Dangers are all around us. Nobody knows this more than the crews who respond to mitigate the results of a “danger gone wrong” – also known as an “emergency.”
Stafford County fire crews from the Hudson, Seward, and Radium stations took an emergency planning tour of the Hudson Flour Mill this past week – led by two long-term employees who also happen to be Stafford County firefighters.
The mill is a unique operation – the only non-big business owned flour mill this side of the Mississippi River. Like any big operation it’s not without unique dangers.
First, you have tall buildings. Firefighters need to plan how they are going to handle an emergency that requires working at extreme heights – whether it be a fire or a medical emergency.
And it’s not just the height – it’s the means of egress. A flour mill isn’t designed with luxurious elevators or wide spacious stairways. How about a step lift on a pulley?
Then you have dust. The workers at the Hudson Flour Mill do an excellent job of cleaning, but there’s going to be “some dust” – it’s a BIG by-product of the operation.
Moving machinery is another concern. You almost feel like you’ve had a few too many Tall-Boys when you stand next to one of the shaking sifter boxes. Get too close and a sifter could give you a Mohammad Ali smack to the jaw.
Then there’s the hazardous materials used in the flour making process. Several chemicals are used in the process of making flour. Firefighters got to see first hand where these chemicals were stored and thereby where they might go if released.
Now comes the task of putting together pictures, video, and a plan to share with other Stafford County firefighters. Great job SCFD!