Alabama Fire Department Receives Rail Car Donation for Hazardous Materials Team
DOTHAN, AL. – November 6, 2018 - According to an online news report from dothaneagle.com, Bay Line Railroad and the City of Dothan, Alabama, announced November 6 a donation of five rail cars to the hazardous materials team of the Dothan Fire Department.*
Dothan Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Etheredge said the rail car donation will give the hazardous materials team the opportunity to refine the members’ skills through simulation training. Without spare cars, hazardous materials training can be a very tough task.
“How do you train walking on top of an overturned rail car to seal a leak without doing it?” Etheredge asked. “It’s obviously not an everyday occurrence, but particularly being a regional hazmat team … we’re subject to deploy anywhere. We respond a lot to our partner counties that are right here with us.”
It’s clearly a good thing that few incidents occur with the region’s railways, but the lack of incidents means teams need opportunities for simulated training to gain hands-on experience.
“When you don’t do it very much, it increases the need to train on it more,” Etheredge said. “The opportunity to do this on real life cars rather than ground-mounted simulators or something of that nature … [is] a lot different.”
The five donated rail cars will sit on top of a railroad bed and tracks and will be part of the Wiregrass Public Safety Center, currently under construction in Dothan. One of the cars will be overturned, according to an proposed diagram. Bay Line Railroad operates on tracks running from Panama City, Florida, to Dothan, Alabama, where the lines connect with some CSX railways. Bay Line also operates on tracks that run into Georgia.
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