June 12, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Donation of Over 3,000 Gallons of Firefighting Foam to Assist Response to Potential Crude Oil Incidents

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) has received approximately 3,000 gallons of Class B foam donated by Wyeth Labs/Pfizer Pharmaceutical of Rouses Point, New York. This firefighting aid is worth approximately $105,000 and will be added to the foam stockpiles currently maintained by DHSES. The donated foam will be immediately available to supplement existing foam supplies of local fire departments and county agencies who respond to incidents involving ignitable, flammable and combustible liquids including crude oil.  

 

The donated foam supplies will be strategically located at key points along rail lines in New York State to facilitate a rapid response to potential rail incidents. Wyeth Labs/Pfizer Pharmaceutical, which has a history of supporting emergency service groups, has also donated foam concentrate to local fire service agencies within Clinton County. 

 

As we continue taking every precaution to safeguard New Yorkers from a potential crude oil incident, this donation will go a long way toward helping the State and our local partners prepare for any scenario, Governor Cuomo said. This firefighting foam is an essential resource for our first responders to use in the event of an accident, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals should be commended for going above and beyond to help us protect New Yorks communities. Our administration will continue to proactively evaluate the risks of transporting crude oil and work aggressively to prevent those risks from becoming reality.

 

I thank Pfizer for their generous donation, not only to DHSES, but to all the local agencies that have received this concentrate, said DHSES Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer.  This donation increases our capacity to respond and assist local first responders with any crude oil related incident, which Governor Cuomo made a priority for protecting the safety of all New Yorkers. 

 

State Fire Administrator Bryant D. Stevens said Wyeth Labs/Pfizer Pharmaceuticals actions provide a direct benefit to the citizens of this State. We will be communicating additional information regarding accessing this foam supply to local response entities very soon.

 

Class B Foam is mixed with water and forms a film over ignitable liquids, suppressing blazes and preventing them from spreading or reigniting. DHSES conducts a rigorous training calendar through its Office of Fire Prevention and Control to train local fire fighters and first responders on how to properly apply this foam. Known as the Live Fire Class B Foam Operations course, DHSES offers the program statewide and gives fire and hazmat crews a thorough understanding of the risks associated with ignitable liquids such as crude oil and the effective use of foam extinguishing agents to combat these fires. This training reflects the States ongoing efforts to increase response capabilities to address the risks of crude oil.  

 

In January, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to perform a top-to-bottom review of safety procedures and emergency response preparedness related to shipments of volatile crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. Since then, the state has taken aggressive actions to prevent and prepare for potential crude oil incidents. These actions include numerous train car and rail inspections across the state, broader training efforts, nearly two dozen spill and preparedness exercises including a recent National Guard exercise at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany involving 600 soldiers and a simulated train accident causing a significant hazardous material spill and stepped up communications and planning with federal authorities, industry representatives and local emergency responders.

 

For more information on trainings offered through DHSES please visit www.dhses.ny.gov  

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