Accident Responders

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

Local fire departments are learning what to do depending on the accident. Fire fighters and hazardous material teams are trying to puncture the hull of an over turned tanker truck. They are being careful not to create a spark that could then ignite the gas inside. Once the hole is drilled, hazardous material teams will then begin off loading the flammable liquid. Fortunately this incident is only an exercise, but this situation is very real for many first responders around the country.

Fifteen tanker trucks overturn on U.S highways each day. Most fire departments are not prepared to handle this type of disaster, plus there are many misconceptions about what needs to be done. A drill is designed to educate fire fighters in the area, should a rollover happen in our community.

Hazardous material consultants are teaching fire crews what safety measures need to be observed when they encounter a hazardous rollover. Fire crews are also being trained on a rail car simulator. This knowledge comes in if a runaway train derails sending unknown hazardous materials spilling onto the ground.

Most fire crews will never have to do this type of procedures, but for the ones that do this training is invaluable. With more than 50 thousand shipments of gasoline being transported by tanker each day, the amount of accidents is small. But if one should happen here these fire fighters hope their now better educated to handle it safely.


23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
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