In the event of a gas pipeline failure and fire, Greek fire-fighters are fully prepared to get the situation under control. They demonstrated it in the first public training of the fire-brigade involving a fire caused by a gas leakage from a low-pressure pipe in settlements.
In controlled surroundings around the Olympic village in Athens, the Greek fire-brigade participated in a specially prepared training scenario. The explosion, bringing the natural element successfully under control and rescuing the people in the affected areas were performed with precision and professionalism. GRReporter was at the scene to cover fire-fighters’ preparedness to deal with a fire in a gas accident. A representative of the fire-brigade said that such trainings were routine. They are not only to maintain the preparedness of regular fire-fighters but are also an illustrative example for the cadets from the school, training new fire-fighters. They attend all trainings of experienced fire-fighters and watch how to act in specific situations in practice.
"All actions take place in real time - from the alarm for the accident to the actual saving of the region and the extinguishing of fire," said a representative of Athens fire-fighters.
The training was performed twice. The first time, fire-fighters extinguished the fire with water from fire engines. The second time, they used fire extinguishers, which can be used at home too. The training involved a team from the gas company DESPA. When extinguishing the fire with water, fire-fighters used high-pressure water jets to cut the gas leakage at the point of the accident, until the gas supply from the main hose was cut off. In the second case, the fire-fighter, holding a fire extinguisher, got very close to the point of the accident to cut the gas leakage from the base of the fire with foam.
"The flame of natural gas is high because of the specifics of the particular fuel. The jet of the fire extinguisher should not be directed up at the flame but down to the source to stop the burning," the observing group explained. If necessary, the same logic should be followed in case of fires caused by leakage of natural gas at home, until the fire-brigade comes, experts say.
Among the observers of the training was a female fire-fighter with 13 years experience. When asked "How do you combat your fear in the case of an accident?" she replied: "At the moment of action, adrenalin is high, but good preparation and teamwork are the most important elements in bringing the situation under control. There is definitely adrenaline and assessment of the situation is necessary, but fear does not help. Fires are different and occur under different conditions and in different environments. It is important to be prepared and react properly. "
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