06/29/2012 | Editor: Dominik Stephan
Dow's company fire brigade at Terneuzen is well prepared for incidents like that: With specialised equipment and fireman trained in the handling of hazardous substances, a company fire truck arrives at the scene. Equipped with chemical proof protective gear and splash suits, two fireman approach the container, while a colleague of the local fire brigade nearby keeps watch with a foam gun to extinguish any possible fire.
Then everything goes fast: The firemen hammer a plug made of soft wood into the damaged valve head. As the wood gets wet, it expands, sealing of the dripping valve tightly. Mission accomplished: Working together, the team of public and private firefighters were able to defuse the dangerous situation.
The ICE programme is closely connected to the German/Austrian TUIS and the Belgian BELINTRA system. "Safety has become cross border task," underlines Rolf Haselhorst, Chairman of the TUIS workgroup at the VCI and head of BASF's company fire brigade at Ludwigshafen, the international approach of these safety programmes.
A statement, that also Gunther Schiefer Goodwin. Emergency Service & Security Leader at Dow Europe, can relate to: "We have one currency - but we do not have one language" - Therefor, under the ICE programme, help and guidelines for the treatment of hazardous chemicals are available in in 30 languages with local telephone hotlines. The ERICards of chemical association Cefiuc provide information in 16 languages (including five major Asian languages) for on site first measures for local authorities and emergency response crews.
Working together gets the job done – fast, professional and across European borders. For the future, Korteweg Maris would love to see more public private partnerships, like in the Dutch port of Rotterdam where 8 fire stations with 165 full time firefighters are funded by both private companies and the Dutch state, providing safety and security for 100 Seveso companies as well as thousands of local residents and workers.
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