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Thread: West LODD Report

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    Default West LODD Report

    Report

    I'll be curious to see if the recommendations actually lead to any substantial changes.

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    Guess one problem is volunteer fire depts not regulated by state??

    Plus the storage of the product itself is main problem

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    What has always baffled me is that counties with very limited populations have very little regulatory authority, as do general law municipalities. The only counties with very much regulatory power are the same as the home-rule cities with the regulatory authority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Guess one problem is volunteer fire depts not regulated by state??
    I don't know that the outcome of the fire would have been drastically different if they were regulated by the state. The report clearly indicated that a number of issues lead to the deaths, including a lack of recognition of how dangerous the fire was, an attempt to use residential firefighting tactics on a commercial hazmat fire, the lack of ICS, the lack of communication, a lack of pre-planning, and other items.

    Even if the VFD was regulated by the state, the state can't be there to police every call that every fire department goes to, and there's still the very real possibility that the multiple deaths would have occurred.

    This is a well-written report and worth reading, especially for those in command-and-control roles in volunteer firehouses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I don't know that the outcome of the fire would have been drastically different if they were regulated by the state. The report clearly indicated that a number of issues lead to the deaths, including a lack of recognition of how dangerous the fire was, an attempt to use residential firefighting tactics on a commercial hazmat fire, the lack of ICS, the lack of communication, a lack of pre-planning, and other items.

    Even if the VFD was regulated by the state, the state can't be there to police every call that every fire department goes to, and there's still the very real possibility that the multiple deaths would have occurred.

    This is a well-written report and worth reading, especially for those in command-and-control roles in volunteer firehouses.
    texas volunteers operate a little different than maybe other state volunteers.

    They are very underfunded, lack personnel, training, and especially equipment

    Plus some of the sq miles they have to cover with no water supply

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    http://www.femoranshs.com/tx-bans-fi...counties-blog/

    this may change with the next legislator session
    Last edited by fire49; 05-16-2014 at 08:49 PM.

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    99% of the fire departments in the Country are not prepared for a fire of that magnitude.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    99% of the fire departments in the Country are not prepared for a fire of that magnitude.
    True story.. But I would hope that if I'm a first responder; I would have formulated a pre plan of some sorts. It's not like this thing was put there overnight by aliens. The same goes for nuclear power plants, grain silos, train yards, propane tank farms, busy interstates... Etc. anything other than a room and contents or a brush fire. If the fire department can't handle it, they should seek out political help.. If that won't help then they should've just stayed out of it..sometimes the best plan of action is no action.

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    Though pre-plans will not and are not the end-all for any kind of disaster in your community, a well thought out pre-plan or basic surveys of target hazards can and will put you well ahead of the game when the schit hits the fan. Many volunteer organizations don't have the time for basic training, much less to do building inspections, etc.

    You have to wonder if the outcome of this incident would have been different had they had a knowledge of what was involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You have to wonder if the outcome of this incident would have been different had they had a knowledge of what was involved.
    To me, it appeared that at least one person on the scene did recognize the problem. Others either ignored it or never heard those concerns (lack of command and communication).

    If everyone on the scene both knew of the hazard (preplanning) and recognized it for what it was (hazmat training), I'd opine that the area would have been deserted when the place blew.

    We have a similar problem here with grass/brush fires. We're used to such fires under an acre. If we encounter one of significant size, the brooms and Indian tanks become nearly useless, and we are at a loss at how to stop the fire.

    A local fire department here with an LP storage facility in their first-due once half jokingly stated that their preplan if said facility caught fire was to retreat to a hilltop several miles distant and watch from there.

    We can hope that this tragedy has the same effect as the death of an assistant fire chief here did. He was killed at a fire involving an oxygen limiting silo. A whole lot of us are a lot smarter about such silos now than we were before that one exploded while he was climbing down the ladder on the side of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    http://www.femoranshs.com/tx-bans-fi...counties-blog/

    this may change with the next legislator session
    That law pretty much makes most of the Texas VFD's potential Darwin Award Candidates. To forbid fire safety standards is INSANE. Those depts. have GOT to be given the tools, the training, and the authority to deal with the hazards in their districts. They're just asking for LODD's in Texas with that nonsense.
    We not only have a part time certified fire inspector in our rural VFD, we can get assistance from the State Fire Marshal if we have any questions or concerns.

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    The first report of the fire was at 7:29PM. The first two trucks were en route at 7:37PM, and arrived two minutes later. The explosion took place at 7:51PM. That left 22 minutes from the first 911 call to the explosion, and the West VFD with about 12 minutes when the arrived on scene before the explosion. That isn't a lot of time to evacuate, especially with a nursing home next door.

    Had this been during a school day, there would have also been a high school and intermediate school to evacuate. Even with training and drills, evacuating all three facilities would be almost impossible in 12 minutes. Had the facilities themselves had pre-plans and began evacuating without fire department assistance, maybe 22 minutes would have been enough, but even that might be pushing it. And there were still homes, a park, and other places that would need evacuated.

    A large anhydrous ammonia spill could have also been exceptionally devastating. Depending on the wind direction, a spill could have released toxic gas in the direction of the wind, which could have impacted a large number of people. Other than try to evacuate survivors, the fire department would have been fairly limited in what it could do.

