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Train cars - Tankers

Use Case- Railways

USE CASES - Railways

SCENARIO - Train Derailment

Scenario Overview:
In the early morning, a Central and Columbia (C&C) freight train derailed along the Roaring River, posing significant hazards and challenges. The incident involves a variety of hazardous materials, injuries, environmental impacts, and media attention. Responders must coordinate efforts to manage the situation effectively.

Scenario Details:

Incident Location:

  • The derailment occurred along the Roaring River, partially within Central City Riverfront Park.

  • Central City, the largest population center in Liberty County, is affected.

Train Composition:

  • The train consisted of 4 diesel locomotives, 23 tank cars (pressurized and nonpressurized), 12 hopper cars, and 2 cryogenic liquid tank cars containing liquid oxygen (LOX).

Incident Description:

  • The derailment caused several pressurized tank cars containing chlorine and anhydrous ammonia to rupture.

  • Two LPG tank cars exploded, igniting a fire.

  • Hopper cars with ammonium nitrate have spilled their contents.

  • Diesel from locomotive tanks has spilled into the river.

  • Non-pressurized tank cars released crude sulfate turpentine into the river.

  • The train Engineer is injured and receiving treatment.

Response Actions:

  1. Initial Assessment (incident commander):

    • Assess the extent of damage, injuries, and hazardous material releases.

    • Identify potential hazards to responders and the community.

  2. Evacuation (emergency management):

    • Evacuate neighborhoods adjacent to the spill due to chlorine gas risk.

    • Establish evacuation centers, such as North High School, in Central City.

  3. Media and Public Relations (public information officer):

    • Manage media presence and provide accurate information to the public.

    • Coordinate interviews with reporters while ensuring safety protocols.

  4. Command Structure (incident commander and city leaders):

    • Clarify the incident command structure and agency responsibilities.

    • Address rumors and misinformation about the Engineer's license status.

  5. Hazardous Material Response (Hazmat teams):

    • Contain and mitigate hazardous material releases.

    • Deploy specialized equipment and personnel for safe cleanup.

  6. Medical Response (Emergency Medical Agency):

    • Treat individuals affected by burning eyes and lungs.

    • Request additional medical resources if needed.

  7. Environmental Impact (Parks Department and State Dept of Natural Resources):

    • Assess and address environmental impacts, including the reported salmon fatalities.

    • Close the river for 25 miles downstream from the rail bridge site.

  8. Resource Allocation (logistics chief):

    • Coordinate with rail and Hazmat crews to remove derailed cars safely.

    • Request assistance from the state for additional resources.

  9. Water Supply Protection (local water authorities):

    • Monitor and protect water intakes along the Roaring River.

This train derailment and hazardous materials incident present significant challenges, including evacuations, hazardous material containment, medical treatment, and environmental impact assessment. Effective coordination, communication, and response efforts are essential to manage the complex situation in Central City and Liberty County.

How could AFRS fire pilots benefit this team?

FAA Collaboration
AFRS maintains a close relationship with the FAA, enabling rapid requests for Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) around emergency scenes. This preserves airspace for incident command operations.

Interagency Communication
Unlike private drone pilots, AFRS maintains a contract with MARCS.  Where MARCS allows your dispatch center and field staff to easily communicate with responding agencies like AFRS.

Support from Firefighter Pilots and Equipment
Given the critical nature of life-saving efforts, AFRS can summon nearby fire pilots to provide additional assistance.

Rapid Response
AFRS, when in full operation, can mobilize up to four additional pilots who can arrive on the scene within approximately 30 minutes.  This is due to our strategic coverage areas and preplanning measures.

Enhanced Visual Capability
AFRS positions itself upwind in the COLD zone, allowing high-altitude surveillance with up to 200X zoom capabilities. This enables our fire pilots to identify report numbers or placard information for relay to incident command.

Thermal Imaging
AFRS's thermal imaging technology can often detect the volume of liquids in single-wall tanks, aiding incident command in understanding environmental impacts. Additionally, it provides precise temperature measurements for exposure areas near the active fire, equipping ground teams with crucial cooling information.

Effective Public Address System
To ensure immediate evacuation of open air forums (parks, bodies of water, ball fields, etc), AFRS can quickly broadcast recorded announcements, guiding people to safety with directional sound reaching 72db at 300 meters.

This proves useful when reverse 911 cellphone notification is delayed or impossible due to infrastructure concerns.

All-Weather Equipment
AFRS employs enterprise-level public safety drones capable of operating in various weather conditions, including rain, snow, high winds, and freezing temperatures.

Continuous Flight Time

Each AFRS pilot carries sufficient batteries and onboard mobile charging to maintain near-continuous flight. Quick battery swaps allow for a 45-second downtime between flights.

Seamless Collaboration

AFRS vehicles are equipped with redundant internet connections, utilizing Firstnet and other data providers. This ensures secure streaming of content to incident command staff and stakeholders anywhere in the world.

Documentation and Review
In large-scale incidents, all drone footage is recorded for post-incident analysis. Detailed video timestamps and coordinates enable easy documentation of important milestones.

This data can prove to be valuable for reimbursement from insurance companies or for court purposes.

Training Resources
Archived videos remain accessible for years after the incident. This valuable resource allows your team to incorporate real-life scenarios into future training sessions and benefits first responders worldwide.


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