Grant to pay for training on hazardous materials

August 26, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Carroll County will receive $7,578 in grants under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act for the training of hazardous materials technicians, firefighters and medic crews, it was announced this week.

The county got most of the $9,200 it had requested to train hazardous materials teams to handle incidents such as two that occurred in Westminster on Friday.

The grant was announced at the regular meeting of the Local Emergency Planning Committee on Monday by Chairman George Thomas.

He said more than $1,554 will be used for the purchase of a computer and software to catalog the dangerous or hazardous chemicals that might confront firefighters or medic crews on the job.

Commissioner Elmer Lippy, who had requested the funds on behalf of the board of commissioners, was at the meeting for the announcement.

The emergency planning committee discussed the handling of the two incidents Friday and credited the successful outcome to the training of the technicians in the county.

In the first of those incidents, hazardous materials and emergency crews removed 40 pounds of calcium hypochlorite, a concentrated chemical used in swimming pools, from a compactor and trash container behind the Kmart on Englar Road.

Emergency crews were notified of the incident at 9:11 a.m., when more than 40 employees and customers were driven from the store by the strong odor of chlorine.

Teams had removed the chemical by 11:50 a.m., when they were notified of a major gas line break downtown on East Main Street.

A piece of equipment being used in the reconstruction of the street snagged a 3-inch, high-pressure natural gas line, which ruptured and spread the odor of the fuel throughout the area.

Residents within a two-square-block area were evacuated from their homes and businesses until Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. workers could pinch off the newly laid pipe and stop the flow.

About 20 people were examined at the scene of the Kmart incident for headaches, burning eyes or dizziness, and three were taken to Carroll County General Hospital for treatment.

They were later released.

No one was injured in the gas-line break.

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