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Handling Chemical Fire Through ICE

What to Do in the Case of Chemical Fires?

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Under the ICE – Three Steps for Chemical Accidents

Meanwhile, the harbor master has lead the local fire brigade to the scene of the incident - but this case calls for specialists: A warning table on the side of the container tank informs the firemen that this substance is Ethylenediamine or EDA, a corrosive and inflammable basic amine. When a chemical substance or other hazardous cargo is out of control, the ICE program provides three steps of help for

local authorities:

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  • Specialized Information and support via telephone
  • Support from a trained consultant at the site of accident
  • Support by one or several private company fire brigades with specialized equipment for chemical accidents

The damaged valve is tightened with a soft wood block — if the wood gets wet, it expands, sealing off the valve tightly.
The damaged valve is tightened with a soft wood block — if the wood gets wet, it expands, sealing off the valve tightly.
(Picture: PROCESS )

Often, company fire brigades are highly trained specialists that have access to specialized equipment for handling hazardous goods. Therefore, while the local fire brigade starts first protective containment measures like spraying a foam carpet, Dow’s company fire brigade at the nearby Terneuzen chemical park sent over a task force to assist.

Coordination, Support and Help with Hazardous Goods

In the ICE program, help is coordinated from local emergency coordinating centers mostly at the headquarters of big company fire brigades. From here, specialized fire fighting professionals offer first telephonic support and decide whether to dispatch a consultant or an emergency team to the site of the accident. “We would like to see fire brigades calling us more often,” explains Macco Korteweg Maris of the Dutch chemical association, VNCI. “But sometimes curiosity about the unusual situation or over–ambition prevents the first aiders from calling for help.”

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