A pair of Texans with decades of firefighting experience is encouraging state and local government leaders to consider establishing SWAT-like response teams for crude oil train fires.
A series of derailments of trains loaded with crude oil in the past year has exposed numerous safety vulnerabilities, including the integrity of the rail cars, the condition of the tracks and the way the trains are operated.
It’s also revealed a yawning gap in emergency response. Most fire departments across the country are simply not trained or equipped to fight the enormous fires seen in recent derailments.
“Emergency response is the most difficult part,” said Bob Andrews, founder and president of the San Antonio-based Bob Andrews Group, who has both firefighting experience and knowledge of the rail industry.