SAN ANTONIO, Tex.–The Bob Andrews Group, LLC has formed BAG – Emergency Response Services, LLC (BAG-ERS), a wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on providing specialist emergency preparedness and response services to protect crude oil unit trains in North America as well as the communities in which they operate.
The new company will provide industrial firefighting specialists as well as specially-designed firefighting equipment aimed at crude oil unit trains and their associated fixed loading and unloading facilities, said a release.
According to the company, the Bob Andrews Group has been working to establish this capability for the past several months, but the recent Lac-Mégantic tragedy has served as a catalyst to launch this much-needed service on an expedited basis.
“BAG Emergency Response Services will offer customized emergency preparedness and response solutions tailored to the specific risk profile of railroads, shippers, fixed facility operators, insurers, and communities along a particular unit train travel route”, said Chief Robert C. Andrews, Jr., P.E., Bob Andrews Group President & CEO. “Among the risk metrics we will use to tailor our solutions will be the frequency and routes of unit train travel, the population density and any environmentally sensitive areas along the route, and the current preparedness level of local first responders”, Andrews said.
According to Andrews, the company will apply three emergency response deployment models, alone or in combination, in order to provide sufficient personnel and equipment to curtail the growth of an emergency in its earliest stages and within agreed-to response time parameters.
Location options include both wayside fixed emergency response facilities housing specially-designed, high-rail firefighting vehicles, as well as the inclusion of specially-designed firefighting railcars that will be part of the crude oil unit train consist.
“Being able to interrupt the growth of the fire or emergency at its earliest phase is critical to preventing a Lac-Mégantic-type disaster in the future”, Andrews said.
The company is immediately available to work with railroads, shippers, facility operators, insurers, communities and first responders, as well as local, state, and national regulators in both the United States and Canada to help them specifically satisfy the myriad concerns that have arisen out of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
The company believes that its projected emergency response enhancements represent a reasonably small incremental increase in rail shipping costs and are easily justifiable on a cost vs. risk reduction basis.