Area firefighters participate in the annual propane burn at the GAMO parking lot in Houston.

Twenty-nine firefighters from six counties recently met in Houston for an annual propane burn.

The exercise is part of the required training for Firefighter I and Firefighter II. The state certification requires each trainee to show competency in seven live burns. The propane burn meets requirements for three of those.

Classroom training began at 9 a.m. at the Texas County Justice Center. Instruction covered LP gas as a hazardous material, safety precautions and the best techniques in fighting such fires. Instructors included fire chiefs and others from Columbia, West Plains, Peace Valley, Tyrone, Houston and Timber.

The practical testing took place on the GAMO parking lot that evening. A tank of propane was ignited, and each of three teams had to extinguish the fire twice.

“The firefighters did an excellent job, which makes the whole class run smoothly and finish more quickly,” said Jerry Miller, regional training coordinator for the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute. “I wish the public was aware of how much training is required and that these men and women are volunteers.”

Participants were from Theodosia, Hartville, Mansfield, Houston, Mountain View and Roby Fire departments.

Tuttle Utility Gas Inc. of Houston provided the tank for the second straight year, as well as propane at wholesale rate and a serviceman for the burn. In a number of previous years, Tuttle donated propane used for the fire school.

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