Mass. County Drills for Toxic Chlorine Freight Train Accident - @ JEMS.com


Mass. County Drills for Toxic Chlorine Freight Train Accident


 
 

Tony Dobrowolski | | Thursday, April 17, 2008


PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- A hypothetical freight train pulls into the Intermodal center on Columbus Avenue. Chlorine gas begins leaking from one of the cars. A gas plume heads east toward City Hall and the Police Department. How should authorities respond?

That was the scenario discussed at Berkshire Hills Country Club yesterday when the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency hosted a "table-top" disaster exercise with some 125 Berkshire County officials from various first-responder agencies.

"The scenario was designed to be a multiagency response using a lot of mutual aid, plans that we have in place, and comprehensive emergency plans that they have across the state," said acting Pittsfield Fire Chief James Sullivan.

"We wanted to have an incident of this magnitude that would require the response of multiple cities, towns and agencies," he said.

The drill was partially funded by $35,000 from federal emergency management officials. Sullivan said the exercise was designed to overwhelm local resources and test the disaster plans that first responders currently have in place. He said certain aspects of the emergency plans need to be updated.

"Every time we have this drill, we learn something," Sullivan said. "I'd be lying to you if I said we didn't learn anything.

"We have our strengths and weaknesses and need to work on things that we need to improve upon. But if an actual incident does occur, we'll be OK."

Yesterday's table-top exercise will be followed by an actual drill that Sullivan said will take place sometime in July.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Incident Command, Special Operations, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Explosion Shakes Mexico Hospital

Rescuers search ruins of children’s hospital.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On February 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >