By Maria Church
April 22, 2016 - A new online tool can help firefighters be better prepared to respond to rail incidents involving flammable liquids.
Funded by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and developed by Enform – the safety association for the oil and gas industry – in partnership with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and other emergency-response stakeholders, the tool is a free, online presentation covering emergency-response resources, hazard identification and site-specific hazard assessment and response.
CAFC president Paul Boissonneault said during the press conference launching the tool in March that firefighters, particularly volunteers in rural communities, are often the first on scene in the event of a train derailment.
"They are expected to initiate the critical steps of assessment, perimeter containment, based on their knowledge and expertise," Boissonneault said. "In this role, familiarity with rail equipment and the risks associated with the bulk transportation of dangerous goods is necessary."
The online presentation includes up-to-date regulatory information from Transport Canada's Emergency Response Task Force.
Brian Ladds, hazardous materials co-ordinator for the Calgary Fire Department, was involved with the creation of the presentation and said the goal is to make the information easily accessible to departments across the country.
"This is definitely an awareness piece," Ladds said, "It's making sure that everybody understands the commodity, how its carried, how it's placarded, and steps to take to keep everyone safe."
Access the presentation in English at rail.capp.ca/en/index.html and in French at rail.capp.ca/fr/index.html