Spill response trailers deployed at strategic sites

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren County Public Safety Director Ken McCorrison takes a look inside a crate full of absorbent pads in one of the county’s three new spill response trailers.

When the Warren County All-Hazards Response Team disbanded in 2022, there was something of a void to fill.

There just wasn’t the work to justify living up to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s roster and equipment requirements for a typical year of three significant spills.

The Warren County Department of Public Safety placed three spill response trailers at strategic locations throughout the county last week.

The trailers aren’t fancy, but they contain piles of the materials needed to deal with spills. There is a crate of booms, a crate of absorbent pads, totes full of oil-dry, personal protective equipment like overboots, gloves, and tyvek suits, and various other equipment. There are materials for cleaning personnel who were exposed to spilled material and even ‘non-sparking’ shovels for moving earth without creating the risk of igniting whatever materials was spilled.

“These were purpose-bought for the types of incidents we typically respond to,” Public Safety Director Ken McCorrison said.

“At the operations level, it’s ‘dam, dike, divert,'” Deputy Public Safety Director Scott Rose said.

“The purpose for us is to support the responders,” McCorrison said. “Every department in the county is trained to the operations level.”

The materials are similar to what fire departments — which are the agencies that are now charged with initial response to spills — will have. “It’s not that the fire departments don’t have this equipment,” McCorrisons said. “It’s that they don’t carry the volume.”

The trailers are located in Wrightsville, Clarendon, and the county maintenance building in Starbrick.

There is enough material in each trailer for most spills.

In the case of a larger spill, there is more equipment. “If you need one and you use everything, there are two more ready to go,” Rose said.

“It’s pre-deployed,” McCorrison said.

Public safety officials put trailers in position at the Wrightsville Fire Department and the Clarendon Borough Building on Wednesday. “They’ve been pretty well received,” Rose said.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today