Mass. County Drills for Toxic Chlorine Freight Train Accident


 
 

Tony Dobrowolski | | Friday, April 18, 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 ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

PulsePoint PSA, San Diego

App will allow trained San Diego residents to respond to nearby cardiac arrest c
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


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 >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >