By Andy Massanet, Fort Riley Public AffairsJune 8, 2017
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- A large truck carrying debris from demolition on post tipped over onto June 2 inside the roundabout at Huebner Road and Williston Point Road, prompting responses from agencies of the Directorate of Emergency Services, Emergency Medical Technicians, the 97th Military Police Battalion and the Directorate of Public Works.
The incident left a quantity of materials at the middle of the circle and hydraulic fluid leaking from the vehicle requiring mitigation by personnel from Fire Station 3 -- the home of the Fort Riley Fire and Emergency Services hazardous materials station, Battalion Chief Wesley Hill of FRFES said.
Besides Station 3, the incident brought personnel from Fire Stations 4 and 1, Hill said.
"The personnel from Fire Station 4 were actually the first to see it and react," Hill said. "They didn't even come through a 911 call. They saw it and responded and they were the ones that initiated the initial alarm."
The first order of business on this or any such incident, Hill said, is care for the injured.
The driver in the truck had already exited as first responders were beginning to arrive, Hill said, adding that "EMS and Police Department, they all responded (to help the injured) and we found that he had sustained minor to no injuries and was treated at the scene."
It was then that on-site personnel noticed the leaking hydraulic fluid. According to Jeffrey Fuller, the environmental protection specialist for DPW who, as spill coordinator, was in charge of handling efforts to control the hydraulic leak, the team's work begins once personnel from the FRFES and police have looked after injuries and secured the area.
Fuller said members of FRFES are always the first responders for incidents like this.
"They are in complete control of the incident … until they determine there is no longer a human health hazard at which point the site will be turned over to spill response personnel from the Environmental Division of Public Works to ensure that any chemicals that were released are cleaned in accordance with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and KDHA (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) guidelines," he said.
Crews had already began putting down absorbent materials and taking steps to confine the spill, Hill said, adding the on-board system contained about 40 gallons of hydraulic fluid.
"They started damming and diking and building up a kind of berm to contain the spill so that it didn't get into our drainage system," Hill said.
The crew also applied a putty at the site of the leak.
"That slowed the leak down to a minimal drip," Hill said. "So that minimized the amount of fluid on the ground."
"There are many types of putty and other devices that can be used to stop a leak depending on what type chemical and what type of container it is in," Fuller said. "There are belly bands, plugs and putty that could be used, but you always have to consider what type chemical you are trying to contain, a steel plug or vinyl belly band wouldn't work well for a corrosive material. Most of the putty available for purchase is for specific chemicals like fuel, oil or corrosives."
Once Fuller's team donned protective gear, they worked to remove the fluid that was left in the truck's system.
"That prevented the fluid from leaking out of the system once the truck was uprighted," Hill said.
As far as mitigating spills of chemicals, this incident was not unusual, Fuller said.
"A majority of the spills on Fort Riley are on asphalt or cement surfaces so we will use dry-sweep and absorbent materials that collect the material." Fuller said.
If it is puddled they attempt to collect it in containers," he said.
"KDHE allows us to dispose of the absorbents in a landfill as long as they are not saturated, if they are saturated they are turned in to me and I wring them out before they are disposed of and the chemical -- fuel, oil, hydraulic fluid, corrosives, etc. -- are separated and properly disposed of."