Training firefighters to prepare for ‘high-risk’ train derailment
Pueblo, Colorado — A series of high-profile digressions A special facility where firefighters around the world learn how to respond to hazardous materials train crashes and leaks, sparking new emergencies across the country.
”Security and Emergency Response Training Center‘ gives you the chance to experience train derailments and the hazards that come with them firsthand, from leaking chemical barrels to pressurized and potentially explosive tankers. Worst case scenario.
“I’m glad to know this knowledge, but I know I don’t have to use it,” said David Dauger, 52, a trainee firefighter and paramedic in West Chester Township, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati. “This is definitely a low-frequency, high-risk event.”
context:Trains continue to derail across the country, including Thursday in Washington. what happened?
Train Safety Takes National Attention After Ohio Derailment
President Joe Biden supported a bipartisan proposal pending in Congress Training firefighters will be able to respond to dangerous goods derailments. The originator of the bill introduced the bill shortly after its submission. Norfolk Southern derailment in February A freight train in East Palestine, Ohio.
In that crash, first responders set fire to several leaking tank cars containing pressurized combustible gases, calculating the fires to pose less danger to the community than the possibility of an explosion. Trains routinely carry hazardous chemicals such as chlorine, vinyl chloride, molten sulfur and crude oil.
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On a recent snowy day in Pueblo, firefighters from across the country and Canada boarded crumpled gas tankers at the SERTC facility and learned how to safely unload and flare gas to prevent explosions.
They also practice sealing leaking barrels, pumping fuel from crashed locomotives, learning how to open and close different types of valves, and how to read placards that show what a tanker car is carrying. I learned
“We try to provide as realistic training as possible so that they can respond in a safe and efficient manner as they approach an incident.” Kari Gonzales, President and CEO of MxV Rail, said:operates the facility on behalf of the railroad and FEMA.
The name MxV is a nod to the formula for calculating momentum (mass x velocity) and reflects the challenges of dealing with heavy moving trains.
About 2,000 firefighters are trained annually
Federal grants cover the cost of training, and about 2,000 firefighters undergo the program each year, Gonzales said. Freight railways are also sending their own employees through the program, and departments will also have access to virtual training, she said. This training is aimed at departments of railroad communities.
Trainee Tony Garza, 38, said when firefighters resumed their warm-ups after practicing loading and unloading tankers, they learned that firefighters across the country used similar language and approaches to manage disaster response. He said he was relieved to know he was using it. Garza, a lieutenant in his small division in Amory, Mississippi, said critical spill response will require help from other divisions.
“Now everyone uses the same strategy,” he said. “I’m actually doing what I always read and practicing those skills.”