1. #1
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    Default creating a hazmat team

    I am on a rural volunteer fire department that is interested in starting a small hazmat team. We don't have access to one in our area, but really haven't needed one. The main thing that we could be responding to would be liquid petroleum hazards and a chemical spill (we have never had one but we might one day). What would be some of the supplies needed on a resque truck responding to incidents of this nature?

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    Default Starting up a haz-mat team

    The first thing you need to determine is, at what level do you want to respond? What training have you received, and what training do you have access to?

    There are basically three levels of haz-mat training: Awareness, Operations, and Technician. Okay, there is a fourth - Specialist - but this is designed to have extensive training in handling a specific hazardous material, for example, anhydrous ammonia.

    If you are trained to the Awareness level, all you really need is a North American Guide Book (the yellow book that lists all of the placards and related info), and a pair of binoculars in each responding unit. Your job is to survey the scene from a distance (uphill, upwind, upstream) and assess dangers.

    The Operations level would allow you to perform a few more tasks at the scene: evacuation, rescue, etc. In this case, bunker gear and SCBA are what you'll be wanting in addition to the Guide Books and binoculars. However, you still shouldn't enter most environments.

    To really get in "where the action is" and to attempt to control the leak, spill, etc., you need to be trained to the Technician level. To perform at this level, you'll need different types of encapsulation suits ranging from the white Tyvek suits and respirators to the fully encapsulated Level A suits with SCBA. Be warned, these get very expensive - start applying for grants. That's how we got ours. Also, generally, once these suits have been used, they're ruined, and need to be replaced. In addition, you'll need proper decontamination equipment (which may simply mean three kids wading pools, some brushes, and garden hoses). This is where it becomes very important that you can bill for your services. And remember, "He who spills, pays."

    The bottom line is, before you start getting equipment, get the training. That will help you determine what you want your team to handle. For example, our team of technicians will do rescue, and leak/spill containment and control, but we will not perform clean-up. That's best left to the big companies.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at merrill1@frontiernet.net.

  3. #3
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    Default HAZMAT

    Like Medic said, first you need the proper training. If
    you get the gear and no training and something happens,it
    will be a lawyers paradise.
    Secondly, after you get enough people you need to determine what you want you capabilities will be. If your not going to deal with VX or any major types then you will not need the equipment for it. also check with your local LEPC they should help you and steer you in the right direction. And I suggest that you don't handle clean up it cost $$$$. And bill for your services.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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    Default Thanks

    Most of my group is about to begin operations training and maybe 2 of us are going to become technicians

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    Default HAZMAT

    Sorry to say but 2 Techs are not enough, just like in fire you need
    2 guys to be able to go in immediately to rescue the entry team.
    And they have to be Techs!! So you may want to look at combining with another department. Our County team has 16 Techs and about 30 plus Ops people. So like I said you might want to investigate alittle more.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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