May 03

500 gallon underground propane tank, Lexington, KY

I would first like to thank you and your colleagues at LSU for delivering a well executed and informational class on iCameo during the last part of March at Rough River State Park in Kentucky. Everyone’s level of knowledge was incredible.

Futhermore, once returning back to duty after the class, I was able to utilize the programs during an incident involving propane. My account is as follows:

On March 31, 2012, members of the Lexington Fire Department (KY) responded to the report of a propane leak from an underground propane tank. Initial on-scene crews found that a landscaping company had inadvertantly backed a truck and trailer over the above-ground valve assembly to a 500 gallon underground residential propane tank. The protective dome covering the valve assembly was destoyed and the relief valve was sheered off. The result was a propane vapor leak emitting from a 3/4″ orifice that originally fed the relief valve. Due to the size of the orifice, the liquid propane in the tank (approximately thirty percent) ‘auto-refrigerated’, thus lowering the pressure of the leak from 250 psi to 30-40 psi. Crews immediately began vapor dispersion operations utilizing 1-3/4″ hoselines. Upon arrival of the Hazardous Materials Platoon Leader (Lt. Edwin Morgan), it was his responsibility to establish safety zones and decide whether the leaking propane posed a hazard to a nearby house (50-75 feet away from leak). He immediately began inputing information about the incident into the ALOHA and MARPLOT programs that were installed on the unit’s mobile data terminal (MDT). Weather data had to be obtained via personal cell phones due to the lack of internet service in the area.

The resulting threat zone produced by ALOHA could not be mapped due to the minute area that it predicted would be affected. Because of the small threat zone, Lt. Morgan decided to input data that would model a leak that was at full pressure for a ‘fused’ objective of CAMEO’S two main purposes. First, it could be used in the ‘response’ mode in case the product temperatures changed and began emitting at higher pressures. Second, it could be used in the ‘planning’ mode by sharing the information with on scene crews on what to expect at an similar incident that produced a larger threat zone.┬áThe two programs were used during the duration of the incident until the relief valve was repaired.


I want to thank you again for providing the immense amount of knowlege about CAMEO, as I forsee using it more in the furture.


Lt. Edwin Morgan

Haz-Mat Platoon Leader – 3rd Platoon

Lexington Fire Dept. (KY)