Blackmer Supplies Equipment For MPGA’S Propane Emergency Response Network
The Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA) has developed a program designed to provide quicker response times to emergency propane-related incidents. Working jointly with propane dealers in Michigan, the MPGA developed the Propane Emergency Response Network (PERN).
As part of the program, long-time Blackmer distributor Industrial Propane Service (IPS), Byron MI, in conjunction with the MPGA and a PERN committee, built the first of five planned emergency-response trailers to support the LPG market in the state of Michigan.
Robert Vandemark, owner of IPS, spearheaded the effort to bring PERN into reality. He introduced the idea several years ago when he recognized that more had to be done to supplement the current fire training that is offered to first-responders, many of whom did not have the appropriate training to handle major propane emergencies. To aid these first-responders, IPS built a complete Emergency Response trailer that is fully equipped with the portable pumps, compressors, power units, hoses and other accessories that are typically needed for handling propane-related responses. Though Vandemark recently retired and sold his interest in IPS—which was founded by his father—to his three children, Rob Vandemark, Kim Godlewski and Jeff Vandemark, he has remained committed to working with MPGA to build the PERN program.
The Emergency Response trailers will be strategically located in five different fire districts within Michigan. Each district will be made up of regionalized propane teams and each team will have diverse, talented and trained volunteers to specifically handle propane emergencies. Working hand in hand with police and fire departments in the state, PERN will help reduce the response time to any propane-related incident.
In addition to the added level of safety these Emergency Response trailers and equipment will provide, the MPGA is also developing specific training and education programs to further train fire and police personnel in the safe use of the emergency equipment.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to develop this level of added safety and knowledge about propane in the state of Michigan,” said Brian Lincoln, MPGA President. “Some of the new safety training in the PERN Program even involves live, simulated propane fires using a special trailer and equipment designed for this purpose.”
PERN will be supported by a specific 1-800 phone number that will be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 1-800 number service will have the names and contact numbers of each team’s deployment officer on duty. In the event of a propane emergency, first-responders to the incident will call the emergency number. The monitor network will then select the area team to handle the emergency and in turn contact that team’s deployment officer, who will respond to the first-responder at the incident site and then evaluate the site’s emergency-response needs. A PERN team would be on site within one hour, or less, of the initial call.
“Blackmer is pleased to be an equipment provider for this program and has also committed to offering pump and compressor equipment training at schools organized and conducted by the MPGA,” said Glenn Webb, Blackmer Senior Product Specialist, Compressors. “Hopefully, the propane-gas associations in other states will see what the MPGA has done and adopt similar programs for their own states.”
Blackmer is the leading global provider of innovative and high-quality rotary vane pump and reciprocating compressor technologies for the transfer of liquids and gasses. For more than a century, the Blackmer name has stood for unparalleled product performance, superior services and support, well-timed innovation and a commitment to total customer satisfaction. Supported by a worldwide network of distributors and original equipment manufacturers, Blackmer pumps and compressors are used in a multitude of applications in the Process, Energy, Transport and Military-Marine markets. Blackmer—headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA—is a member of Dover Corporation’s Pump Solutions Group (PSG).