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  1. #1
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Default WWYD: Unknown haz-mat in a railcar, limited access.

    Engine company called for a "strange smell in the area" call. Engine company passes by railroad crossing and your ever smart & dilligent officer notices smoke comeing from down the railroad tracks.

    The car is on a sideing with no RR crew around, access is limited to foot and the nearest road...the RR crossing is about half a mile away.Its early morning about 45' with a westerly city bound wind. Also on this sideing there are two tank cars.

    Yes, this is my own photo, taken yesterday-----notice suspicious looking smoke wafting up.
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  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Have fire alarm contact the railroad with the approximate location. They should have the info on what cars were left there from their shipping manifest. If there is a siding, chances are it's near a business, and hopefully it's in the neighboring community!

    PS: contact the glow worms of the hazmat team!
    ‎"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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  3. #3
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    What Gonzo said, also start more help on the way to close at-risk main roads and facilitate an orderly evacuation, not only downwind but also potentially for an as-yet-to-be-determined blast zone. You can always turn 'em around if not needed, but you may want the help quick. It's a toss-up if you want to begin the evac right away or await word on the manifest. Comparing cost/benefit of early evac vs. freaking people out without cause.

    Also, immediately implement the Rule of Thumb (pull back until the entire incident can be hidden behind the thumb of my outstretched arm). As a secondary means of assessment, count how many LEO's are down.

  4. #4
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    What Gonzo Said....

    Start Haz Mat Team that way
    Establish perimeter
    Isolate
    Deny Entry
    Identify product and take appropriate action based on what is discovered....


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  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Take about 5 steps to the right and see that the "smoke" is steam coming from the building in the backround.

    In all seriousness, pretty much same as above. Call railroad, call more help.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ff7134's Avatar
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    Make sure you are uphill/upwind
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  7. #7
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Cool And.........................

    Back down onto the end of the cut with a SD70MAC, Make it up and head for the boonies. "knock down the Blue flag and line us out of here, I'm reachin' for run 8."
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  8. #8
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Default Re: And.........................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    Back down onto the end of the cut with a SD70MAC, Make it up and head for the boonies. "knock down the Blue flag and line us out of here, I'm reachin' for run 8."
    Hehehehe, this photo was actueally taken from my track speeder doing a test run. As we were rolling along we saw the smoke and said WTF.

    Take about 5 steps to the right and see that the "smoke" is steam coming from the building in the backround.
    Nope, the car was acuteally on fire. Just wood chips burning.
    Last edited by stm4710; 03-28-2005 at 11:04 AM.
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  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile Wood Chips?..................

    Nuthin' too hazardous about Wood Chips. Unless they're treated with something else, some preservatives use arsenic. Anyway, for a Fire like that, we have an industrial siding to push a car into. We can then work it from a safe, paved area with good water supply and very well lit at night. It's also off the main at an angle, so the safe working area is at least 100 yards from the main, and protected by a fence. "The Main" is Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, shared with CSX Freight and MARC Commuter runs. Fast Trains on a close schedule. You really don't want to work close to, or on, that track.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  10. #10
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    Here's what I would have done...

    First, we need to identify the contents. Could we get a direct view of the car from a safe, upwind distance? Any placards? In this case, there probably wouldn't be any placards, so I would not evac, and would make a direct attack (after contacting the RR to stop all rail traffic and get a definite ID on the contents).

    Now, the next question I have is this: How are wood chips normally shipped by rail? In an open-top hopper? How would you guys recommend extinguishing such a fire?

  11. #11
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood Chips?..................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    Nuthin' too hazardous about Wood Chips. Unless they're treated with something else, some preservatives use arsenic. Anyway, for a Fire like that, we have an industrial siding to push a car into. We can then work it from a safe, paved area with good water supply and very well lit at night. It's also off the main at an angle, so the safe working area is at least 100 yards from the main, and protected by a fence. "The Main" is Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, shared with CSX Freight and MARC Commuter runs. Fast Trains on a close schedule. You really don't want to work close to, or on, that track.
    We knew it wasnt a haz-mat cause the only haz-mat they deal with is Anhyrdrous Amonnia and those cars never make it that far north. If it was a hazmat, I would have gone 5 miles the other way! LOL That place shreds various lumber scraps and ships it to a mill in PA that makes OSB plywood. I climbed up on to an adjoining car and saw just smoldering ash, so it looks like the fire was some time that night.

    But its a good WWYD photo for a unknown hazmat.



    Medic,
    Wood chips are usally shipped in 50' hi capcity gondolas open top with maybe a tarp to cover them. Just flood the car with a master stream.
    Last edited by stm4710; 03-28-2005 at 11:45 AM.
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