USFA, IAFC Offer Free Ethanol-Incident Training Course
The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the availability of a CD-ROM training package for responding to ethanol incidents, titled "Responding to Ethanol Incidents and Ethanol Fixed Facilities and Assessment Guide." A cooperative effort between USFA and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, with assistance from the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition, this training is intended to address the needs of emergency responders when faced with incidents involving ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels.
According to USFA, consumers in the United States use more than 140 billion gallons of gasoline per year. In addition, there are more than 8 billion gallons of fuel ethanol produced in the United States.
The addition of ethanol to gasoline presents some unique firefighting challenges. Traditional methods of firefighting against hydrocarbon (gasoline) fires have been found to be ineffective against these ethanol-blended fuels.
While gasoline will tend to float on top of water, ethanol fuels are water soluble and will tend to blend with the water. For this reason, the use of Alcohol-Resistant (AR) foam as a means of extinguishing an ethanol fire is recommended.
The ethanol industry has been growing rapidly. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), in 2006 the growth of the transportation fuels marketplace was equivalent to the capacity expansion realized in the ethanol industry. In early 2008, there are reportedly seventy-eight bio-refineries under construction. With seven existing bio-refineries expanding, the industry projected more than 6 billion gallons of new production capacity to be in operation by the end of 2009, more than doubling production capacity in less than three years.
To order the free CD-ROM training course, click here. To download the course material, click here.