Farmingville, NY - On Sunday February 7, the Eastport Fire Department and Brookhaven Town Fire Marshals responded to a report of an overturned truck on Sunrise Highway (NYS Route 27) between Eastport-Manor Road and Moriches-Riverhead Road.
Upon arrival, Eastport Chief of Department John Rankin found a fuel oil delivery truck had overturned and came to rest in the median between eastbound Sunrise Highway and the Service Road. After conducting an initial scene “size up,” Chief Rankin determined the tank was actively leaking from two locations. While firefighters from the Eastport Fire Department took initial steps to control the leaks utilizing equipment on hand, Chief Rankin requested the Town of Brookhaven Fire Marshals Hazardous Material Response Team.
Town Fire Marshals from the Hazardous Materials Response Team assessed the condition of the tank and determined that the 3,800 gallons of home heating oil that still remained in the tank would need to be off loaded prior to the truck being up-righted and removed. Fire Marshals, who are certified hazardous materials technicians, utilized specialized tools and techniques to drill openings into the side of the tank, which was now facing upward as a result of the accident. This action permitted specialized pumps to be inserted into the tank, allowing the fuel oil to be safely transferred from the damaged tank to a nearby waiting tanker truck.
Chief Fire Marshal Christopher Mehrman said, “The operation took approximately four hours to complete because the weather conditions were not favorable for this type of operation, The incident occurred in the middle of the snowstorm and freezing conditions made working on top of the tank extremely slippery. We were able to limit the amount of fuel oil leaking from the tank, off load the remaining oil and address the leaks that had been greatly slowed by the initial actions of the Eastport Fire Department.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was on scene to ensure the contaminated soil was cleaned up by an environmental firm hired by the fuel oil deliver company. The driver of the truck was treated and transported to a local hospital with nonlife-threating injuries by East Moriches Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
The Brookhaven Town Fire Marshals Hazardous Material Response Team provides emergency response and technical assists to the 38 volunteer fire departments within the Town of Brookhaven. The Team is recognized by New York State as a Type II Hazardous Materials Response Team. In additional to their other duties, all Town Fire Marshals are New York State Certified Hazardous Materials Technicians and receive extensive annual training.