Pantex Fire Department trains annually on how to handle unusual situations
There was plenty of smoke and fire, but the Pantex firefighters weren’t responding to a four-alarm fire. They were cooking for the annual Amarillo Chamber of Commerce’s Good Times Celebration Barbeque Cook-Off. The Pantex team went up against 99 cook teams, smoking ribs, brisket and other meats, to see who had the best barbeque in town.
Brenda Vermillion, Carson County Emergency Management coordinator, said she first thought the June 28 head‑on collision between two BNSF trains was an incredibly loud test shot at the Pantex Plant, but she quickly realized the noise was located at the edge of Panhandle, Texas. “I immediately ran outside the building, and could see the cars toppling and then the explosion,” she said.
The Pantex Fire Department Rescue Team, along with Y-12 firefighter John Fife, who was visiting Pantex, recently participated in a Confined Space Training event in Panhandle. Members of the rescue team are trained in five disciplines—confined spaces, heavy vehicles, structures, rope and trench rescue.
Pantex firefighters flush water from a fire hydrant at the Plant this week. Each of the 250 hydrants on the Plant are flushed and tested annually to ensure they function properly and flow enough water to provide fire protection capabilities at Pantex.
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