First Responders Receive Hazmat Training | VideoJennifer Joas | 7/10/2012
EMTs, Firefighters and Law Enforcement rolled up their sleeves for some hands-on training at the BNSF Railway in Mandan.
"It`s awesome because we get a chance to come out here and actually get on top of the rail cars. Generally that`s something that if they`re loaded or in transit we don`t get a chance to come up to until we have an incident or an emergency. So it`s nice in a controlled environment to get a chance to spend some time and become more familiar with them," said Mandan City Fire Department Training Officer Andrew Beck.
One of the main topics in the training was transporting anhydrous ammonia. The hazmat crew says many people in the midwest are familiar with it because it`s used in the agriculture industry. But, it can also be a hazard.
"I`ve heard the expression more than once, oh it`s just ammonia it`s not big thing. It`s just ammonia, we use it all the time. Having said that, some caution need to be used around something that you are very familiar with," said Tony Bacino with the BNSF Hazmat Department.
Today`s training session wasn`t just for Mandan first responders, it was also for personnel in the entire area to learn about what to do in an emergency situation.
"If we have a big rail or highway transportation accident, you`re going to have probably more than one agency involved. So this is as much about becoming familiar with the equipment as it is becoming familiar with those other groups of people that we work with," Beck said.
Responders learned about the valves and fittings they might encounter on a rail car or truck trailer, and how to properly stop a leak. They also toured a locomotive.
"Everybody that came out today, I know they came away with something and I know they got basic knowledge now and they understand where to go and where to ask if nothing else," Bacino said.
The tour also covered transporting ethanol, crude oil, LP gases, hydrochloric acid and chlorine.
About 70 first responders attended the training.