Fire District 1 hosts course on oil train risks and preparedness

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John Malool, a New Jersey hazardous materials chief and safety specialist, teaches a class on oil-train risks and preparedness at Snohomish County Fire District 1. Five senior officers from Fire District 1 participated in the class to learn about the characteristics and response steps associated with crude oil carried by rail through the Puget Sound region.
John Malool, a New Jersey hazardous materials chief and safety specialist, teaches a class on oil-train risks and preparedness at Snohomish County Fire District 1. Five senior officers from Fire District 1 participated in the class to learn about the characteristics and response steps associated with crude oil carried by rail through the Puget Sound region.

More than 30 safety professionals and first responders learned about crude oil rail transportation risks and preparedness in a class at Snohomish County Fire District 1 last week.

“This will help Fire District 1 in our response planning for the oil trains coming through our service area in unincorporated south Snohomish County and the City of Edmonds,” said Assistant Chief Bob Eastman. He was one of five senior officers from Fire District 1 who attended.

The course was sponsored by the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health. It was designed to give participants an awareness and safety information about the crude oil carried by rail from the Bakken region of North Dakota. Participants examined case studies of recent oil-train incidents, identified response issues and hazard response steps to prepare for a rail incident.

Fire District 1 has also hosted regional table-top exercise to work through response plans with railroad representatives, law enforcement and other first responders from neighboring jurisdictions.

Fire District 1 is the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in Snohomish County, with full-time staffing at 12 fire stations. The department serves nearly 200,000 residents in unincorporated south Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace.

— Information and photo provided by Fire District 1

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