HAZMAT Team Finds Answers to Dangerous Problems - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/28/02 - Smith County

HAZMAT Team Finds Answers to Dangerous Problems

   Saturday's call came like so many others, and the HAZMAT team sprung into action to handle an eighteen wheeler, spilling hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel and possible full of hazardous chemicals.

   "The whole way out here it's on your mind," says Ronnie Duncan, President of Big D HAZMAT of Longview. "You're thinking when you open that back door, 'Who am I going to send in there?'"

   "I don't want to risk anybody's life, so usually I go," he says.

   For Ronnie Duncan, a wrecked truck spilling diesel fuel carrying hazardous chemicals is all in a day's work.

   "You know," he says, "In the old days, we'd pull this truck out of here and we'd just leave the fuel down here. But now with all the rules and regulations about environment, everything has changed."

   Now, Ronnie arrives on scene with more than one hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment to handle anything. His team has answers for problems most people don't even know exist.

   "We're always worried about it, the unknown," Ronnie says. "You always look at your paperwork, you always call everybody you can, but you still face every scene thinking there is something in there that could harm you so you go in with every precaution."

   It's safety first for the HAZMAT team. They contact the trucking company and suit up to make sure no danger is posed. And because of the nature of the job, they're always a call away.

   "Twenty-four hours, seven days a week we have a phone on and a pager and we're ready to go," Ronnie says. "The trucks are hooked up, they're filled up, all the stuff's ready.

   Reid Kerr, reporting.

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