04-25-2007, 11:34 AM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Wide Area Mass Casaulty Incident...
Spencer, MA is a town of 12,000 about 10 miles west of Worcester.
At the very least, should be a good operational shakeout for St. V's WMD plans:
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Spencer residents warned not to drink municipal water
By Bradford L. Miner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
SPENCER— A mass casualty incident was declared this morning by Fire Chief Robert P. Parsons as a result of an increased concentration of sodium hydroxide in the town’s water system.
As of 10 this morning, a Fire Department spokesman said 11 individuals had been transported to area hospitals with minor burns resulting from the chemical.
At St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, a special intake unit has been set up for quick treatment of people arriving from Spencer.
Margaret Bacon, superintendent of the Utilities and Facilities Department said the water, contaminated by a buffering agent to raise the pH level, should only be used for flushing the toilet.
Residents and businesses on the town water system should avoid any contact with the water or drinking the water in any form.
Ms. Bacon said department personnel are currently flushing the system.
Students are being kept in school, and bottled water and hand sanitizer are being distributed, according to a school spokeswoman.
04-25-2007, 03:09 PM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Still an on-going incident.
Longer news article, with pics of the decon tent set up by Worcester FD at St. Vincents hospital -- http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...ERT01/70425003
Also heard over the scanner in the last few minutes requests being made for the State Police to help with traffic control near Spencer Town Hall (were bottled water is being distributed), and for State "Homeland Security" light towers from four communities around the area being sent to Spencer Fire HQ (2) and East Brookfield's Firehouse (2).
Numerous departments in the Southern Worcester County area are involved in supporting operations out there.
Last edited by Dalmatian190; 04-25-2007 at 03:13 PM.
04-25-2007, 03:36 PM #3
we had a somewhat similar incident happen here were the people in our water district has E-Coli going throught their water. people were advised not to use their water for like a week. they cleared the problem up but it was interesting. then they tried to blame it on the fire department saying we "backflowed" our water into the water system through the hydrants which could have caused it, but then they found out that was not the case.
04-26-2007, 09:44 AM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
My spidey sense is telling me this one will make the training books for WMD/Terrorism -- not because it was, but because it's the first community wide mass contamination we've seen (that I know of) since all the money was spent on "Homeland Security" post 9-11.
This morning's paper was reporting a total of 85 patients transported to the hospital. Reports yesterday also said not everyone was being transported -- some were just field deconned and declined further medical treatment.
I drove through there last night (loooong way home )...everything seemed well organized. In the 10 miles from Worcester I saw 3 AMR and 1 Monson FD ambulance inbound to the city, and Westfield enroute back to the staging areas. Doesn't mean much to most of you, but people who know Mass are going wow...and their jaws will drop when I say I saw Northampton FD Ambulance at the East Brookfield station. According to the paper, as far out as Ashfield which is a few towns past Northampton responded.
From the press, what I heard over a scanner, and saw on my trip through (it was raining by then so no good photo ops)...it is well organized. Everybody from Mass Highway providing sign boards, numerous Private & FD ambulances from the area, dozen+ local Fire Departments, Worcester FD had a decon facility setup at St. Vincents (and I saw Agawam's ambulance there!), another decon tent at the East Brookfield station, Mass State Police providing security / traffic control. Local DPWs responded state-owned lighting trailers to light up the firehouses and intersections in front of them. Worcester County Sheriff's Office sent over their jail guards & baliffs after shift change to help with the door-to-door flyer hand out going on. Town had bottled water at the town highway garage, and had a load of water-less hand sanitizer inbound
Incident is still ongoing, with command still established some 26 hours after it was established (sounds like they just announced they'll be standing down a significant part of the resources at 1000hrs).
Last edited by Dalmatian190; 04-26-2007 at 09:48 AM.
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