Emergency response tested during Rubbertown simulation - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Emergency response tested during Rubbertown simulation

First responders and law enforcement suited up for a mock scenario at American Synthetic Rubber Company to test their skills. First responders and law enforcement suited up for a mock scenario at American Synthetic Rubber Company to test their skills.
Jody Duncan Jody Duncan
Ben Brown Ben Brown

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Emergency crews surrounded a Rubbertown plant Thursday during a hazmat training exercise.

The simulation occurred nearly a year after a highly flammable chemical caused evacuations during a train derailment explosion in southwest Jefferson County.

First responders and law enforcement suited up for a mock scenario at American Synthetic Rubber Company to test their skills.

"It's not just the hazmat team coming out. It's going to be EMA, a unified command system and health department. So, it's important for all of us to work collaboratively beforehand," MetroSafe supervisor Jody Duncan said.

In late October and early November 2012, a rail car carrying butadiene burned for several days causing an evacuation zone and a shelter in place, which is an emergency procedure alerting residents affected by a chemical accident to stay in their home or workplace. Emergency personnel also monitored air quality while the industrial chemical burned off residuals.

During Thursday's simulation, hazmat crews applied their training for another potential hazmat situation as well as a mock armed intruder and confined space rescue.

"This is a large-scale training exercise that has brought everyone into play. We'll use our knowledge that we learned from the train derailment explosion, a recent hazmat cleanup in June and training to improve our emergency response." Duncan said.

"We have a number of chemicals that are associated with the production of synthetic rubber, primarily butadiene," American Synthetic Rubber Company facilities manager Ben Brown said.

Department of Homeland Security personnel also worked with local agencies Thursday.

American Synthetic Rubber Company produces material for tires and other products.

The company prides itself on its clean safety record.

The mayor and emergency officials created a Code Red alert system when there is a hazmat situation. You can sign up for the alert system by clicking here.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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