1. #1
    Firehouse.com Editor

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    Default How has Sept. 11 changed your department's technical rescue/hazmat operations?

    We're working on a story about the impact of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the technical rescue community. I am curious if your department has increased or decreased it's technical rescue/hazmat response capacities since the attacks. Did you use newly appropriated funds (federal or local) to buy collapse, decon or other related equipment? How about the increase in training to technician of awareness levels of hazmat/terrorism/WMD or other areas?

    Thank you,
    Peter Matthews
    Editor-in-Chief, Firehouse.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHEditor View Post
    We're working on a story about the impact of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the technical rescue community. I am curious if your department has increased or decreased it's technical rescue/hazmat response capacities since the attacks. Did you use newly appropriated funds (federal or local) to buy collapse, decon or other related equipment? How about the increase in training to technician of awareness levels of hazmat/terrorism/WMD or other areas?

    Thank you,
    Peter Matthews
    Editor-in-Chief, Firehouse.com
    Our FD went from being a local Haz-mat team to a full State Funded WMD/Haz-Mat Regional Response Team, and as such 80% of our members have been to Anniston, AL at least once, most twice for further WMD and IC training as well as some travelling to Seccoro, NM and other places. Like many/most others, we've become nearly 100% NIMS compliant and have NIMS instructors who go out and teach as well.

    Our WMD/Haz-Mat team now has far more equipment than ever before, mostly tied to WMD, but with real uses in the day to day haz-mat realm. Our decon capability is much greater as we went from kiddie pools (still the simplest for team members) and taprs, to items made and purchased specifically for decon. The funding provided for a decon tent with air and water heaters and a seperate mass decon trailer with separate male/female decon lines.

    I attribute all of this to the funding made available in response to 9/11. Now, if this was the best use of the taxpayers money given the relative threat here, vs elsewhere? Hmmm....
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 09-07-2011 at 05:02 PM.

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    I think Sept 11th opened everyones eyes to the possibilities of what can happen on a grand scale. It also made it very clear that either your department was ready and trained for such an incident or it was not. A lot of federal grants were established based on the events of that day. Grants for equipment and training that helped and continue to help departments elevate their abilities to respond to these type incidents. As we learned from an incident as large as 9/11 no one department can handle that. The need for pairing of resources and joint teams was very clear and implemented. The only good that came out of that terrible day is the fact that we're all better trained and better prepared to prevent and or handle another large scale event. I use the term positive loosely. Clearly nothing positive can be associated from that day.
    We learn as we press forward, we grow as we implement what we've learned and as thousands of different departments we grow stronger as one.
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    Mike Donahue
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

  4. #4
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    In the region, tri states(IA, IL, WI) as a whole we are better trained and equiped for Hazmat and TRO's then we were before 9/11. I belive this is due in part to two things. 9/11 opened everyones eyes on the "this could happen and did happen" and started looking at WMD's and other things on the Hazmat side.

    A decline in actual fire calls has helped spur the drive for technical rescue training. Keeping members active and interested has been a huge reason for us to get into technical rescue and with a regional team we are able to work with many fire rescue personel from areas well outside our local mutual aid depts. With the recent increase in natural disasters many depts are trying to plan for their own area of response and looking to others with technical rescue training to be the first ones in.

    I still think we all have a long way to go but are on the right track.

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