District 13 firefighters ran practices on model trains ahead of BNSF derailment


April 19, 2023

Nobody anticipates a train derailment in their backyard.

Nobody, perhaps, except Skagit County Fire District 13 Training Officer Chris Olbu.

A model railroader, Olbu led a detailed tabletop exercise at the district’s SneeOosh Road fire station earlier this year, presenting the many scenarios that can arise when a train derails.

As fate would have it, about two weeks after practicing moving model emergency vehicles around the train track Olbu had set up on the fire station’s second floor, two BNSF locomotive derailed near the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, spilling diesel upland from the...

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