fumes PIC personnel

Tracy Shirley, in hat, from left, director of Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management, holds up his cell phone as he talks to someone on it while two employees of Environmental Remediation Consultants out of Tennessee meet with Glasgow Fire Department Chief Bryan Marr and Assistant Chief Brian Shirley outside T.J. Samson Community Hospital on Friday afternoon. The emergency responders were called to the scene after the driver of a truck leased from Penske by Fed Ex for deliveries – and then others at the hospital – experienced noxious fumes while in the back of the truck. 

GLASGOW – A delivery truck in which noxious fumes had been experienced by its driver and others Friday morning was removed from the T.J. Samson Community Hospital parking lot late that afternoon after a hazardous materials team deemed it was safe for it to be driven away, according to a hospital official.

Multiple emergency agencies responded to a possible hazardous material “spill” at the hospital after a Fed Ex delivery driver reported smelling an increasingly stronger odor with some sort of chemical smell to it in the rear of the truck, said Stacey Biggs, executive vice president of marketing, planning and development for T.J. Regional Health, the hospital's parent company.

She said the driver had noticed the odor when he had gone into the back of the truck to get packages at a couple of other stops, and by the time he began to make the delivery at the hospital from the leased Penske truck, he was experiencing some symptoms apparently related to the odor. The driver and three other people ended up being treated at the hospital and released after reporting respiratory issues.

The Glasgow Fire Department, among other agencies, was dispatched to the scene at 10:52 a.m., according to a GFD press release.

“GFD spoke with the driver who advised he had detected the odor at a previous stop, but it had gotten worse and started to cause his eyes, nose, and throat to become irritated,” the GFD press release stated. “GFD HazMat personnel entered the truck with chemical detection gear and did not find any obvious hazard or spills present in the rear of the truck. The truck was sealed and cordoned off in the parking lot until a contracted hazardous material cleanup crew arrived on the scene.”

Some personnel from Glasgow police and fire departments and Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management remained at the scene throughout the afternoon, though not as many as had initially responded.

By approximately 2:30 p.m., the hazardous materials team from Environmental Remediation Consultants in Tennessee had arrived, and it then conferred with local emergency responders to determine the next steps.

“Earlier, a lot of emergency vehicles were here and it looked, I dare say, a lot worse than it was,” Biggs had said mid-afternoon, before the ERC team arrived. “Whatever it was was[apparently] contained to the back of the truck so right now we're just waiting.”

fumes PIC

Packages meant for T.J. Samson Community Hospital sit and the Penske truck being used for Fed Ex deliveries from which they came sit in the hospital's parking lot Friday afternoon as emergency response personnel plan their next steps to determine whether any of the packages in or outside of the truck were the source of noxious fumes that had been experienced by the driver and others. 

The packages intended for the hospital had been left in the parking lot as the process unfolded and, ultimately, "as a precaution, all items intended for delivery to [the hospital] were refused and taken away; no items from the truck were kept at the hospital," Biggs said.

After ERC inspected the rear of the truck and also found no signs of a hazardous spill, the truck was moved to an open area at the Glasgow Regional Landfill so the full contents of the truck could be inspected for spillage or damage, the GFD press release said.

“At the time of this press release, it is still undetermined where the chemical odor originated,” according to that press release, which was distributed at 5:22 p.m.

It added that the people who were treated and released were three Fed Ex employees and one hospital employee. Biggs said the hospital employee had remained at work afterward.

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GLASGOW – Multiple emergency agencies went to T.J. Samson Community Hospital on Friday morning in response to a possible hazardous material “spill,” after a Fed Ex delivery driver reported noxious fumes in the back of the truck he was operating.

Stacey Biggs, executive vice president of marketing, planning and development for T.J. Regional Health, the hospital's parent company, said the driver had noticed some type of chemical smell when he had gone into the back of the truck to get packages at a couple of other stops, and by the time he got to the hospital to make a delivery there, it seemed the odor had gotten stronger over time and he had experienced a burning sensation in his eyes and throat.

For the time being, the hospital's packages were placed in the parking lot and others remained on the truck. The driver and three other people got treated after inhaling some fumes, but they were treated and released.

By approximately 2:30 p.m., a hazardous material team from Environmental Remediation Consultants in Tennessee had arrived, and it then was conferring with local emergency responders to determine the next steps. Biggs said it was her understanding that if they did a another preliminary test of the air and it was deemed safe enough, the team would go through the packages to determine the source of the issue.

Local police, fire and emergency management personnel were still on scene, and the truck had been cordoned off with caution tape in the meantime.

“Earlier, a lot of emergency vehicles were here and it looked, I dare say, a lot worse than it was,” Biggs said. “Whatever it was was [apparently] contained to the back of the truck so right now we're just waiting.”

About the same time the Glasgow Daily Times spoke with her, the Glasgow Police Department distributed a press release stating that they, the Glasgow Fire Department, Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services and Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management had responded to the scene in reference to a possible hazardous material spill.

The GFD hazmat team examined the truck and was not able to locate any hazardous fumes or spilling liquids. The Penske truck is leased by Fed Ex for package delivery purposes.

The press released also contained some of the same information about the treatment of four people having breathing difficulties and the expected arrival of the other hazmat team.

-- This report has been revised from the original version to provide more accurate and updated information.