The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Western Propane Gas Assn. (WPGA) announced today they have completed the training of 1,700 emergency personnel to protect the public and clear congestion from tanker-trailer truck crashes.
CHP and WPGA recently completed a 24-month statewide training project for CHP and local law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, heavy-duty tow operators and hazardous materials officers. The Emergency Response Training Program was funded by a $133,284 state Office of Traffic Safety grant.
"Our first priority in a tanker-trailer crash is to ensure the public is protected from a hazardous spill. Our second is to get the road cleared and traffic flowing again," said CHP Commissioner D. O. "Spike" Helmick.
Tanker trailers frequently carry hazardous liquids such as propane gas, gasoline, diesel, chlorine, anhydrous ammonia and other chemicals. From 1994 to 1997, CHP responded to 24 hazmat incidents involving tanker-trailers.
"Spills from tanker trailers can cause traffic congestion even if the contents are harmless materials such as water, milk and molasses. The liquids create a slippery road surface and can cause spinouts and slowdowns," Helmick said.
Once emergency personnel understand how a tanker trailer is constructed, they can clear the crash using the quickest, safest procedures.