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First responders will face full-scale car crash scenarios during emergency training

First responders in Blount County are learning how to handle propane-related incidents in their annual hazardous materials training.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — On Thursday, Blount County's first responders will undergo major hazardous materials training. It's a kind of training they do annually. However, this year is different.

This year, they will be responding to a staged multi-vehicle crash where propane is involved.

The crash will contain a car and a container truck hauling individual propane tanks, according to Blount County's Emergency Management Agency. Chief Doug McClanahan said he and Deputy Chief Jerry Phillips chose to re-enact a propane-related vehicle accident because of how common it is for propane tanks to be transported on the county's roadways.

Propane is extremely flammable and is coTmmonly used in homes and businesses across East Tennessee.

For example, in 2017 a propane leak caused a home in Blount County to explode. Two people died in the fire.

RELATED: Victims ID'd in Blount County home explosion

“The challenge here is liquid propane. Any spillage is going to go downhill and possibly travel a long distance on the ground or into a storm drain,” McClanahan said. “Also, if it is on fire, there is the possibility of explosion with possible casualties and property damage.”

The training is funded by a Federal Hazardous Materials Equipment Planning grant, which was administered through the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the United States Department of Transportation in 2022.

There will be first responders present from the Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County fire departments, Blount County Rescue Squad, Blount County Sheriff's Office along with Maryville and Alcoa police departments, Blount Memorial Hospital, AMR and Friendsville, Greenback, Seymour, and Townsend Area volunteer fire departments.

10News will cover the training Thursday evening. We will update this story throughout the event.


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