1. #1
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    Default Chlorine PPE- What are You Comfortable with?

    For smaller chlorine leaks (150 lb. cylinder or less) what would you be comfortable with PPE wise? The specific situation I am thinking of would be one where the leak could be fixed with simple tools in a small amount of time. Application of a c-clamp to the stem or at the most having to use an A-kit would be the maximum involvement.

    Who would be alright with turnout gear, SCBA and decon with a hoseline? Who would want full level A with full decon line? I have heard it described and seen it done both ways, and I know what I would be ok with for this particular situation, but I was wanting the opinion of a few other people as well.

    Remember, this is not a train or truck derailment, but simply a single 150 lb. or less cylinder leaking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Now bear in mind I used to be a chlorine plant operator, but I would be OK with just the SCBA if it were a small leak. I've routinely fixed small leaks with only a half-face cartridge respirator. In fact, I've even fixed them with a mouthbit escape respirator, until they made us stop doing that.

    I guess it's all in what you're used to. I'd rather deal with chlorine than a lot of other chemicals, because I know how to handle it (or at least I used to )

    SCBA and turnouts, I wouldn't have a problem with.

    Also, I don't think the size of the container is the issue, it's the size of the leak. A leaking valve packing on a chlorine tank car is pretty easy to deal with.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Thanks for that response, Chief. Good point on the tank size not being as important as the leak size.

    I personaly would also be ok with full turnouts and SCBA.

    One thing I will never forget that Ron Gore taught us was that people over think most simple chlorine incidents. Full level A suits are not always needed. And water, when applied heavily enough, is not always the enemy with chlorine either. When looking for that packing leak like you described, they would plug the holes in the side of the rail car top hat with nerf style footballs and fill it with water. Leak shows air bubbles. Genious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Their are many HM incidents that can be handled in level D adding a SCBA, but should they.
    Using the HazMat IQ cards you can enter just about everything in turnouts for a rescue. you'll probably not be bashed too bad when it is to save a life, but when you are taking care of a leak or doing service to a line etc. you have to be in the correct PPE.
    You can not justify injuring a hazmat tech to do a non life saving activity in level D gear. Chlorine is a common chemical and we are all familiar with it, NIOSH doesn't recomment no skin contact so turnouts would probably be fine, but does Morning Pride, Globe etc want their turnouts contaminated by Chlorine? I would go level B before ruining a set of turnouts. And if that's the case why not get in level A and not be exposed at all. The suit can be dirty deconed and used again.
    My biggest fear in using turnouts is complacency. The hazmat IQ cards let you enter just about everything in Turnouts (for rescue), so at what point do guys wear turnouts for everything, like Ammonia and get injured.

    just my opinion, but I'd sooner get bashed for over protection then have to explain an injury.

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    I know where you are comming from. By no means was I suggesting that we abondon the idea of level A and go to level D. The one time I have seen this done and approved was when the leak was occuring in front of an elementary school, during school hours. Not just your run of the mill line service or tanker car in the middle of no where leaking.

    I asked this becuase I taught an SCBA class to our city's public works department last week. We have a smaller sized water treatment plant that keeps two 150 lb. cylinders on hand. The plant is located on the city limits, but close to a neighborhood. They pretty much stated that if thier were a leak, they would expect the fire department to handle it. Being the smaller ciy FD that we are, we would then rely on the county hazmat team. If we as first responding units could handle the incident in turnouts and SCBA safely, I would like to be able to.

    For the record, I vounteer with the city and work for the larger county department. I am hazmat tech and on the county hazmat team, but I was looking at this situation from the city's point of veiw, not wanting to have to wait and be dependant upon someone else unless we have to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Just be aware that chlorine, depending on the concentration, can deteriorate firefighting gear. The Nomex does not react well with the chlorine. That's why you do not use chlorine when washing turn out gear. I've seen where it took a week or two and the sleeves would just rip off when the gear was put on. I understand that the FF turnout is quick, however FF gear is NOT a chemical protective suit and chlorine is shipped as a poison and everyone knows is corrosive. Just be careful and you may have to buy new gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    When looking for that packing leak like you described, they would plug the holes in the side of the rail car top hat with nerf style footballs and fill it with water. Leak shows air bubbles. Genious.
    Even easier than that is carrying a small squirt bottle filled with a weak ammonia solution...just ordinary household ammonia diluted about 10:1 with water. Squirt a little ammonia water around the area (or even hold the bottle upside down and blow some of the ammonia vapors toward the suspected leak)...when it comes in contact with chlorine vapors it will smoke, showing you very clearly where the leak is. Simple and foolproof. We used to keep little ammonia bottles stashed all over the plant where I worked for pinpointing suspected leaks.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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