At 7:46pm on Monday evening, Nanuet FD was alerted to respond onto the New York State Thruway southbound at exit 14 for a reported motor vehicle accident with entrapment. With the firehouse fully staffed for regular Monday night drill, 8-1, 8-2, 8-EQ, 8-1500 & 8-1750 were all in service within minutes.
While responding to the scene, units were advised by 44-control that packages had been ejected from the rolled over vehicle bearing "radioactive" markings on them. Arriving on scene, Chief Todd Giraudin (8-1) confirmed that one vehicle had in fact rolled over, and that the two aforementioned packages were in fact ejected from the vehicle onto the roadway.
With all occupants out of the vehicle, Chief Giraudin requested the Rockland County HAZMAT team be dispatched to the scene to ascertain the contents of the two packages.
"Millions of tons of cargo travel along this highway per year." said Asst Chief Bill Schoenleber (8-2). "It's not at all impossible that severely hazardous materials could be involved in any accident of this type. It's better to be safe than sorry with such a large population living in such close proximity to this highway."
The Rockland County HAZMAT team determined, with the help of the vehicle occupant, that the packages were specialized machinery with extremely low quantities of hazardous material, that posed no threat.
With Nanuet FD at the incident on the Thruway, Pearl River FD (Dept. 12) responded to a separate motor vehicle accident with only minor injuries withing Nanuet FD's district. A pumper from Dept. 12 then stood by at the Nanuet firehouse (8-100) for any other alarms.
With the vehicles cleared, and all lanes reopened to traffic, all units returned to normal service around 9:30pm