Not too long ago, I received an email from one of my colleagues at NFPA.
“Here is something of general interest. I met Mark Catlin at a NIOSH DSRI (Disaster Science Research Initiative) last week in Atlanta. He is with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and has put together a database of over 1,000 videos (mostly open access on you tube) that address a wide range of historic workplace and environmental health and safety issues. I took a look at some of the videos, and this could be a valuable tool for safety and education purposes, among other uses. I’m forwarding this along in case this is of interest. Please feel free to share... FYI…”
Some of these are from film footage and there are many case studies. Get past the vintage and look at them from the perspective of, “could this still happen to us [emergency responders] today”. I think you’ll agree that while they will bring back memories of sitting through hazardous materials courses, that they may offer a retrospective and a look at the present. Have we learned all there is to know, have we changed the way respond to these types of incidents, and can we still improve the way we reaction to these incidents?
Mark, thank you for sharing. Everyone, take a few minutes to watch the video below - and I will be sharing more over the next few days.
Gasoline Bulk Storage Plant Fire BLEVE 1959 Kansas City (1:14 min)
In August 1959 the Kansas City Fire Department was hit with their largest loss of in the line of duty deaths to date, when a 25,000 gallon gas tank exploded during a fire on Southwest Boulevard killing five firefighters. This was the first time BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Evaporating Vapor Explosion) was used to describe a burning fuel tank. This video shows firemen in Kansas City, Kansas, in a desperate 6-hour battle with a raging gasoline fire that starts at a bulk service station, and touches off huge storage tanks, sending flames hundreds of feet in the air and rocking the city. In 1991, the Firefighters Fountain was dedicated at 31st Street and Broadway in Penn Valley Park to all firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty throughout the city's history. A Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion or BLEVE (pronounced "BLEV-ee") can occur when fire heats and weakens the walls of a storage tank, particularly in the region above the stored liquid where cooling is less effective. For more on BLEVEs, go to the Chemical Safety Board website. This is taken from the Universal Newsreel Volume 32, Release 67, 08/20/1959 available at the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland.