On Aug. 10-11, firefighters from the Odebolt Volunteer Fire Department attended an industrial firefighting training program hosted by Flint Hills Resources at its Pine Bend refinery near St. Paul, Minn.

Firefighters Terry Zembsch, Nathan Neville, Austin Neville, Jerry Eslick, and Fire Chief Greg Neville joined volunteer firefighters from four other Iowa and Nebraska departments for the training. Participants received hands-on instruction in battling live fires, hose handling and teamwork, offensive attacks on pressure fires, proper use of firefighting foam, defensive cooling and fire extinguisher training.

The training was provided by members of the Pine Bend Refinery Fire Department, a professional firefighting force that serves the refinery.

“The refinery’s fire training grounds provide firefighters an opportunity to review response techniques and perform in many different fire rescue scenarios,” said Chief Neville of the Odebolt Volunteer Fire Department. “The training has improved our firefighters’ ability to respond to a variety of fire emergencies.”

Flint Hills Resources, which owns and operates the ethanol plant in Rosemount, Minn., sponsors the annual training program to help enhance local fire departments’ emergency response capabilities for the communities they serve.

The company provides the training at no cost. Twenty-nine firefighters from nine Iowa and Nebraska fire departments near its biofuels and ingredients production facilities trained at the Pine Bend refinery this year. This is the sixth year Flint Hills Resources has offered the training program to these fire departments.

“We appreciate the important role that the Odebolt Volunteer Fire Department plays in our community,” said Jack Mitchell, plant manager at Flint Hills Resources Arthur facility. “These volunteer firefighters gave up their personal time and went above and beyond what’s required of them to attend this training. We thank them for everything they do to keep our community safe.”

Departments participating in the weekend training were the Alden Fire Department (Alden, Iowa), Beatrice Fire and Rescue (Beatrice, Neb.), the Fairbank Fire Department (Fairbank, Iowa), the Independence Volunteer Fire Department (Independence, Iowa) and the Odebolt Volunteer Fire Department (Odebolt, Iowa).

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