Albany Fire Department trains on chlorine spill cleanup

Emergency response crews simulated a hazardous waste spill Tuesday morning as a way to prepare in case of an accident as well as recognize the anniversary of 9/11.

The Albany Fire Department , EMS, Public Works, Emergency Management and the Local Emergency Planning Committee participated in a chlorine leak simulation at the Joshua Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The plant, who frequently handles chlorine tanks, says it's important for them to participate and know how to react in an emergency situation.

"In case we had an actual leak, we would need to know what our role would be as far as what we could do to help the fire department," said Plant Manager, Michael Capps.

Crews respond to to the call and assess the situation before acting.

"What they're going to do is try to mitigate the situation. They're going to dress in HAZ-MAT suits and they're going to go in and put what we call an A kit over the cylinder to secure it and keep it from spilling any more," said Training Division Assistant Chief, Rubin Jordan.

The fire department says the most important step is setting up a decontamination station - a portable shower that gets its water from fire hoses - to allow anyone who made contact with the dangerous chemicals to sanitize.

Emergency Management Deputy Director Jim Vaught says the exercise was made possible by a grant that allowed emergency crews to purchase two kits costing roughly $4,500 that can withstand spills from 150 lb. and one-ton tanks.

Vaught says being in a town with plants that handle hazardous chemicals, it is very important to train because accidents are possible.

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