Massena Volunteer Fire Department partnering with Air Products

Sep. 10—MASSENA — The Massena Volunteer Fire Department and Air Products have started to forge a relationship in anticipation of the company's proposed green hydrogen facility in Massena.

As part of that partnership, Air Products donated $5,000 to the fire department to enhance both training and equipment that will be available in the case of an emergency.

"We are excited to join forces with Air Products to enhance the safety and well-being of our community. This partnership represents a significant step forward in our mission to provide the highest level of protection to our community. We are grateful to Air Products for their support and are confident that this collaboration will strengthen our emergency response capabilities," Chief Patrick M. O'Brien said.

"Air Products is excited to be a part of the Massena community and looks forward to a productive and enduring partnership with the Massena Fire Department that will benefit the residents for years to come," Fred Schneider, north region line manager for Air Products said.

Air Products and Chemicals is proposing to develop approximately 84.4 acres of land on Pontoon Bridge Road for use as a hydrogen facility, to harvest up to 35 metric tons of green hydrogen daily using renewable power that will be supplied by the New York Power Authority. The facility will produce liquid hydrogen through electrolysis using the hydroelectric power. The company will invest about $500 million in the facility, which is expected to come on line in late 2026.

Company officials have said in public presentations that they work closely with local emergency responders in the event of an emergency. Schneider recently told the Massena Central School Board that they have been working with the fire department to address any potential concerns, although those are rare.

"Our biggest concern is distribution, frankly, because you're on the roadway... and the hazards that are out there," Schneider said.

In a separate community presentation, he noted, "The philosophy that underpins our organization is safety. We believe that accidents are preventable, they are not inevitable. The reason we know that, and we believe it, is because we've been around for 83 years, and in those 83 years we've had opportunities to learn. We've had successes. More importantly, we've had failures. We've had things that didn't go well, and we wrote those down. We codify those in standards, and we use those standards to design our facilities, to operate our facilities, to deliver our product. This is the highest calling for Air Products is operational safety."

Schneider said drivers are trained and equipment is designed to address any potential safety issues.

"We pride ourselves on being the safest and best industrial gas company in the industry," he said.

But, with the possibility that a safety issue could arise, Air Products is working with the fire department to support emergency response capabilities and bolster community safety. In addition to the financial contributions, the partnership will include the deployment of enhanced training and the development of collaborative response protocols.

In addition, both organizations will work closely to develop and refine emergency response protocols specific to gas-related incidents. This collaboration will ensure that all responders have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and regularly participate in joint emergency response drills to ensure a seamless and coordinated response to any potential incident.

Company officials said that by leveraging Air Products' expertise and track record in safety, in conjunction with the fire department's dedication to the community, the collaboration "aims to significantly enhance our emergency preparedness and response capabilities."

"Through engaging and innovative training, the Massena Fire Department will work with Air Products to ensure we are proactive in our approach to emergency response planning and are ready to respond to any scenario," they said.