Home Interviews THMG082 – Interview with Dan Baker and Ed Fletcher of NYS OFPC

THMG082 – Interview with Dan Baker and Ed Fletcher of NYS OFPC

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We had a chat with Dan Baker and Ed Fletcher from the New York State Offices of Fire Prevention and Control at the NYS Conference where we recently presented. Take a listen!

Complete Show Notes

2:10 Introduction to Dan and Ed

  • Both instructed classes at the NYS Conference Bob attended
  • Dan Baker
    • Fire protection specialist assigned to special operations for 14.5 years
    • Learning tech rescue, but prefers sticking with hazmat
  • Ed Fletcher
    • Also works in hazmat and is Chief of the Standards Unit
    • Worked 11 years in special ops prior to that

4:20 Overview of the Train World

  • Lots of Bakken crude oil being transported around via a variety of different railcars
  • Steel is thicker on new train cars, and they also have permanent headshields at go on the front and back of the car
  • All of the fixtures are on top of the 117 in what looks like a pressure housing – makes it look like a pressure car now – it has a manway, though
  • Bottom outlets on new trains are more crash-worthy – they have skid plates and stronger handles
  • There are few options available with certain tank cars, especially if they aren’t owned by the railroad

9:30 What’s Up with Bakken Crude Oil?

  • Other substances are cheaper, and there have also been some changes in import regulations – it’s becoming less profitable than other sources
  • Railroads are replacing that freight with fuel-grade ethanol – same cars and same tracks, but less attention since there haven’t been major ethanol incidents
  • Bakken crude isn’t homogenous or refined (unlike ethanol) and just came out of the ground – contaminated with water and some hydrogen sulfide so you don’t always know what you’re dealing with
  • Railroads technically don’t have to tell you what’s coming through your town
  • Unit train – has a whole bunch of tank cars carrying the same commodity from one end to the other
  • A foam task force was appointed in New York to study fire and crude oil once Bakken became more common
  • Rail infrastructure and tunnels need to be repaired and updated, especially when it’s carrying crude – military and federal/state agencies need to be prepared to respond when issues arise

26:10 Planning for Potential Railroad Emergencies

  • Foam task forced helped the DEC develop a Geographic Response Planning process – mapped every mile of track in New York state
  • Met with emergency managers, fire chiefs, police chiefs, and EMS folks in every county containing track to come up with a response plan to aid decision making
  • Plans are in place regardless of the materials you’re dealing with – crude, ethanol, propane, etc.

30:50 Things to Think About When Approaching and Analyzing a Scene

  • Is it on fire? If it’s too big to fight, you have to evacuate
  • If it’s in the middle of a city, determine your exposure and use foam to assist with evacuation
  • Keep in mind that access to water can be difficult with rail emergencies – be prepared to think outside the box
  • Never use a meter if you’re using foam

39:00 Contacting Dan and Ed

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