Ammonia Release: The ONE PLAN Integrated Response Strategy

Issue 11 and Volume 167.

By GARY W. SMITH In 1992, as chief of the Watsonville (CA) Fire Department, I joined with Douglas Hill, then chief executive officer of Hill Brothers Chemicals in San Jose, California, to form the Ammonia Safety and Training Institute (ASTI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to making ammonia one of the most safely managed hazardous materials in the world. Over the past three years, ASTI has received Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Firefighters Grant Program funding to provide firefighter emergency response training for ammonia emergencies nationwide. In fostering cooperation and coordination between fire service and industrial response teams, during the past four years, ASTI has trained more than 2,000 firefighters in metropolitan areas across the United States. Firefighters nationwide share the following four key concerns about ammonia emergencies: the flammability of ammonia; the life hazard within the invisible vapor above the level immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) [300 to…

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