Topic: "Haz Mat" (3)
Morgan County's Hazardous Materials Unit is, ever since 9-11, routinely dispatched whenever any truck, train, or airplane cargo carrier crashes within the boundaries of this Tennessee political subdivision. The logical assumption is that the materials were merely passing through and that the cargo could be almost anything. Such was the case early this morning when the first reponders arrived at the scene.
Two train locomotives, both pulling six cars on behalf of Norfolk & Southern, derailed in a very rural area of a rural county. One car turned over completely and four others jumped off the rails and began spilling their contents. It was learned later that all of the cars were the property of a single vendor and that all were bound for the same destination in Atlanta. Following is a simulated conversation between the Hazardous Material Unit dispatcher and the first of the First Responders on the scene.
"Come in Lobo, this is Big Mama."
"Lobo here, we are on scene Lucille."
"Which is where, Horton?"
"We're on the south slope of Buzzard Mountain, right where the tracks turn around to clear Waterfall Falls. One car has turned over and is spilling its contents and a mass of bubbles are just a splashin' downhill. Several other cars have jumped the rails and at least one of them has foam spillin' out of the top."
"Any idea what it is?"
"Not yet, we're in our haz mat suits, and are goin' to get the crews away from the scene so we can see what they know."
"Y'all be careful now, y'hear?"
"Big Mama, did y'all call Reverend Moon and dispatch him to the scene?"
"No Lobo, but you know how them guys sometimes monitor emergency channels just so they be there to be interviewed once the TV crews get there."
"Well, he's generally makin' a nuisance of himself. He's gatherin' the crews together to thank Jesus for savin' them, before we've had a chance to even talk to anybody."
Some time passes.
"Big Mama, this here's Lobo."
"Have you secured the scene, and determined the source of the spill?"
"We have Big Mama. I'm afraid there's not much of a threat in this spill, but I'm even more afraid we're gonna be here a long, long time."
"Well Lucille, it seems each of these here cars is full a beer, and all that's spilled out has been some of Milwaukee's finest. "
"Well, what's the hold-up on the clean-up?"
"It's that damn preacher."
"Reverend Mooney? What'd he do?"
"First off, once he learned it was beer flowin' downhill like chocolate on the Big Rock Candy Mountain, he started a prayer meetin; to condemn the devil's brew. Then he started helpin' the crew clean it up."
"So what's the reason you think it'll take a long time yet?"
"Lucille, they're only on the 74th bottle of beer, takin' one down and passin' it around."