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Chemical Spill at Vermont Air Base Handled Quickly with Little Damage

What could have been a very dangerous and deadly chemical spill at a Vermont Air Base, proved a prime example at how effective emergency response preparedness can be if done correctly. Thanks to a quick response and a well-trained Hydrazine Response Team, the six affected airmen were quickly treated and released from the hospital, little damaged occurred, and the F-16 fighter jet involved will be ready to take flight in just one short week.

The Chemical Spill

The incident involved just four leaked droplets of hydrazine. Hydrazine is a potent chemical used as a backup fuel source to jumpstart F-16 fighter jets if damaged. While four small drops of this chemical may not seem like much, the fact that it is both highly flammable and toxic escalated the severity of the chemical spill. This chemical can be extremely dangerous if inhaled, or if it comes in contact with a person’s eyes or skin. The incident occurred during routine maintenance, but an investigation will determine the exact cause of the leak.

The Rapid Response

The Air Base’s Hydrazine Response Team, who knew exactly how to deal with this leak, quickly and effectively responded to the chemical spill and took immediate action. Six Air Guard members went to the nearby Fletcher Allen Health Care center because they were in the vicinity at the time of the leak and had an odd taste in their mouth. All six guard members were treated and released and went back to work that same afternoon. The spill was contained in a small area and had no effect on the nearby Burlington International Airport.

The response to this potentially dangerous chemical spill goes a long way to show how important it is to have an emergency and disaster response plan in place. It not only helps your company reduce the risk of extensive and costly damages, but it can help save lives. If your company has not set up an emergency response plan, now is the time.

 

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