Butler County Times Gazette
by Steve Moody
Flour Mill – Emergency Planning
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By Steve Moody
Aug. 13, 2013 12:01 a.m.



IMG_1143Dangers 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.”

IMG_1172Stafford 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.

IMG_1160The 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.

IMG_1166And 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?

IMG_1186Then 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.

IMG_1179Moving 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.

IMG_1149Then 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.

IMG_1190Now comes the task of putting together pictures, video, and a plan to share with other Stafford County firefighters. Great job SCFD!

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