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I received this email from Asst. Chief Leslie Pederson. This is a real business in her response area. What would your department do in this situation? How would you plan the response? She and I would definitely like to talk about it!!

Hey Robert. I called the fire marshall's office
regarding the preplan incident at the business I
had mentioned. We do not have any enforcement
abilities, but they do. He was horrified at what
he found and we had a discussion on what I felt we
needed. Due to the potential for one serious
incident, and the hazardous materials we found
there, I felt strongly, (regardless of the amount)
that the building needed to be placarded with the
NFPA 704 system. Looking into the different
products that were there, every color would be a
#4, with the reactive to water symbol! The
business did not even have MSDS's in place, nor
did the owner know what the products were, or how
dangerous they were. They literally had the drums
on rollers, with open bungs with air pumps shoved
into them. The employees were spraying a
combination of these products to line truck beds
with it. I dont know if this company is local or
corporate, LineX, but they were certainly pushing
every boundary. The fire marshall also called in
L & I, due to so many violations, and he was only
able to enforce certain codes. Now it is a wait
and see game, since they are 2 blocks away from
our headquarter station, and I have not seen
anything yet, indicating change. But we will be
following up on this pre-fire plan closely. I
also gave the HazMat team, that I am a member of,
a heads up on this location, so we could also
pre-plan our response. Thanks for your interest
and I am interested to hear how you could or would
handle this type of situation. Stay safe!

Views: 394

Replies to This Discussion

Shauna, significantly more valuable than "2 cents"!! Thank you do you spell Pre-Plan!!?? If they are willing to allow the dept back in, (after any possible fines), then I would document everything and where it is. Then ask them to keep things where they are unless that in its self posses a greater risk.

Draw it up and then train like the devil on every possible scenario. Like Shauna said, MSDS, Dispatch, and if this would require Mutual Aid then once you have been through some initial training for your department pull them in as well. If it is as bad as it sounds I would put together a binder just for this company and make sure a copy is on every rig, and with your MA's rigs as well.

I don't know if it is, but if everything is water reactive did anyone check to see if the building is sprinklered? That would be my luck!

Just a side note-LINE X is a national chain that applies a tough coating in the back of pickup beds to replace the old plastic bed liners.

Good Luck,

Great points John, thanks
Thanks everyone! Just so you know, I have gotten copies of the MSDS's and have placed them in the rigs, and thanks to Robert's suggestion, I will be forwarding them to the mutual aid departments also. I already have it flagged in dispatch. I am lucky this time, the building is not sprinklered. Just so you know what is all in there, and this is just the large quantity stuff: 110 gallons of Methanol, (Not water reactive, but very flammable), 55 gallons of Ethyl Alcohol, 55 gallons of Acetone, 55 gallons of Ethylene Glycol, 110 gallons Diphenylmethane Diisocycanate (P), 55 gallons of Methyl Ethyl Ketone, several 5 gallon containers of a "Solvent blend" consisting of Toluene, Acetone, Isopropyl Alcohol, Isobutyl Acetate, Heptane,n-, Methylcyclohexane, Cyclohexane, Naptha. This one is special Transcoat 161 - solvent 3 55 gallons drums the ingredients read like a nightmare: Oxidized asphalt, stoddard solvent, fullers earth, and an unidentified activator. Not a lot of data on this product, but it creates H2S under fire conditions. Makes sense with the asphalt in it. Just says water or foam may cause frothing, but I would be also looking at (in case of fire) the "boil over potential", since there has to be entrained water in this product, it becomes explosive above 212 degrees (the ol' expansion ratio comes into play). 50- 1 gallon containers of wood stain (lots of petroleum based products mixed together) Highly flammable, but they dont have any information on firefighting measures, 100 gallon barrel of Alkyd resin, Xylene, Butyl Carbonate & Glycol Ether solution the MSDS just states that it react violently with oxidizers and it is a demulsifier. Those are just the larger amounts, there are several 1 gallon containers of several different types of products they failed to submit to us. Oh yeah, and it is one of thos pole building type of structures in the middle sharing with 5 other businesses, with lots of employees. Oh joy!!! They had failed to train the employees on what they were working on, they had been using an old MSA mask, with the elephant hose, that was duct taped together because the hose was so compromised. I demanded that they properly train and obtain the proper PPE for their employees. So did the Fire Marshall. So we will see....
Wow, Hey Chief this one is a time bomb waiting for the switch to be pulled. Our Dept recently was invited to a chemical facility in our area to review their Emergency Response Plan & tour the site. The site is actually two sites across the street from each other located with-in 1 mile of a high school. I attended along with our Chief & other Captain.We, after asking permission, took numerous pictures from various angles of everything we saw. The main chemical here is Anhydrous Ammonia which as we know can be nasty stuff. As our area is rural serviced by volunteer Dept's, our initial 1st due response depends on manpower available so we always plan for the worst scenario.I think it is important to have good relations with the facility in question & if possible try to run some scenarios on scene with all involved stakeholders.
We intend to put the ERP & info/pictures gathered into a training night for all our members to help the pre-plan process & identify every possible issue that could arise with a call to that site. Document everything & train for everything is our mantra, so when that call comes we hopefully won't be surpised.
Excellent decision on that. Sorry guys, I lost my hard drive, and just saw the comments. I am actually surprised they allowed you to take pictures, they typically don't do that. Lucky you for that. Always plan for the worst! We all know that happens.
About 10 years ago, we had a pipeline, 36" in diameter, rupture and pour several thousands of barrels of gasoline into a creek that ran through our city. It found an ignition source a mile down stream at I-5 and blew back to the source. Killing 3 kids and it burned for a day. Only thing we could do was protect structures, stop the source and watch it burn. You just never know.
As for the Line X dilemma, they decided that they did not want to conform to the laws and requirements, and moved to a different county. Which I immediately notified that county fire marshall's office about the situation with the company. I am still amazed at the lack of knowledge or concern the owner showed for thier employees, along with being unwilling to work with us to fix the problem.
As usual Chief it's all about the bottom line. Safety, employees, the environment that's not important. Only the bottom line is. I guess it's a good thing for us that the world is full of people like them. Unfortunately it is job security


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