Emergency Responders Worry About Derailment - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Emergency Responders Worry About Derailment

A train derailment near Hattiesburg Thursday morning provides a very real reminder about the potential danger that exists with active railroad tracks anywhere.

CSX cuts through the heart of Ocean Springs. A railroad that's so close to so many homes and schools and businesses is often taken for granted.

"Then you hear of something happening like in Hattiesburg and it brings it to your mind again. Like, oh man, that would happen here. And what are we gonna do?" says Ocean Springs assistant fire chief Pat Williams.

Ocean Springs' central fire station is located right along the tracks. The assistant chief admits that all the training in the world may not prepare his 33 man crew.

"As much as we train and as much as we prepare, if a major, major train derailment happened, we would be lost. Yes, greatly overwhelmed," he admits.

"This is our Haz-Mat trailer. This is where we stow most of our Haz-Mat equipment that's not weather sensitive," said T.J. Johnson, an Ocean Springs firefighter who's trained to handle hazardous materials accidents.

The emergency response trailer is one of three countywide. It would be used in the event of a derailment. The biggest concern is simple.

"Getting people out of harm's way," said Johnson, "These railroad tracks run through a lot of neighborhood and busy intersections. Highway 90 is within 100 or 150 foot of it most of the way."

Just over ten years ago, a leak in a CSX tanker car forced a late night evacuation of the Lover's Lane neighborhood in Ocean Springs. Fortunately, that leak was brought under control and those residents were allowed to return to their homes in about four hours.

The ERG, Emergency Response Guidebook, helps emergency crews determine what chemicals are involved and how to respond.

"It would tell you want your hazards are, what your initial isolations should be," said Johnson.

"Preparation and being ready is real important. That's one of the hardest things you have to do. You can hope to be prepared for the worst, but you never know," he said.

Ocean Springs has several firefighters with Haz-Mat training. If an accident should occur, the city would also receive emergency assistance from a countywide response team.

By Steve Phillips 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Ocean Springs named one of "Coolest Small Towns" in U.S.

    Ocean Springs named one of "Coolest Small Towns" in U.S.

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 3:54 PM EDT2018-06-19 19:54:41 GMT
    Budget Travel named Ocean Springs as one of the coolest small towns in America. (Photo Source: WLOX)Budget Travel named Ocean Springs as one of the coolest small towns in America. (Photo Source: WLOX)
    Budget Travel named Ocean Springs as one of the coolest small towns in America. (Photo Source: WLOX)Budget Travel named Ocean Springs as one of the coolest small towns in America. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Ocean Springs made Budget Travel's list of the “10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2018."

    More >>

    Ocean Springs made Budget Travel's list of the “10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2018."

    More >>
  • Moss Point dog surrendered after Facebook outcry

    Moss Point dog surrendered after Facebook outcry

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 3:01 PM EDT2018-06-19 19:01:09 GMT
    On the left is Annie, shown at the Jackson County Animal Shelter Tuesday morning. To the right is the picture posted to Facebook by a concerned resident Tuesday night. (Photo source: Facebook)On the left is Annie, shown at the Jackson County Animal Shelter Tuesday morning. To the right is the picture posted to Facebook by a concerned resident Tuesday night. (Photo source: Facebook)
    On the left is Annie, shown at the Jackson County Animal Shelter Tuesday morning. To the right is the picture posted to Facebook by a concerned resident Tuesday night. (Photo source: Facebook)On the left is Annie, shown at the Jackson County Animal Shelter Tuesday morning. To the right is the picture posted to Facebook by a concerned resident Tuesday night. (Photo source: Facebook)

    Community concern over the health of a dog in Moss Point led the owners to surrender their pet to the Jackson County Animal Shelter Tuesday. And workers at the shelter are optimistic she will recover and be fine. 

    More >>

    Community concern over the health of a dog in Moss Point led the owners to surrender their pet to the Jackson County Animal Shelter Tuesday. And workers at the shelter are optimistic she will recover and be fine. 

    More >>
  • Construction on schedule at Edgewater Mall

    Construction on schedule at Edgewater Mall

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:39 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:39:05 GMT
    The theater is scheduled to open its doors in November (Photo source: WLOX)The theater is scheduled to open its doors in November (Photo source: WLOX)
    The theater is scheduled to open its doors in November (Source: WLOX)The theater is scheduled to open its doors in November (Source: WLOX)

    Construction crews are hard at work at the Edgewater Mall bringing to life two new entertainment venues.

    More >>

    Construction crews are hard at work at the Edgewater Mall bringing to life two new entertainment venues.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly