First Responders Train for Chemical Accidents on Railways


 
 

Brian McDearmon | | Monday, September 24, 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 ...

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

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

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

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


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

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


More Product Videos >