O&R, Rockland 1st Responders Join in on Oil Train Drill

Approximately 300 people — from police and fire departments to hospital emergency rooms and students acting as casualties — participated Thursday evening in a Rockland County-sponsored emergency drill on Western Highway in Orangeburg. The drill simulated the derailment of a train packing volatile crude oil, known as Bakken oil.

The drill was planned by Rockland Fire and Emergency Services with the cooperation and participation of CSX, the railroad company whose lines crisscross the region. The exercise was aimed at briefing local police, fire and emergency medical service providers, including Nyack and Good Samaritan Hospitals, about the scope and response level such an event would require. O&R and United Water also participated in the drill.

Named for the North Dakota rock formation it comes from, Bakken oil has been involved in a number of train crashes resulting in substantial fires and fatalities. Trains carrying the crude oil frequently run through Rockland County on their way to a refinery in Philadelphia.