During the recent Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals’ (AHMP) national conference in Anchorage, Alaska, an emergency response scenario staged at the Alaska Railroad Corp. simulated chemical releases that would affect train passengers and the surrounding environment.
With millions of gallons of hazardous chemicals transported across U.S. railroads every day, the chance of a hazmat incident is greater than many may expect, according to AHMP. This year’s emergency response scenario ensured that hazmat professionals and first responders were shown the best practice in how to handle a chemical emergency when an incident occurs.
The Anchorage Fire Department, 103rd WMD Civil Support team and the 95th Chemical Co. assisted with implementing three separate but integrated chemical releases that would affect train passengers and the surrounding environment. The emergency scenarios included:
Scenario 1: The Anchorage Fire Department responded to a chemical release from a railcar and demonstrated entry and a hazard assessment along with a full-scale decontamination line.
Scenario 2: The 103rd WMD Civil Support team responded to the release of a bio agent, including entry and a full-scale decontamination line.
Scenario 3: The 95th Chemical Company demonstrated a passenger extraction drill donned in bunker gear and a full-scale decontamination line for potentially affected passengers.
During each scenario, first responders demonstrated the resources, equipment and techniques used to effectively decontaminate the area. The scenarios also allowed AHMP attendees to put their knowledge to the test and gain insight on best practices for handling a chemical emergency on the railroad.
The conference was help Sept. 9-13. Next year, AHMP will host its 26th national conference in Orlando.
View photos from the 2012 event below: