Monroe County sheriff reflects on role in train derailment response

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:52 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

QUINCY (WGEM) - The Monroe County Sheriff says Sunday’s train derailment wasn’t the first to happen in the county since he took office.

Sheriff Joe Colston said since he took office in 2021, they’ve dealt with two other derailments. He said one involved a tractor trailer and the other happened in a wooden area. He said they ensure their staff and other first responders are prepared to respond when needed.

“We do a lot of coordinated training,” he said. “We do tabletop exercises with our local EMS and fire departments, as well as our state law enforcement.”

Colston said the roles depend on the circumstances of the situation. In Sunday’s train derailment, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and his department, along with the Madison and Paris Fire Departments were on scene to help direct traffic and establish a perimeter.

He said they prepare for natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes, along with other exercises. He said while the contents of the train were rocks and the trucks were carrying fertilizer, it didn’t warrant hazmat, but they do prepare for something like that.

“We would coordinate an area, a quarantine area if we needed to call in a hazmat team,” he said. “We did in fact have Department of Natural Resources come out to the scene, just to supervise the removal of some of the items.”

He said they do trainings with other departments yearly.

Copyright 2023 WGEM. All rights reserved.