First Responders Train for Chemical Accidents on Railways - @ JEMS.com


First Responders Train for Chemical Accidents on Railways


 
 

Brian McDearmon | | Sunday, September 23, 2007


Police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials from all over the region went to school Friday to learn how to deal with railway accidents involving hazardous chemicals.

In rail cars converted to classrooms and tank cars outfitted for demonstrations, Norfolk Southern, along with chemical and railway experts from across the country, taught first-responders how to recognize tanks carrying dangerous chemicals, how to protect themselves, and ways to respond to emergencies. The event was organized by Norfolk Southern.

More than 140 people attended the training, held at Norfolk Southern's downtown railyard in Columbus. Agencies from Columbus, Phenix City, Russell County and even Macon were represented.

Chief Jeff Meyer of the Columbus Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services said much of what was being taught at the event was a refresher, and that it would enhance the training that his staff already gets. Between 30 and 35 Columbus fire and EMS personnel attended.

Depending on the magnitude of an accident, Columbus might call on other communities for help, Meyer said, but his department would be effective in its response to a hazardous-material emergency.

Nonetheless, he said, practice makes perfect.

"We want to be prepared in the event that something does happen," he said.

Columbus was the last stop on the train's 350-mile journey, which began four days earlier in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Firefighters and other students huddled around an expert offering lessons on protective gear. Down a few cars was a demonstration tank used to teach first responders how to identify when a tank is carrying dangerous substances.

"In the event there is a hazardous material spill, this kind of training is going to allow emergency responders to have the skills to respond more quickly and to protect their community," said Susan Terpay of Norfolk Southern.

Columbus firefighter Travis Brown said the classes were good to keep old training from getting rusty.

Sgt. Joe Gary of the Phenix City Police Department said the classes would make it easier to recognize tanks carrying hazardous material.

"It'll help," he said.

Contact Brian McDearmon at 706-571-8543




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Special Operations, Research, 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

California Firefighters save Man on Flight

Patient was conscious and talking when United flight landed.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

AMR Crew Rescues Mississippi Driver from Fiery Crash

Rescue during crash in Jackson is caught on video.
Watch It >


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

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
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 >


More Product Videos >