Chemtrec Updates Emergency Services To Keep Up with Technological Needs

July 1, 1999
THE Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (Chemtrec) is addressing the expanding technological environment by updating services for carriers involved

THE Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (Chemtrec) is addressing the expanding technological environment by updating services for carriers involved with the chemical industry, said Timothy Butters, managing director of the Chemtrec center.

"There is a challenge for training and education," he said. "The changing industry requires us to constantly look at the way we are doing business." Butters made the comments at the National Tank Truck Carriers annual meeting May 16-18 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Chemtrec, established in 1971, is a public service of the chemical industry and is recognized around the world by thousands of shippers, carriers, and emergency responders as the primary source for hazardous materials/dangerous goods information and communication.

To stay current in the ever-changing technological world, Chemtrec is developing educational materials about emergency response techniques and presenting them to carriers. However, the organization's managers are asking carriers to critique the information.

"We want to be sure that whatever we use works out there in the real world," said Butters. Among the brochures, tools, lesson plans, and other training materials are Chemtrec user guides for terminal personnel and drivers, emergency reference tools for drivers, and emergency response training and briefing materials for sales and marketing employees.

As part of the drive to enhance the association's services, both new and those already in place, are plans to recruit more shippers for Chemtrec membership and to continue trade show participation as a way to publicize the association.

"We want to get more companies involved in the program," Butters said. "If we work together, we can improve emergency notification time, effect more efficient response at the scene of incidents, and perform more timely mitigation."

Chemtrec staff members will be contacting Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) members, shippers, carriers, trade associations, Responsible Care partners, and others involved in the industry.

"The NTTC can champion these goals," he said. He urged the group to provide feedback, facilitate member communication, and support Chemtrec's efforts to meet the needs of the industry.

"Chemtrec has been around for about 25 years, but we don't want to take the relationship for granted," he said.

The organization receives about 200 calls per day, about 100 of which require incident reports. Future plans call for a new database that will contain 60,000 emergency contacts and 2.8 million library documents. A decision has been made to establish an off-site center as an alternative location should an emergency occur at the present site.

Chemtrec is studying ways it can expand its partnerships with other services in order to lower costs. The organization is the only 24-hour emergency response center backed by the CMA and recognized by the US Department of Transportation.

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