Cole County Emergency Response Team receives money for tank simulator

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JEFFERSON CITY – Phillips 66 presented a check to the Cole County Emergency Response Team Thursday morning for a simulator to help train for tanker truck rollover crashes.

The rollover simulator is new to the area and allows responders to fill it full with water and turn it on its side so they can practice.

This simulator also has the same valves and thickness of a standard tanker.

The purpose is to get responders more familiar with what they’re going to have to handle in the field.

This project is a joint effort among Phillips 66, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Cole County hazmat team.

The manufacturer of the simulator will train the hazmat team, who will then bring the simulator to other departments in the area for training at no charge.

The $11,000 grant will go toward the training and final components to complete the project.

The Local Emergency Planning Committee put $13,000 toward the tank purchase, bringing the total project cost to $24,000.

Mike Rackers, Chief of the Cole County Emergency Response Team, said the team tries to do outreach programs like this one every five years.

“Our goal is to do the outreach and to get with the local fire departments and give them something that will benefit them. And it gives us the ability to get to know these other fire departments and the people that we’re going to have to work with,” Rackers said.

Brandon Nagel, operations supervisor at the Jefferson City Phillips 66 terminal, explained why the company decided to help fund the simulator.

“It resembles the tank trucks that we have coming through our rack. We have refined products coming through ... and also ethanol. So if we were to ever have an issue with a tank rupture on one of the transport trucks or it catches on fire or anything like that, the more training and the more equipment that this team has available to them, is the better that they will be able to respond to it,” Nagel said.