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Columbia Gas Donates Equipment, Training to Rescue Team

EASTHAMPTON — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has donated three natural-gas combustible indicators (CGIs) to the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team (WMTRT).

Founded in January 2014, the WMTRT provides specialized skills and equipment not generally found in local fire departments, and is now available to all fire departments within the region. The donation included on-site professional training in the use of the equipment.

Confined-space rescue is just one of the many unique situations to which the WMTRT responds. Confined spaces can contain hazardous materials in liquid or gas forms. When responding to such a situation, specialized equipment is necessary to monitor the air for the displacement of oxygen and the presence of explosive or toxic gases. The donation of three CGIs to the rescue team allows it to perform an initial assessment of the atmosphere before entering the confined space. This exercise ensures the protection of the team and the public served.

Smith Tescier, Columbia Gas field operations leader, and Andrea Luppi, manager of communications and community relations for CMA, presented the CGIs to Capt. Rebecca Boutin of the Westfield Fire Department and members of the WMTRT at a training session at the Columbia Gas Easthampton maintenance facility. “We consider all fire departments and their personnel important partners in the communities we serve,” Luppi said. “Any chance we have to aid in their public-safety mission, we undertake gladly.”

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