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

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >