Held Tuesday through Thursday at Liquid Transport, 1265 Highway 411, the hazmat unit worked alongside company representatives on the basics of tanker construction, valve locations, off-loading and guidelines when dealing with tankers in emergency situations.
“We never have the chance to deal with it, and this is something that, you know, helps our guys so they can actually see it. You can read it in the books and study it, but this is where you are actually there, seeing the real thing and actually going over the details of everything,” said BCFD Capt. Marcus Warren.
The risk for a crash or emergency involving a tanker is ever present.
“... Sit there and watch [Interstate] 75 and see how many tanker trucks run up and down. Just watch here how many tanker trucks, even the rail cars. … There’s a lot of rail car tankers that come through our county,” Warren said. “The potential is there. You just have to train and be prepared for if it does happen. We have a better knowledge of what we’re working with, help us to keep our guys safe, our citizens safe — that’s the main thing.”
Community involvement prompted Liquid Transport to partner with the local emergency agencies.
“We’re Responsible Care qualified, and so, Responsible Care, we have to reach out to the community and we have to be a part of people understanding what we do, and explaining and let them work with us, learning what they do, they learn what we do that way there’s a community-type coming together,” said Liquid Transport Terminal Manager David Densmore.
Liquid Transport, located at the cloverleaf on Highway 411, moved to its current location last year after outgrowing a facility off Old Grassdale Road. The company is a liquid bulk carrier, focusing primarily on non-hazardous materials.
“[The training is] great for us because we get an opportunity to explain to people the emergency situation they are going to come up on. Because in the emergency situation, when we get there, it’s really chaotic,” Densmore said. “... Let’s just use a rollover for example. When we get there, they want us to upright the trailer right then. Well, if it’s loaded, you can’t do that because, if you bring it up loaded, it will break or it could break. And, if it’s hazardous material, you just caused even a bigger problem. It gives us a chance to explain to these guys, ‘Calm down. Just let us do our job. This is how we are going to do our job.’”
“It is very vital. ... They offer stuff like this that helps our guys with the knowledge [and skills] with no cost to the county or the city. It’s free training for us,” he said. “The companies are more than happy to come down and teach us and help us out. It benefits them. It’s more of an insurance policy for them. So, ‘Hey, these guys know us. We know what they know. We’ve taught them about our stuff.’ ... Learning is half the battle.”