TEUTOPOLIS, Ill. (WCIA) — The Teutopolis Fire Protection District took to Facebook on Sunday to thank the many people who helped in the HAZMAT response Friday night and throughout Saturday.

The statement can be read in full below:

We want to thank ALL of our mutual aid partners (MABAS) who responded to our incident both on Friday 9/29 and into Saturday 9/30. Without trying to name all of the fire departments and EMS agencies individually in this post, know we are very appreciative and thankful not only for your response but also the manner in which you provided your professional services under some very extreme circumstances. We are very aware of the stress levels some of the Paramedics in particular were under.

We also want to thank our law enforcement partners (Village, City, County, State, and Conservation) who assisted with the shutting down of all the roadways (State, County, Township, and local roads) and in some instances going door-to-door to ensure residents were aware of the evacuation.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for erecting barricades and providing personnel at major roadway intersections.

The flight crews of the 5 helicopters who were on scene from both ARCH and Air Evac – you truly are the angels in the air.

Representatives from Effingham County Health Department, Effingham County EMA, IEMA, Illinois EPA, Fedeal EPA, NTSB, and CSX Railroad who were on site, thank you for your cooperation, guidance, and at time patience.

The specialists in their field whom we communicated with by phone throughout the overnight hours into the morning and those who responded to the scene and provided information and guidance to ultimately mitigate the incident, we cannot say enough.

The Telecommunicators – the voices behind the mics – who diligently met all of our requests, transmitted the reverse notifications to the public based on our instructions, provided updated information to local radio stations on evacuations, provided updated weather continuously throughout the incident, and ensured all of our needs were met. Without ALL of you, we could not have been successful.

Effingham School District Unit 40 for opening your buildings to allow for use of restrooms, cafeteria space, and conference room. This became the Incident Command hub and Staging area.

Finally, to all of our friends and neighbors in the area, THANK YOU for your support, beverages and food to hydrate and feed approximately 100 first responders over 23 hours. It was very overwhelming to see so much available.

All of our crews (to include our mutual aid partners) finally made it home at approximately 20:30 hours on Saturday – nearly 24 hours from the start of this incident. Like many of you within the evacuation area, our Firefighters’ families also were evacuated. In order for our Firefighters to do their job, they needed to know their families were safe as well. We had Fire Chaplains on site throughout the event for our personnel and Red Cross provided counselors on site Saturday. There were many hugs last night as families were reunited.


Teutopolis Fire Department