© 2021
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

In "Disaster City," Firefighters Train to Combat Crude Oil Blazes


The United States is producing so much oil these days that there aren’t enough pipelines to get it to refineries along the Gulf Coast. The solution: railroads. And many community activists are concerned that not enough is being done to prepare for crude fires and train derailments in residential communities, says StateImpact, a reporting project of NPR stations.

This has led to a new feature at “Disaster City,” the massive firefighter training ground outside College Station, Texas. Here, a faux train derailment has been erected—but the flames are very real. In a nearby tent, lectures are given to prospective firefighters.

Safety concerns have increased lately because of the type of crude oil that tankers are carrying through West Texas and down from North Dakota. This oil burns more easily than traditional crude, and has already resulted in fires this year in Illinois and West Virginia.

But activists are still concerned that not enough is being done to prevent a cataclysmic accident. You can read more about the training exercises at Disaster City here.

Or listen to StateImpact’s  story below.