TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Sat, March 28

Unisource, Verde Valley Fire District train for natural gas emergencies

The Verde Valley Fire District has teamed with UniSource Energy Services to train for natural gas related emergencies.  Photo courtesy VVFD

The Verde Valley Fire District has teamed with UniSource Energy Services to train for natural gas related emergencies. Photo courtesy VVFD

COTTONWOOD – UniSource Energy Services (UES) and the Verde Valley Fire District (VVFD) recently partnered to train for natural gas related emergencies.

UES Service Supervisor Rob Justus reached out to VVFD and asked to conduct the joint training exercises.

“We immediately took advantage of his offer. Our Training Captain, Dustin Chambliss, and Mr. Justus created simulations of real gas emergencies to create exercises that provided valuable learning opportunities for the entire Fire District and Unisource field employees,” said Verde Valley Fire District Fire Chief Nazih Hazime. “This type of training doesn’t come around very often, and when it does, you what to get the most out of it.”

Securing utilities at the scene of an emergency situation is a top priority for public and first responder safety, Hazime said.

“Training with VVFD personnel allows us to learn about each other’s emergency procedures, which should allow us to work more efficiently and more safely in the event of a real emergency,” said UES District Manager Hector Riojas. “We already share a commitment to public safety and serving the community, and VVFD is an excellent training partner.”

With such training, firefighters learn how to mitigate real natural gas leaks and fires by working directly with UES employees and becoming familiar with the utility’s specialized equipment.

“We are very fortunate to have Unisource as a partner and we very much appreciate their wiliness to be proactive in training together,” Hazime said. “A reminder to our residents and property owners, if you smell gas of any kind call 9-1-1 and let the professionals handle the emergency and keep you and your families safe.”

Although most emergency calls end without injury or property damage, Hazime advises the public to be aware of the warning signs of a natural gas leak, which include the smell of rotten eggs; a hissing or roaring sound; dirt blowing or spraying into the air; continual bubbling in water; and plants dead or dying for no apparent reason.

If you suspect a natural gas leak, do not use fire or electricity. Go far away from the area and do not return until safety officials say it is safe to do so. Call 911.

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