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Wendy Reuer, Published February 18 2014

Fargo Fire Department to store BNSF foam trailer used to fight hazardous material fires

FARGO – The fire department here will store a BNSF Railway foam trailer used for fighting fires involving hazardous materials.

Fire Chief Steve Dirksen said the idea of moving the truck closer to Fargo came up after the July 6 train derailment and subsequent explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people.

Dirksen said the Fargo department has partnered with BNSF to use the truck when it’s needed and for training throughout the year.

The equipment was stored on BNSF property, but moving it to a Fargo facility makes sense instead of having to retrieve it from Dilworth when needed.

An agreement with BNSF states that the company will continue to provide all maintenance and accessory equipment, and make any repairs if needed. BNSF staff will also be included in training exercises.

The Fargo Fire Department will not charge BNSF to house the trailer.

Dirksen said the department has room to store the trailer; an exact location has not yet been decided. He said it is between two properties owned by the department.

The City Commission unanimously approved the move Tuesday.

The Fargo Fire Department has also been awarded a $31,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct three hazardous materials training sessions in 2014 with the Jamestown Fire Department.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530