National Academies Press: OpenBook

Emergency Response Procedures for Natural Gas Transit Vehicles (2005)

Chapter: Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2005. Emergency Response Procedures for Natural Gas Transit Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23328.
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3BACKGROUND Natural gas, either in compressed form (CNG) or in liquefied form (LNG), is now used by many transit agencies to fuel their buses. However, natural gas sees only limited use as a vehicle fuel outside of transit and gas utility fleets. One motor vehicle manufacturer is reported to be ending the production of natural gas vehicles in favor of hybrid vehicles (1). Thus, emergency responders are often unfamiliar with how to respond to inci- dents involving vehicles fueled with CNG. Because each tran- sit agency and emergency response authority tends to develop its own response protocol, there can be a wide variety in the quality of information on and even in the basic response strategy to natural gas incidents. SYNTHESIS OBJECTIVES The objectives of this synthesis report are to • Document current practice for emergency response to incidents involving natural gas transit buses, • Provide information about emergency response to inci- dents involving natural gas transit buses, • Document lessons learned from those incidents, and • Identify issues that need to be addressed in the devel- opment of improved and more consistent emergency response protocols for natural gas transit buses. SYNTHESIS SCOPE The scope of this synthesis document is limited to a review of emergency response protocols for responding to incidents involving natural gas-fueled transit buses. It also reports observations about deficiencies in those protocols. However, it is not intended to provide recommendations or guidelines for emergency response to incidents involving transit buses fueled by natural gas. Nor is it a general guide to operations for natural gas transit vehicles. Because the use of LNG by transit is small compared with the use of CNG and because there is only limited information on LNG procedures, this document is primarily concerned with CNG. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

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TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 58: Emergency Response Procedures for Natural Gas Transit Vehicles identifies and documents the state of the practice on emergency response protocols to incidents involving natural gas-filled transit buses. The report is designed to assist first responders to natural gas incidents—emergency response professionals such as police officers and fire-fighters; transit agency operations and maintenance employees, police, and security guards; and certain members of the general public.

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