News: Coast Guard supports derailment operations
Story by Airman Sean Crowe
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - The U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team here deployed to sustain the Incident Support Command for a derailed train Nov. 30, 2012, in Paulsboro, N.J.
Approximately seven freight cars transporting chemicals derailed after the Mantua Creek rail bridge crossing collapsed in Paulsboro Nov. 30, 2012, three of them falling into the creek. The freights were transporting vinyl chloride, an industrial chemical primarily used in making polyvinyl chloride. A half-mile radius evacuation zone was issued for local residents.
The AST supplied the operation sections chief and safety officer for the ISC in addition to logistical support including planning operations.
“We are just one of several agencies that took the reins to structure the ISC,” said Lt. Joel Ferguson, AST operations officer. “The different types of logistical support we provided include initial response support, planning and safety.”
Members of the AST are currently assisting Coast Guard sector Delaware with logistical support by arranging meetings with the mayor and councilman of Paulsboro.
“We have six Coast Guardsmen at the location: a safety officer, operation section chief, two Coast Guardsmen in the planning section and two Coast Guardsmen patrolling the safety zone in a 65-foot cutter called the ‘Cleat,’” said Lt. Annjea Cormier, AST Chemical Division safety officer.
The AST provides specific expertise in hazard mitigation and knowledge of unified command structure. The team will continue with operations until cleanup is finished.