Oil spill simulated for training along Truckee River

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno, Sparks and Truckee Meadows Fire Departments got together Wednesday east of Sparks to practice like they play.

“Picture a rail car; if it were to roll off the tracks, it would be 80 thousand to 100 thousand gallons of product. When that hits the river, we use our float sheets to figure out how fast the river is moving, where is the product going and we need to make a quick decision on where we will deploy a crew to this site. Then we have a window of time to get people out of water and start collecting that product as it comes down,” says Nick Klaich, Hazmat training coordinator.

Since clean water and hazardous products don't mix well, water contamination means eco-system devastation.

“We will be able to stop the leak and if it gets in the river we will be able to boom it off and use pads and stuff like to get to the side of the river,” says Steve Leighton, Reno Fire Operations Chief.

The simulation took place along the Truckee River because even the bravest who live to serve need to prepare for the unexpected.

“The faster we can work it can dramatically decreases the impact to our river and community, so we have the chance to make a big difference with what we are doing today,” says Klaich.

Firefighters will be training for the next 5 to 6 days expanding the skills they hope they will never have to use.