PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - There are many types of fires, and in an emergency, it's good to know volunteer fire departments have personnel trained to handle anything they may come across. That's why Chevron hosted nearly 50 volunteer firefighters from 17 departments to attend a special training event at its Pascagoula refinery Saturday.
Chevron Fire Chief Ricky Conerly has been running this annual training free of charge for the past seven years.
"Chevron provides this opportunity as an outreach to the community to better train them to manage these things and situations they come upon in their daily activities being volunteer fire departments," Conerly said. "For the most part, they deal with house fires and woodland fires there, so this is a very unique opportunity for them. We have a lot of hydrocarbon in the community. Gas stations, gas transport trucks, propane trucks, propane tanks in people's houses. So, to do this type of training is very advantageous for them."
Volunteer firefighters came from as far as Magee to take part in this one-day training event. Tim Anderson, from Central Jackson County Fire Department, believes this training will help keep his community safe.
"It's very valuable to us. We have, in our community, we have everything from houses with natural gas, we have houses that have propane tanks. When we have to deal with those types of emergencies, it will allow us to be better prepared. It will help keep us safe and help the community help us extinguish their fires faster if they need us to," Anderson said.
LT. Randall Platt, with Jackson County Fire Department, believes it's good for the volunteers to simply be around different types of fire.
"Basically, it helps our guys just get some time around fire. A lot of times, we don't deal with the kind of fires they have out here. But, at the same time, fire behavior, you know, sit there and watch it, learn what fire does, how it moves, the water streams, the way they make the fire move, and we can actually take it and use it on fires that we have," said Platt.