Atmos Energy funds safety equipment for Melissa FD
Grant finances purchase of additional natural gas detector
MELISSA (August 10, 2021) Thanks to a major donation from Atmos Energy, the Melissa Fire Department will now have a second natural gas detection device to add to the department’s arsenal of safety equipment, potentially saving lives.
The new detection device will become part of the equipment on MFD’s ladder truck, which was placed into service early this year. The department’s fire engine already carries one. The currently in-service detection device has been used on multiple occasions when calls for natural gas leaks have been made to dispatchers.
Capable of detecting minute amounts of natural gas and other gaseous substances, the device helps firefighters confirm the presence of potentially-dangerous natural gas in the area and can aid them in identifying the possible source of the leak.
“These devices are extremely sensitive and allow us to make use of the complex technology to make split-second decisions that can save lives,” says Fire Chief Carl Nix. “We are, of course, extremely grateful to Atmos Energy for the grant, allowing us to expand our gas detection capabilities by 100 percent.”
The natural gas distribution company awarded a grant of $2,500 to the Melissa Fire Department for the purchase of the second device. Melissa Fire Department Division Chief Chad Reed played an instrumental role in securing the grant.
While a strong odorant is added to natural gas prior to its distribution to homes and businesses, the devices are designed to confirm the presence of natural gas, the level of concentration present in the immediate area, and include a probing wand to help pinpoint the source of the escaping gas.
Of course, once natural gas is detected, firefighters will immediately evacuate the immediate area, and alert residents and business in the vicinity of the potential dangers. Once safely isolated, the task of repairing leaks falls on agencies outside the fire department.
“Providing our personnel with the latest, most-up-to-date equipment is essential to our success. That’s especially true when dealing with threats to life and property,” added the Chief. “This grant will give us yet another important lifesaving instrument in our toolbox.”
Atmos Energy, headquartered in Dallas, is the country’s largest natural gas-only distributor, delivering natural gas to more than three million customers in over 1,400 communities across eight states located primarily in the South. It manages proprietary pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas.