Gilbertsville firefighters train for CNG fueled trucks

January 29, 2019. The arrival of trucks and other vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) in the fleet at Waste Management Inc.’s Gilbertsville facility, 197 Swamp Creek Rd. (Pennsylvania), presented new training opportunities Wednesday (Jan. 23) for members of the Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Company.

   Waste Management nationwide has been converting most of its heavy-duty trucks from diesel and other fuels to CNG over several years, according to the company. Some of its vehicles in Gilbertsville are among the latest to be switched, and the opening of a new Gilbertsville CNG fueling station represents the company’s 125th such installation.

   CNG poses its own potential risks if a fire or an accident occurs at Waste Management’s Swamp Road site or with their new vehicles, its fire and rescue volunteers noted on Facebook. They met Wednesday with facility representatives to review both the fueling operations and the vehicles themselves.

   That session marked extra dedication on the part of firefighters, the Facebook post added. They willingly agreed to participate in “an additional night of training and learning” this week to gain the safety knowledge they wanted and needed.

   Waste Management claims its CNG vehicles “emit nearly zero particulate emissions, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and are quieter than diesel trucks.” Additionally, it said, each diesel truck it replaces with one fueled by CNG reduces the company’s diesel fuel use “by an average of 8,000 gallons per year, along with a reduction of 14 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.”