In Case of Emergency
New Hazmat response centers to roll in on the back of a rig
The world is changing, and so is the technology used to handle a variety of natural and manmade disasters. While it might not be pleasant to think about a national disaster striking, being prepared for such an event is becoming a fact of life.
Which is why TruckVault Products has developed Hazmat Emergency Response Center (H.E.R.C.), an emergency response trailer designed to treat victims of radiation or chemical exposure, fire or other wide-scale traumas.
“No one in the country has addressed the issue of mass casualty, and in this day and age that is a real possibility as recounted by the Department of Homeland Security,” says Al Chandler, CEO of TruckVault.
The units, which are still in the early production process, are built on a custom fifth wheel trailer platform and can be rapidly deployed and set up to receive casualties in the aftermath of a mass incident. Each H.E.R.C. will be designed with stand alone power, heat, water, air conditioning and critical inventory capabilities, making it possible to process a large number of people.
“If you have any sort of incident, you can’t transport or put people in the hospital or they will infect others,” Chandler says. “It can be a big issue associated with a city, and you may find when you need a hospital the doors would be locked. You will be required to go through something like the H.E.R.C. before being admitted.”
Inside the H.E.R.C., there are areas to undress, take a hot shower and redress. Each unit also will carry decontamination chemical washes, which can be fed automatically into the shower system if needed. If not, simple warm water and soap can be used. Each H.E.R.C. delivers on-board water capacity capable of handling 200 to 300 people.
“We’ve spent a great deal of time talking with people from the military and individual departments across the country and they became the design team. The project evolved from what we originally thought it would be, to the end product based on what caregivers wanted,” Chandler says. “We have to protect the protectors.”