Train accidents don't always happen but when they do they can have devastating consequences and challenge even the most astute first responders because fuels can often flow, pool, saturate, and burn for days.
A new webinar on High Hazard Flammable Train (HHFT) fire incidents, hosted by NFPA and conducted by Jensen Hughes researchers, is now available for a limited time (the next 30 days) for Xchange registered users.
Insights shared stem from the Fire Protection Research Foundation study looking at HHFT fire event data and fire suppression information, and information gathered from available literature, technical response reports, and incident analysis. The webinar considers the initial obstacles that firefighters encounter when arriving on the scene of an HHFT event, including the need to quickly identify the number of cars and train contents while the intensity of the flames and breadth of the fire grows. The "unknowns" swiftly coincide with the harsh realities of fire - spread, radiant heat and pressure - making it next to impossible for firefighters to get close to the flames. Foam and water during these intense moments, are generally ineffective due to evaporation.
When the fire decreases, first responders can tackle the smoke and flames that have been contained in individual cars. During this extinguishment or equilibrium phase, responders can effectively apply foam and begin overhaul. This is all in a day's work for firefighters but the heat release, thermal stress, tears, pressure relief venting, and other issues that often present initially in train crashes involving ethanol, crude oil, petroleum, denatured alcohol, and/or a combination of fuels are a whole other story, worth learning about.
The full webinar recording is available for free for a limited time to all registered users of Xchange. You can find it here.