rachelmanija: (Heroes: Save the world)
( Jan. 20th, 2007 05:41 pm)
Today I learned how to drag a person with a blanket, and that sprinkling any powdery substance like salt or sugar over rough ground will facilitate that.

Also, I learned that with a lever and fulcrum, a ninety-pound woman can lift a car. Alas, that was not a demo, but only an anecdote.

I brought in my transparent backpack/survival kit in for show-and-tell. Everyone loved its handy transparency. (No need to go digging around for items, possibly losing some in th process- you can see without opening it exactly where everything is.

Apparently the last day (next Saturday) is a massive hand-on simulation. No idea how far they're going to go, but I overheard one of the instructors saying something like, "Don't you think it would be too difficult to make them search the entire structure?" (We're in one room of a very large complex.)

One of the teachers is a hazmat (hazardous materials) specialist. I asked him about the incident last week in which a man, apparently transporting medical supplies, apparently accidentally spilled mercury on the subway platform. He reported the spill to a subway manager, then hopped on a subway, presumably confident that it would be treated with all proper seriousness and immediately cleaned up in a matter befitting a toxic chemical spilled in a public location.

It was eight hours before the station was cleared and the mercury was cleaned up. Most of this delay was due to the subway officials not bothering to report it or do anything else useful for about seven hours. I think LA officials are still trying to figure out what happened and who to fire. Now, it was a very small amount of a chemical which, albeit toxic, is at least not likely to harm anyone by having tiny amounts tracked around a subway platform. But still.

The hazmat guy agreed with me that MTA clearly had its collective head up its ass needed better protocols for handling hazmat incidents.

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