HazMat Team Spotlight: Louisville

Under the leadership of Fire Chief Greg Frederick, the Louisville Fire Department has 616 uniformed personnel who operate 18 engine companies, 10 truck companies, 14 medic units, 3 hazardous materials companies, and 2 technical rescue...

Hazardous Materials Exposures

Transportation exposures include interstate highways, railroad, pipelines, and barges on the water. Louisville's bounded by Interstate highways 64, 65, and 71 which all pass through the center of the city. The Norfolk and Southern Railroad has a major hub in Louisville. Barge traffic passes the city on the North side on the Ohio River. Fixed facilities in Louisville include the United Parcel Service (UPS) Center, refineries, chemical companies such as Dupont and Rohm & Hass, the Navel Ordinance Facility and others. Known hazardous materials in the city include cyanide, plastics, petroleum products, Oleum (fuming sulfuric acid), paint, varnish, anhydrous ammonia, and liquid hydrogen.

Louisville has available a mass decontamination trailer with two tents, water heater, generator, and built in showers. They also have a negative pressure fan for the tent to keep vapors and other materials out of the tent during decontamination. Check with Louisville for information on other WMD equipment.

Contact Information
For additional information or questions, contact:


Captain Tony Cipolla
Special Units Coordinator
502-574-2925 or 502-574-3078

Robert Burke, a Firehouse? contributing editor, is the fire marshal for the University of Maryland. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFSP), Fire Inspector II, Fire Inspector III, Fire Investigator and Hazardous Materials Specialist, and has served on state and county hazardous materials response teams. Burke is a veteran of 24 years in fire and emergency services, with experience in career and volunteer departments. He has attained the rank of lieutenant, assistant chief and deputy state fire marshal. Burke is an adjunct instructor at the National Fire Academy and the Community College of Baltimore, Catonsville Campus, and the author of the textbooks Hazardous Materials Chemistry for Emergency Responders and Counter Terrorism for Emergency Responders. He can be reached in the Internet at robert.burke@att.net.