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NO. R-139. JOINT RESOLUTION thanking the fire and rescue departments and ambulance services that volunteered in the clean-up following the Westminster freight train derailment.

(J.R.H. 103)

Offered by: Representatives Deen of Westminster, Darrow of Dummerston, Obuchowski of Rockingham, Partridge of Windham and Pembroke of Bennington.

Whereas, at 5:45 a.m. on Monday, April 9, an 80-car freight train derailed while traveling over a water-runoff weakened section of railroad track a few hundred yards north of Grout Avenue in Westminster Village, and

Whereas, the derailment site was located immediately adjacent to the west bank of the Connecticut River, and

Whereas, while, fortunately, no one was injured as a result of this accident, 13 freight cars, nine filled with road salt, two with limestone slurry, and two that were empty, and two engines were derailed from the track, and

Whereas, while most of the road salt was contained at the accident site, a partially-submerged engine leaked fuel into the Connecticut River, and

Whereas, safeguarding the Connecticut River, which has been the focus of extensive public and private sector protection efforts, both locally and regionally was of great concern, and

Whereas, issuing public warnings not to drink the riverís water was an urgent priority that involved officials from state and federal agencies, and

Whereas, the clean-up of the site, and the rapid restoration of rail service in less than a week, was largely facilitated through the extraordinary efforts of the many volunteer and mutual aid fire and rescue departments from both sides of the Connecticut River, including the Westminster Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, the Putney Fire Department, the Walpole, NH Fire and Rescue, the Bellows Falls Fire and Rescue, the North Walpole, NH Fire and Rescue, the Rockingham Fire and Rescue, the Claremont, NH Fire and Rescue, the Springfield Fire and Rescue, the Windsor Fire and Rescue, the Westmoreland, NH Fire and Rescue, the Charlestown, NH Fire and Rescue, the Keene Fire and Rescue, Saxtons River Fire and Rescue, the Wilmington Fire and Rescue, the Brattleboro Fire and Rescue, the Chesterfield, NH Fire and Rescue, the Turners Falls, MA Fire and Rescue, Rescue Inc. of Brattleboro and Lefevre Ambulance of Bellows Falls, and

Whereas, Fire Chief Real J. Bazin of the Westminster Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department played a crucial role in quickly and efficiently coordinating the volunteers from all three states, and is to be especially commended for his exceptional effort, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the Senate and House of Representatives are deeply appreciative of the extraordinary volunteer work of all the individuals, fire and rescue departments, and ambulance services which responded to the recent railroad and environmental emergency in Westminster, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Fire Chief Real J. Bazin of the Westminster Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and to each of the fire and rescue departments and ambulance services named in this resolution.