Houston,TX: First responders to chemical explosions which occurred during Hurricane Harvey are alleging they weren’t warned of the toxicity of the substances they encountered when they arrived on scene and as a result are now suffering first responder injuries.
First responders are the people who attend emergency situations and put their lives on the line to protect the public. Police, firefighters, and EMTs all face serious hazards to their safety while they care for others. Unfortunately, doing so puts their lives on the line, and puts first responders at risk of long lasting injuries.
According to the first responders who have just filed a lawsuit, several explosions occurred in the early morning hours of August 31, 2017 at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas. The first of these explosions occurred as a result of the abandoned chemicals heating up and igniting.
Although the explosions had occurred, no one from Arkema alerted the first responders who were manning the perimeter of the arbitrary mandatory evacuation area.
Immediately upon being exposed to the fumes from the explosion, and one by one, the police officers and first responders began to fall ill in the middle of the road. Calls from medics were made, but still no one from Arkema warned of the toxic fumes in the air. Emergency medical personnel arrived on scene, and even before exiting their vehicle, were also overcome by the fumes as well.
First responders are frequently put into hazardous situations while they carry out their job duties. In some cases, those hazardous situations are the result of the emergency itself, such as a building being on fire, or a car accident on a major highway or a hurricane. In other cases, the situations become hazardous thanks to a lack of proper training or failure to provide adequate safety gear.
First responders lawsuits, such as the one filed by the Arkema first responders, can be filed if injuries were caused by a lack of proper training, negligence, or inadequate policies and procedures.