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Seconds Count – Are You Prepared?

The TRANSCAER® Seconds Count – Are You Prepared? video series is designed with the notion that in an emergency, responders may have only seconds to react safely. Each of these fast-paced videos introduce a topic to the viewer. They deliver detailed information while also being easy to understand.

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Emergency Response to Hazmat Incidents

Scene Size-up 
In a hazmat incident, the decisions made, and actions taken in the first few minutes will often establish the identity of the overall response.

Protective Action Distances 
The first five minutes are critical when responding to a potential rail incident. First responders must take necessary steps to ensure life safety, including their own. Once on scene quickly and appropriately implement the proper protective actions based on key size-up factors to help reduce the risk of exposures, injuries, or deaths.

Hazmat Incident: What are the First Things I Do?
Approach cautiously! Secure the area, identify the hazards, and resist the urge to rush in to avoid becoming part of the problem. Visual vapors and actions of wildlife (especially birds) can provide important information to emergency responders. Then, assess the situation and obtain help.

What Happens When a Call Comes Into CHEMTREC?
CHEMTREC’s Emergency Service Specialists provide immediate guidance and access to a broad range of resources that can help mitigate hazmat incidents including a database of over 6 million Safety Data Sheets, access to medical experts and toxicologists, and interpretation capabilities for over 200 languages.

The Basic of Hazardous Material Placards
Learn how hazmat placards inform emergency responders about the contents of hazardous material shipments. The U.S. DOT requires placards for all bulk hazmat containers in transport (49CFR). This video details the placement of each item on the placard including the markings that identify a type of hazard, the DOT hazard classes, and the UN Number.

What Are The Levels of PPE?
Learn more about personal protective equipment (PPE) including Level A Protection, Level B Protection, Level C Protection, and Level D Protection. Air monitoring will help determine and maintain the proper level of PPE during a response.

What is IDLH?
The term immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) is defined by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as exposure to airborne contaminants that is "likely to cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment." First responders need to be aware of toxic inhalation hazards (TIH) and poison inhalation hazards (PIH).

What is the ERG?
The Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) provides first responders with a go-to manual to help deal with hazmat transportation incidents during the critical first 30 minutes. The ERG includes information on health effects, fire and explosion potential, public safety recommendations, emergency response, recommended protective clothing, leak and spill mitigation, and immediate first aid for exposure victims.

Mobile Apps for Emergency Responders
Get an overview of useful mobile apps for emergency responders, including the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG); AskRail®, WISER, and CAMEO.

Anhydrous Ammonia

Anhydrous Ammonia Tank Truck Walkaround
Learn about the identification placards on an anhydrous ammonia tank truck. An overview of the tank truck features including the emergency shutoff valve and internal valves. Don’t forget about other hazards on an incident including—bent tire rims or tires, airbags, and airbrakes. It’s important to always be aware of everything on an incident site.

Anhydrous Ammonia Tank Car Walkaround
Understand the differences between a pressure car and general service car. Pressure cars have all the valves in a protective housing on top of the car. General service, non-pressure cars may have multiple fittings on the top and bottom of the car. Non-jacketed cars can carry anhydrous ammonia, but most are jacketed. One of the most important pieces of information is the car number.

Anhydrous Ammonia Nurse Tank Walkaround
Learn more about the features of an anhydrous ammonia nurse tank (also known as a bullet). You will see these nurse tanks on ranches for running water and anhydrous ammonia to field crops. On all four sides of the tank will be the DOT placard, inhalation hazard stickers, company sign or logo, an emergency phone number, birth plate, and a five-gallon safety water jug for ammonia exposure.


An Overview of Chlorine Container Auto-Refrigeration
When a chlorine container is punctured, allowing the chlorine to release, the chlorine will escape rapidly at first. As the chlorine is released, the pressurized container will equalize in pressure with the atmosphere once the liquid level drains below the puncture point. During this process, the chlorine cools down below its boiling point so much that it results in a visible frost on the container (i.e. auto-refrigeration). At this point, the rate of release will significantly decrease, although there can still be a considerable amount of liquid chlorine remaining in the container.

Chlorine Tank Car Walkaround
Learn about the tank cars used to transport chlorine. This video provides an overview of jacketed pressure tank cars including its safety features, double shelf couplers, stenciling and markings on chlorine cars, liquid and vapor valves, and pressure relief device. It also explains how to take pressure readings, and gives a comparison of a traditional chlorine housing versus a next generation chlorine housing.

What are the Chlorine Emergency Response Kits?
Learn more about the equipment used to respond to chlorine emergencies including the Chlorine Institute Emergency Kits and Recovery Vessel. The Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit “A” and Recovery Vessel can be utilized for 100- and 150-lb. cylinders, the Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit “B” is utilized for one ton containers, and the Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit “C” is used to contain a leak on a tank car or tank truck valve.


