PORTLAND – Fire crews in Portland and around the state keep up with specialized hazmat training just in case of an event like Wednesday's fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.
The state fire marshal said dozens of businesses in Oregon store dangerous chemicals used to make fertilizer. There are 13 hazmat teams in Oregon are equipped and trained to deal with those dangerous materials.
There’s also an emergency planning committee in Portland where firefighters meet with businesses that carry hazardous materials to come up with a game plan on how to respond to an incident similar to the one in Texas.
“The scariest thing is the unknown. With hazardous materials like Ammonium Nitrite, it's dynamic. It's continually changing, so it's our job to do the research and plan for it before it goes high energy like that and that would be the ultimate solution for that,” said Capt. David Davies with Portland Fire Bureau
The state keeps a close eye on this list of fertilizer manufacturers and how the chemicals are stored and transported. If things do go wrong, however, teams are prepared to act quickly.