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  1. #1
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    Question Explosives traveling through town

    I am hoping to get some information on a potential problem my department is going to face. A town that is adjacent to us has a new company starting up that does drilling and blasting. They are allowed to store up to 5000 pounds of explosives on their property, which is not a problem ( other than if on fire looking for the black cloud and hearing the boom). The issue is they are going to be transporting these explosives thru my town on residential streets to get to the highway. Our town is split in half by this major highway so there could be explosives traveling both day and night to and from this company. I am wondering is does any other department have this type of issue with daily traveling explosives? If anyone has any ideas on tactics or things we should do to prepare for a emergency. THANK YOU !!!
    "Fire Prevention is our Intention"


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Default This may help.

    There's a fireworks plant in Brookhaven, Long Island (not to be confused with Brookhaven Township, there's a seperate town in the township with the same name) that must transport its stuff to shows all over the country and the island. We're talking big shows, too. It's run by the Grucci family (or it at least still carries their name) and it's pretty much near residential areas. One of the Grucci's was elected to Congress in 2000. Anyway, you may be able to look up Brookhaven Fire Dept. on the www or try Yaphank, Medford or Patchogue FD's as I am sure they're mutual aid. I'm sure you will be able to find an e-mail contact. You may also want to try the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal's office or the Suffolk County Fire Marshal's office (they're both online). Worse comes to worse, try contacting the Congressman's office, you never know! Incidentally, quite a while back there was an explosion at the plant and people died...

    Good luck.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    Due the amount of construction that has gone on in my community and the fact that all of the "easy" land has been built on, most construction projects are in areas with a lot of ledge, and require blasting for everything from foundations to the installation of the utilities. There are trucks carrying explosives coming through the city at all times.

    All vehicles that carry explosives in any quantity (whether it be a half a pound or a thousand pounds) must be placarded as per the DOT regulations. If the transport vehicle is involved in fire, you have to follow the guideline and evacuation tables in the NAERG.

    Point of reference: whenever there is blasting going on in the city, we require that a firefighter be detailed to the blast to monitor and record the conditions of the blast and to ensure that the blaster is in compliance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Regulations pertaining to blasting operations. The firefighter is paid a detail rate of $36 an hour with a four hour minimum.

    Another point to ponder...there are probably a hell of a lot more instances of explosives being transported through your community than you think..a case in point: a few years ago I was heading home on Interstate Route 495 northbound. It's force of habit that I notice placards on vehicles. I saw a tractor trailer flatbead carrying a cargo of what appeared to be tubes that were secured to the trailer. The placard on all four sides of the rig were orange, Class 1 explosives.

    Can anyone guess what the cargo was from the description?
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 04-10-2002 at 09:06 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  4. #4
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Default

    Try to find out what type of explosives they're using. While all explosives are dangerous, some are much more sensitive than others. For example, commercial dynamite has more nitro in it than the military variety, and it gets even more sensitive with age. Some explosives won't explode even in a fire without a blasting cap or another explosive to prime them-C-4 is a good example of this.

    The NAERG doesn't have much detail. Talk to the guys who use the stuff, or even better, once you know what they're using, contact your local bomb squad or military EOD (explosive ordnance disposal unit). You should also have these folks called for response as soon as you realize explosives are involved.

    Probably the most important safety precaution is to make sure they are not transporting igniters or blasting caps in the same vehicle with the bulk explosives. It's a standard rule, but it does get broken.

  5. #5
    Forum Member 1835Wayne's Avatar
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    Default

    Good point about the blasting caps and charges in the same vehicle.
    Had a staff NCO in the service who made us(I was in artillery)carry igniters and powder canisters in the same 6x6. When it came out, he ended up as a corparal and got some brig time.

    As far as having these things in your area; do you have rails through your town? If so you already have this problem and should be prepared tacticly already. Capt Gonzo made a great suggestion about "supervising" the blasting. I would definately look into this idea.
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