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First let me thank everyone in the group for their participation, I feel we have all grown so much from each other.

I would like to ask the following:
What is the most Unique HazMat Emergency you have responded to?
What was your roll?
What did you feel worked?
What do you feel didn't work?
& Why?

Feel free to add pictures or videos!

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Replies to This Discussion

I just recently responded to several unmarked barrels and small containers of unknown materials, that had fallen off of a private vehicle (I think it must have been a flatbed, I dont know, since the driver had split!) They were all blending together and at least one had a low odor threshold since we staged uphill 300 feet away and could still smell it, but could not get any readings on our 4 gas detector. I responded as the IC and Incident Assessment Team member for our regional hazmat team. We moved into our full response team, went into level A, due to the unknown substances that are now creating more unknown substances as they mixed. No observable gases, nor could we pick up anything on our PID, which could have been due to the range it is in, typical up to 10. It turned out that it wouldn't have detected it anyway. No LEL, no CO, H2S, and it did not affect our O2 monitors. We sent in our robot and obtained a sample, which we placed on our Travel IR, it started identifying it finally! It turned out to be roofing tar, a polar solvent, and gasoline. Why we could not detect it on our 4 gas is a mystery to me, but it never went off or showed any readings at all. The only thing I could think of, was that it was evaporating rapidly enough to be undetectable? We then treated it as a typical gas spill, approximately 10 gallons, the roofing tar had cooled by then into a very solid mass, and used absorbent pads and good old kitty litter. Had it shoveled up and hauled away.
Excellent, it sounds like that was handled well!
Please keep in touch, my email is 740-507-9804 is my cell feel free to call at any time

I aslo have a new posting called YOU MAKE THE CALL , let me know what you think

Todd McKee
I served as the Hazardous Materials Branch Director for a major train derailment in Graniteville, SC in February 2005. It was without a doubt the greatest learning opportunity that I have experienced in over twenty years in the fire/emergency services. The incident involved an engine to engine collision that caused the derailment of (3) 90 ton chlorine cars, one of which was breached resulting in the release of the contents of the car. This particular incident resulted in nine deaths. I had the opportunity to work very closely Federal assets that I had only heard about in previous training, including the USCG Gulf Strke Team and all of the resources that the US EPA is able to provide for this type incident. Three years later, I can say without the least bit of hesitation, if your agency or those around you have the misfortune of responding to a major hazardous materials emergency trust that the assistance you will be provided by the EPA FOSC and resources availble under the National Response Plan are invaluable. I will gladly provide additional details on this particular incident if anyone is interested.

Rudy Dinkins
Rudy Heck Yeah I am intrested in the addtional details. Do you have any pictures or videos that I could use for my FDIC 09 Presentation? Todd McKee

Send me an e-mail with your contact information and I will be happy to provide anything that I have. I do have a large number of pictures and the video clips from our intial recon by my entry teams.

Rudy- contact me at
Hey! I just returned from a pre-fire planning session with a business in my community. In a back room we located 2 -55 gallon drums of vinyl/poly resin, 2 -55 gallon drums of Isocyanate, and 2-55 gallon drums of Methanol sitting directly beside each other and were open. They were using them to spray bedliners into pick-up trucks. So, they were reacting into a polymerization as it was applied through an air gun. There wasn't ventilation, no spillage control, and the owner could not actually tell us what she was using the methanol for. I visualized one interesting response, to say the least. I realized immediately that this is a long distance, ATC foam, but absolutely no water on the Isocyanate! Which is touching the other drum. Hmmm. Let's not forget the Vinyl/poly resin! How would you handle it?
Leslie- I would have them removed! Todd
That would make the most sense, but we do not have enforcement here. I cannot make them remove anything, only educate. I have reported it to the fire marshall's office, and educated them on how bad of a mix that really is. Can you say Cyanide gas? Terrorists are using the exact same stuff for bombs now! Along with the explosive polymerization that would occur.


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