If you see a bunch of emergency response vehicles in front of Don's Specialty Meats in Scott this Tuesday, January 18, don't panic! The boudin is fine, the stuffed porks chops are fine, everything is okay. It's only a drill for area emergency officials.

So, What Are They Doing?

According to Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier emergency officials will be conducting training on a mock train derailment. They will be practicing a coordinated response at one unified command location, in this case, it will be at Don's Specialty Meats. If you see a large presence of emergency officials, they are only there running a drill.

Train Derailment
Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

You can probably imagine there can be a whole host of issues with a train derailment depending on what they are hauling. We've had train derailments before, like the one that happened near the tracks under the Ambassador Caffery bridge several years ago. In that case, a one-mile radius had to be evacuated because two chemicals mixed created toxic fumes. It took several days for the situation to be contained.

Metro-North Train Derailment In Bronx (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)
Metro-North Train Derailment In Bronx (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

When a train derails there can be toxic fumes, fires, explosions, or a multitude of other situations where multiple agencies will be needed to respond to the circumstances. Local officials plan to practice so they will be ready in the event that something drastic does happen.

Practicing is a good idea since many areas throughout Lafayette Parish have railroad tracks, and the city of Scott has tracks that run right through the heart of their town. While the safety record of transporting things is very good, it never hurts to practice.

When Will This Happen?

This will start at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning, Tuesday, January 18, and it's expected to last about two and one-half hours.

Where Will I See This Happen?

You will see this happening at 730 I-10 South Frontage Road in Scott which is the address of Don's Specialty Meats. You will be able to see all of this happening from I-10.

What Are Officials Hoping to Achieve?

Officials are planning to work on their response, and Sonnier says they will be working to cement their training in the following areas:

  • Emergency operations coordination
  • Demonstrate the ability to direct, coordinate, and control emergency activities through an Incident Command System
  • Demonstrate the ability to alert, mobilize, and activate personnel for emergency response until things are under control
  • Demonstrate the ability to mobilize, track, and demobilize equipment, people, and other resources in support of emergency operations
  • Develop and maintain coordinated action plans to accomplish operations objectives
  • Identify and implement appropriate actions to protect emergency workers and the public
  • Coordinate and disseminate timely and accurate information to the media and the public

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