It was the start of what we call a normal day on the job, until later in the morning when an alarm for a chemical leak inside a beverage warehouse was sounded. The dispatch consisted of what we call a HAZMAT box: four engine companies, one truck company, a rescue squad, basic life support unit, HAZMAT company, and command officer. I was working at the HAZMAT company that day.
Upon our arrival, the warehouse had been evacuated and a strong odor of ammonia had already consumed the entire area surrounding the warehouse. Three hazardous materials technicians and myself entered the release area to shut off the valve to the leaking pipe. After locating the release area we located the valve and made an attempt to close the valve. While closing the valve a sudden release of gaseous and liquid ammonia covered the personnel working at and around the valve. Visibility was taken from us almost instantaneously because of the gaseous release and communications were lost between all four technicians. I was able to find my way out and noticed that my personnel were still inside the release area. Prior to making another entry to locate my personnel, I noticed a white smoke coming from my chemical boots.
After further investigation I realized that the oil-based paint from the concrete floor was causing a chemical reaction under the soles of my boots. I reentered the release area, located my personnel, and immediately withdrew from the release area to the decontamination area. Once we were refreshed, a second entry attempt was made into the release area, where we were able to locate another sectional valve and stop the leak.
Prior to leaving the scene we finally determined that prior to our arrival a firefighter had entered the release area and closed the valve without notifying command and / or hazardous materials personnel. When hazardous materials personnel entered the release area thinking that the valve was not closed, they actually reopened it, which caused the valve to freeze in the open position. No personnel were injured or exposed to the ammonia, but the incident proved to be very dangerous as a result of personnel freelancing and the lack of training present at an emergency scene.
Street Story by Gregory L. Socks, Washington County Special Operations Coordinator, Hagerstown, Maryland
beverage warehouse - склад з напоями
chemical leak - витік хімічних речовин
dispatch - відправка пожежної команди по особливим сигналом пожежної тривоги
HAZMAT - наряд першої черги для боротьби з небезпечними матеріалами
release area - місце витоку
valve - вентиль, засувка, кран
8. Випишіть з тексту (завдання № 7):
По прибуттю на місце дії - upon our arrival; при подальшому огляді - after further investigation; ніхто з працівників не постраждав - no personnel were injured; різкий викид газу і рідкого аміаку - a sudden release of gaseous and liquid ammonia; зв'язок був перерваний - communications were lost; після виявлення місця витоку - after locating the release area; зупинити витік - stop the leak.
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