North Platte fire crews fight simulated fires at power plant

SUTHERLAND, Neb. (KNOP)- The North Platte Fire Department, Nebraska Public Power Fire and the North Platte Regional Airport Fire Team all received valuable fire training Wednesday night to help them be able to better assist if there were ever to be a fire at a power plant.

Fire crews from North Platte train Wednesday night at the Gerald Gentleman Station in Sutherland on how to fight industrial fires. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)

Fire crews from the different North Platte fire agencies met at The Gerald Gentleman Station for fire drills and simulations.

The power plant has multiple areas that are set up to be lit on fire for the crews to learn tactics and practice skills of how to fight an industrial fire.

North Platte Regional Airport Firefighter and Operation Supervisor, Justin Gosnell, said these types of fires they were attacking, are different from what they see at the airport, so it's good to learn the proper techniques.

"Every type of fire from structure fire, to spill fire, to power plant fire, there's a different way to put it out, a correct way and the only way to do that is to train and be trained on how to do it by people out here that know exactly how to do it," said Gosnell.

He said training on the different tactics is vital.

"It’s very important in case there’s ever an incident that we would be able to respond and respond correctly and know what we’re doing," said Gosnell, "It’s very important to save lives and save taxpayer money and everything else, so my group of guys try to do as much training as we possibly can."

This yearly training has been hosted for more than 15 years. The drills are part of a mutual aide program which provides them with various agencies they can call upon if a fire were to break out at the plant.

"We practice just like as if it would happen every scenario every drill, which we do a lot out here because not saying it will, but if it does we want to be prepared mentally physically and know what we're doing," said Nebraska Public Power Fire Safety Leader, Cyrus Tilford, "It's a great benefit for both groups us and the municipal side to come out know our facility in case they ever were called for mutual aid."

The training at power plant continues next week with the Sutherland fire crews going through the fire drills.