When a semi-tanker truck loaded with liquid hydrogen was struck from behind on the Ohio Turnpike, Thursday, June 23, cooperation saved the day.
Cooperation between fire departments from Fulton, Henry, Williams, and Lenawee counties and the Ohio Air National Guard was truly outstanding.
They divided up command responsibilities, set up a shuttle system involving water tankers from 15 area departments, and prevented a possible explosion by spraying 25,000 gallons of water per hour on the tank for 17 straight hours.
There was also cooperation between the fire departments, the company that owned the tanker, and experts from the chemical industry to get the firefighters the information needed to determine what to do with a leaking, burning tank containing 3,000 gallons of the potentially explosive chemical.
There was additional cooperation between firefighters, Ohio Turnpike Commission, Ohio Department of Transportation, Fulton County Sheriff Department, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. They worked together to reroute turnpike traffic and evacuate motorists trapped on the toll road.
There also was cooperation among motorists forced off the turnpike, who had to contend with the detours that were established. The sheer volume of traffic diverted onto local roads created traffic snarls that OSHP helped unravel.
Firefighters faced incredible danger from the leaking tanker and its destroyed control valve system. Is it time local officials consider buying a drone for such situations?
Think of all the trucks carrying hazardous materials down our county highways– not just on the Ohio Turnpike.
A drone, equipped with a camera that can stream live video and operated by trained fire personnel, can be flown close to tankers and hazardous situations without putting human lives in danger.
Firefighters and paramedics risk their lives every time they go out on calls. If drones help them stay safe, then it’s time each and every department has one.