Ethanol Tank Car Walkaround
Get an overview of tank car features including reporting marks, bottom outlet valves, “A” end and “B” end of a tank car, placarding, protective housings, valves, induction line (liquid line), and manway. Learn the difference between non-jacketed (bare skin) and jacketed tank cars.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Overview of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Learn about the most popular type of portable rechargeable battery used today in hundreds of different consumer applications, such as audio earbuds and headphones, cell phones, laptops, e-cigarettes, toys, and power tools.

Response Considerations for Lithium-Ion Batteries
This video discusses several real-world incidents that occurred involving lithium-ion battery fires. The video also provides response considerations for emergency responders when facing a lithium-ion battery fire.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

LNG as a Transportation Fuel 
Learn how liquefied natural gas (LNG) is increasingly being used by the United States and countries around the world to fuel ships, bus fleets and trucks.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Overview
Learn about the uses of liquefied natural gas (LNG), how it is made, and the ways the LNG industry is making safety a top priority.

LNG Properties and Safety Considerations for First Responders
Learn about the physical properties of LNG including the three main hazards that LNG presents: flammability, vapor dispersion, and cryogenic temperatures.

Steel Drums

Decoding the UN Marks on a New Open Head Steel Drum
Learn about the basics of the UN markings on new Open Head steel drums.

The Basics of Steel Drums and Fusible Plugs
Fusible plugs are drum closures, similar to standard steel plugs, but made of impact‐resistant nylon, polyethylene, or propylene resin. When equipped with fusible plugs and paired with the proper suppression designed in accordance with NFPA Code 30, Chapter 16, steel drums can be the safest containers available in today’s market for flammable and combustible materials.

Decoding the UN Marks on a New Tighthead Steel Drum
Learn about the basics of the UN markings on new tighthead steel drums. The UN/DOT markings on a drum may seem complicated at first but once decoded the markings indicate critical aspects of the packaging’s testing and certification to international and domestic regulatory standards.

Load Securement of Steel Drums
Understand on how empty and filled steel drums should be secured during transport. The video illustrates standard load securement practices and provides guidance for responding to an incident involving the transportation of empty or filled steel drums. First Responders should be aware that proper securement procedures shown in this video may be compromised during an incident, and appropriate response awareness should be exercised.  

Rail Safety & Tank Cars 

How to Protect Yourself When Responding on or Next to Railroad Property or Right-of-way
Important information for emergency responders on how to operate safely when responding to an incident on or next to railroad property

Rapid Size-Up – Recognizing Different Types of Tank Cars
It is important when responding to a potential rail incident that first responders can recognize the differences between the various types of tank cars. Learn about how each type of tank car will react differently depending on the stressors of the incident.

Locomotive Fires 
Locomotive fires may be rare, but they do occur. Emergency responders may be called to respond to an incident and for them to safely respond they need to have the basic knowledge of locomotive operations and safety. This video focuses on the diesel-electric locomotive, which is the most used locomotive in the freight rail industry. The GE4400 locomotive is highlighted in this video, however many other models exist.

Non-Accident Releases (NARs) – What happens when there is an NAR on the railroad? 
Learn about Non-Accident Releases (NARs). A NAR is the unintentional release of a hazardous material from its package during transit that is not caused by a derailment or other railroad related incident.

NEW - AskRail®
The North American Class I Railroads worked with the emergency response community to develop the free AskRail app. The app provided emergency responders across the US, Canada, and Mexico, with immediate access to accurate and timely data on the type of hazardous materials a railcar is carrying, so they can make an informed decision on how to respond to the incident. 

This new video gives step-by-step instructions for how to download the app, an overview of the app features, and testimonials from first responders who have used the app during an incident.

For more details visit: Download the app from the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store, or the Microsoft Windows Desktop Application.

In 10 Seconds How Can You Tell if a Tank Car is Fully Loaded?
You can’t tell if a tank car is empty only by visual inspection. Emergency responders should always approach the situation as if the car was full. Gather all resources including consulting with railroad officials, check official paperwork (train consist), identify the placards, check the capacity stencil, utilize the AskRail® and ERG mobile apps. Never assume a tank car is empty!

DOT111 versus DOT117
The DOT117 tank is used for transportation of flammable liquids. It’s a general service tank car but varies from the DOT111. The DOT117 tank car is required to have a steel jacket with thermal protection under the jacket to protect the car in a pool fire or torch fire. All valves are in a protective housing to protect them in the event of a roll over. The bottom outlet is protected with a skid plate and a bottom outlet that allows the operating handle to be put in the skid, removed, or disengaged in transportation. This helps prevent the opportunity of opening of the valve in a derailment. All the safety features of a DOT117 are intended to make it a safer vessel to transport flammable liquids.

An Overview of Double-Shelf Couplers
Tank cars are attached to each other through couplers. Hazmat tank cars use double-shelf couplers to reduce the chance of the tank cars uncoupling during a derailment and the potential of gouging other tank cars.