News: Chillicothe National Guard unit receives hazardous material training
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – In an area of Chillicothe, a more than 100-car train carrying ethanol derails. The resulting fireball and explosion cause a fireball that can be seen for more than 10 miles. More than 10,000 people are evacuated.
The flames and subsequent explosion were fueled by spilled ethanol. The train was also carrying styrene, another potentially hazardous substance.
People reported noticing a chemical smell in addition to the smoke in the air. Local and regional medical centers quickly become overwhelmed. Area first responders ask for assistance from the state to deal with the crisis situation.
While many of the details of the previous scenario may seem familiar, it is a scenario that could potentially play itself out for members of the Ohio National Guard’s Search and Extraction Team.
More than 50 members of the Camp Sherman-based 1194th Engineer Company completed Hazardous Material training, July 16, at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe.
This group of Engineer soldiers who are trained as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians completed this multi-day training in order to assume a highly specialized mission. They are working to become members of the Search and Extraction team of the Ohio National Guard’s Homeland Response Force.
The Homeland Response force provides capabilities to search damaged buildings, evacuate areas and structures that may be in a danger zone, rescue trapped casualties, decontaminate personnel and perform medical triage. The HRF is the first level of relief for civilian first responders.
“The Hazardous material training that the S & E team is receiving that is designed to keep them safe in the exposure area,” explained Sgt. Selby Rupe from Kettering.
Rupe is a training Non-Commissioned Officer for the Ohio HRF. He is also a HAZMAT instructor for the HRF and a member of the Ohio National Guard’s 637th Chemical Company based in Kettering.
“You have to be able to identify what the hazardous substances are and the risks associated with them,” Rupe said. “Knowing those risks will help you to be safe.
Sgt. Cheryl Netter from Frankfort, the safety non-commissioned officer for the S and E team felt that the class was extremely informative.
“I now know more about the proper safety measures in the event of a chemical spill and how to make sure that no one gets injured,” explained Netter.
The Search and Extraction team will go through many months of training before being officially certified to take over their part of the HRF mission.
Date Posted:07.20.2012 15:58
Location:CHILLICOTHE, OH, US
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