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Bozeman first responders say they're prepared for large-scale emergencies

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 18 2013 09:18:38 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 19 2013 07:14:29 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Leaders with the Bozeman Fire Department tell us there are not a whole lot of facilities like the one in Texas they need to be concerned about. However, that doesn't mean they're not prepared if an explosion like that one were to occur.

They say they've identified a few places in Bozeman that are high hazard and for those locations, they say they have plans in place.

But for other scenarios where they can't plan ahead, they say the first step is looking for clues that give them an idea of what they're walking into.

They reminded us they've had to respond to a situation like that before -- the downtown Bozeman explosion of 2009.

"We were in the same situation right up front where we had no idea who was accounted for and the police were right on track, tracking down phone calls," says Temporary Operations Chief Keith Johnson.

We also spoke with Hazmat leaders who tell us their job is much different than that of first responders.
     
Instead of rushing to a scene and immediately getting to work, they're work is much for thought out and methodical.

We were able to get in touch with a nearby fertilizer plant, as well.
     
Folks there tell us from what they understand there were two different products present at the Texas plant when it exploded -- ammonium nitrate and the highly volatile anhydrous ammonia.
     
They say they do use ammonium nitrate but they don't use anhydrous ammonia and are not aware of any local plants that do.