremely positive," he said. "As an industry, we are proud of this effort. I know of no other industry that has collectively produced a program like this and provided it free of charge to firefighters." The educational package includes the textbook, a facilitator's guide with instructor lesson plans, a presentation CD and companion videotape.

    Another audience for the text and program are retail propane marketers. Hildebrand said the textbook provides an overview of how the Incident Management System works, which is the basic language emergency responders use. The text also familiarizes propane marketers with the National Fire Protection Association's Standards for Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Material Incidents.

    The website, www.propanesafety.com provides readily accessible reference information, along with interactive scenarios utilizing real-world emergency situations. "The website is a credible place for firefighters to go and get more information on propane, ask questions using e-mail and receive answers, or make comments 24 hours a day, seven days a week." Hildebrand said.

    Another way for firefighters and others to get information is by calling a toll-free number (800-968-9484) the propane industry has established to field calls about the overall effort. Approximately 29,000 copies of the textbook will be distributed free of charge to fire departments. Another 9,000 will be sent to retail propane marketers. Another 2,000 copies will go to public safety and industrial hazardous materials response teams.

    Free copies of the book will also be sent to state fire marshals, metropolitan fire training academies and to national and state firefighting associations. NPGA is the national trade association for the U.S. propane gas industry, whose mission is to promote the safe and increased use of propane; to work for a favorable environment for propane production, distribution and marketing; and to demonstrate the value of propane as an energy source.

    The Propane Council, which is funded by an industry assessment on each gallon sold of odorized propane gas, is committed to improving consumer and employee safety. In addition, the Propane Council funds research and development of new and more efficient propane equipment and works to expand public awareness of propane and its many uses and environmental advantages.