    Safety codes and/or moving these things out into the country and away from populated areas would do a lot more to prevent mass casualties than state regulation of the fire department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    The first report of the fire was at 7:29PM. The first two trucks were en route at 7:37PM, and arrived two minutes later. The explosion took place at 7:51PM. That left 22 minutes from the first 911 call to the explosion, and the West VFD with about 12 minutes when the arrived on scene before the explosion. That isn't a lot of time to evacuate, especially with a nursing home next door.

    Had this been during a school day, there would have also been a high school and intermediate school to evacuate. Even with training and drills, evacuating all three facilities would be almost impossible in 12 minutes. Had the facilities themselves had pre-plans and began evacuating without fire department assistance, maybe 22 minutes would have been enough, but even that might be pushing it. And there were still homes, a park, and other places that would need evacuated.

    A large anhydrous ammonia spill could have also been exceptionally devastating. Depending on the wind direction, a spill could have released toxic gas in the direction of the wind, which could have impacted a large number of people. Other than try to evacuate survivors, the fire department would have been fairly limited in what it could do.

    Safety codes and/or moving these things out into the country and away from populated areas would do a lot more to prevent mass casualties than state regulation of the fire department.

    True on a lot of points

    The nursing home to my understanding started moving people to the far sure away from the plant.

    I think they have only lost one person

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    Safety codes and/or moving these things out into the country and away from populated areas would do a lot more to prevent mass casualties than state regulation of the fire department.
    If I recall the report correctly, the facility did start out in the middle of no-where. Then West grew around it. Kinda like happens with airports, too.
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    The wording makes it sound like town was built around it. But that isn't entirely accurate. The town was there long before Adair Grain. Adair Grain was built on the outskirts of town, and as the town grew, it encompassed Adair Grain. But the town is about 1.5 square miles in size. So it isn't like Adair Grain was built several miles from town, then everything sprang up around it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    The first report of the fire was at 7:29PM. The first two trucks were en route at 7:37PM, and arrived two minutes later. The explosion took place at 7:51PM. That left 22 minutes from the first 911 call to the explosion, and the West VFD with about 12 minutes when the arrived on scene before the explosion. That isn't a lot of time to evacuate, especially with a nursing home next door.

    Had this been during a school day, there would have also been a high school and intermediate school to evacuate. Even with training and drills, evacuating all three facilities would be almost impossible in 12 minutes. Had the facilities themselves had pre-plans and began evacuating without fire department assistance, maybe 22 minutes would have been enough, but even that might be pushing it. And there were still homes, a park, and other places that would need evacuated.

    A large anhydrous ammonia spill could have also been exceptionally devastating. Depending on the wind direction, a spill could have released toxic gas in the direction of the wind, which could have impacted a large number of people. Other than try to evacuate survivors, the fire department would have been fairly limited in what it could do.

    Safety codes and/or moving these things out into the country and away from populated areas would do a lot more to prevent mass casualties than state regulation of the fire department.
    Given a choice between additional regulations for businesses and additional regulations for the fire service, I am quite sure the state of Texas would regulate the fire service and leave business be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    The wording makes it sound like town was built around it. But that isn't entirely accurate. The town was there long before Adair Grain. Adair Grain was built on the outskirts of town, and as the town grew, it encompassed Adair Grain. But the town is about 1.5 square miles in size. So it isn't like Adair Grain was built several miles from town, then everything sprang up around it.
    Agreed. Still, if the potential destructiveness of the plant had been recognized, it's not likely two schools and an old folks home would have been built within spittin' distance...
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    West is not alone

    Check your city, may not be an explosion, may be a large compressed gas storage facility, may be the train rumbling through the middle of the city, maybe the gasoline storage facility, maybe some business that has nasty stuff stored or used

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    And they seemed to have heeded the lessons.

    It will be interesting to see if those lessons are heeded when an incident occurs far from Texas, or 5 years from now when the incident and the lessons are no longer fresh.

    We have developed some very specific procedures for the black powder and explosive primer manufacturing facilities that we cover at the National Guard facility on our eastern border. In fact, we have marked the Go/No Go structures at each facility so there is no question about how we will respond. This base has a history of large, fatal explosions as it used to be a very active ordinance manufacturing facility up until the late 80's when the military shut down production, so we understood the danger when some of the shutdown structures were converted into private sector explosives manufacturing facilities.
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    The Texas State Fire Marshal is very pro active.

    He has been visiting around Texas where storage facilities are located. Educating the town and the local responders about AN. I think he was there in April.

    as you see the storage is in the middle of town

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    The Texas State Fire Marshal is very pro active.

    He has been visiting around Texas where storage facilities are located. Educating the town and the local responders about AN. I think he was there in April.

    as you see the storage is in the middle of town
    My point was that in the fire service we tend to forget quickly, and often when the event is not local, the lessons may not be learned.

    I have no doubt that there are a lot of departments in TX paying attention, but how about in Ohio, or NY or Idaho, and will the message continue to be delivered aggressively 5 years from now?

    I wish we had a longer memory, but sadly, in many places, it's pretty short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My point was that in the fire service we tend to forget quickly, and often when the event is not local, the lessons may not be learned.

    I have no doubt that there are a lot of departments in TX paying attention, but how about in Ohio, or NY or Idaho, and will the message continue to be delivered aggressively 5 years from now?

    I wish we had a longer memory, but sadly, in many places, it's pretty short.


    Agree agree agree!!!!! In more ways then one


    And Athens had more AN ten West
    Last edited by fire49; 05-30-2014 at 06:16 PM.

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