Thread: DEP Haz-mat

  1. #1
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    Default DEP Haz-mat

    Anyone know anything about the DEP Haz-Mat unit?

    Equiptment?

    Response?

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    http://dep.state.ct.us/wst/oilspill/index.htm

    Most of their resources are located in the central part of the state...so they're central.

    What I've seen is utility-body Pickups to tow trailers, and some small Class-B size trucks and trailers, but I know I haven't seen their whole inventory.

    The Specialists are each assigned an SUV that is equipped at least to allow them to make High Level B entries and contains metering and other test equipment.

    They've always been very no-nonsense, good head on their shoulder folks. I do know from conversations with one of the specialists, he did shake his head a bit at the growth of local Haz-Mat teams mainly because the need for them has gone down. He figured in the late 1980s DEP was making Level A entries weekly and by the 2000s it was down to once or twice a quarter thanks to improvements in regulations meaning there was less equipment failures and less "unknown substances" they had to go in to identify.

    Hijacking a bit from the main question, they have some cooperative trailer units assigned locally around the state -- in my area they were Mansfield, Community (Thompson), and Mortlake (Brooklyn). Setup for "Operations Plus" with some modest plug & patch capabilities in addition to the normal Dam / Dike / Divert Ops stuff.

    Response in our area is usually just one DEP specialist, then again we haven't had anything much worse then a fuel oil spill in recent years. Responses, never a lot, dropped off significantly after the tow companies started handling routine truck fuel spills. The specialists local to our station have keys so they can grab supplies off the trailer w/o having the department toned out. Couple notable incidents for our trailer have been daming around a turned over fuel delivery truck, and setting up booms across a brook after a fuel oil spill from a school's boiler room drained into the waterway. Not exactly the stuff of legends

    Major item in our area was if the resources were used off a DEP trailer, DEP would do the cost recovery. If a local FD used their own supplies, it was up to them to ask for reimbursement. If DEP was responding and a local FD had to use locally owned supplies for an immediate need, like stopping a flow into a storm drain, they could get a supply replacements off the DEP trailer if they asked nicely.

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    We have received replenishment from DEP many times, usually Speedi-Dri and pads. DEP is a great resource for haz-mat incidents, especially in getting a cleanup contractor. If the generator of the spill cannot or will not hire a contractor, DEP will hire one off their list and will pay them. If the FD calls a contractor for a spill, the town could be liable for the bill. We did this once about 15 years ago. Fortunately, DEP bailed us out on the cost.

    I have never had a problem with DEP, the are professionals and know their stuff. In addition to the toys they bring, they allow access to other state resources such as the public health lab and foam trailers. We usually get one real haz-mat incidnet a year plus the usual gasoline/heating oil.diesel fuel spills.

    Many FD's will turn an incident over to DEP and let them run the show. We have made it clear that incident command belongs to the FD when they respond here.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 01-27-2007 at 11:31 PM.
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    If you Live in the Capital region you should first call RICCS to activate your local Capital Region HAZ-MAT Team. The team is made up of West Hartford, East Hartford, Simsbury, New Britain, Ellington, Hartford Bomb Squad and a few members from Newington, and Rocky Hill. You could request as much or as little as you want. DEP will also respond as the technical expert and will be able to bill the spiller if needed. The first wave of reponding personel come from West Hartford right now until the other towns mentioned get fully equipped from the state. We have the capability to do almost anything involving HAZ-MAT.

    If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me albert_keith_g@sbcglobal.net
    Last edited by KeithA8; 01-29-2007 at 11:55 AM.
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    I almost forgot - If you are interested in becoming a Haz-Mat team member e-mail me @ albert_keith_g@sbcglobal.net
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    I can not understand how the Ellington FD can respond to an amonia leak in W Htfd and provide adequate fire protection for their town during the day? How can the Uconn health center with only 4-5 guys on duty commit resources to a haz-mat incident when they are supposed to be protecting their own facility. That is their purpose right? It seems hard for them to justify their primary mission of having a dedicated fire station/department/manpower soley for the healthcenter yet be off site doing something else...

    Keith, I am suprised that you don't feel differently from a union perspective, I know hfd may have not kept up to speed with being agressive in the haz-mat arena but this has set off a spark and we will be catching up...the idea of vollies in the city does not sit well with many

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    HTFDJAKE,
    I know what you are saying, but Ellington sends a skelleton crew. They only have a few on the team. As I understand it UCONN does a call back to back fill the station. I really don't concern myself with how these volly depts do it. The personel that have joined the Haz-Mat team are pretty squared away folks. This is a regional team and I don't see a union issue here. My union has negotiated a pretty sweet deal for us. We are going to go into volly towns and volly's are going to go into union citys - that's just the way it is. There is no other way to run this team. For the most part in Hartford you will get us and East Hartford unless it's a big to-do. You can't make a union member only Haz-Mat team because it's funded by CROG. Simsbury is the only volly town with a heavy presence. And let me tell you, they are doing just fine. I would say that the majority of the team is career guys but the volly's do make up a good portion of it. We do have a good working relationship and they understand where we are coming from and we understand where they are coming from. It realy is not an issue.

    What is the real story with you guys? I've heard a lot of rumors about you guys sending the truckies to tech class then I heard that it got canned. Then we heard you have no plans on taking on Haz-Mat. What's the real story?
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    All truck companies (and the tac) were suppose to have started Technician(472) training Jan 1, but that did not happen. Rumor is that the money for o.t. to cover the truck company shifts during training was not available. Money as usual

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    HTFDJAKE,
    That's exactly what we heard. Are they still planning on doing it? Or did they drop the whole idea?
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    I can not understand how the Ellington FD can respond to an amonia leak in W Htfd and provide adequate fire protection for their town during the day?

    Ellington, through their participation in Tolland County Fire Service Mutual Aid, is in reciprocal m/a agreements with Colchester, Willimantic, Quinebaug Valley, and New London County Fire Chief's Associations. I would assume they have some agreements out on the Hartford County area too.

    They can be backfilled all the way to Rhode Island if necessary. The only question that would be asked is if you understood the dispatcher correctly.
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 02-12-2007 at 10:02 PM.

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    The fact of the matter is that it's great that some department in RI can come and put out a barn fire but when time really matters, this type of response will only result in someone dying in a fire. Unfortunately many departments have lost sight of the fact that seconds count (responding to a fire alarm non-emergency and with only one company???) or in this case striping the most valuable resource, manpower. But this is getting off the original topic. The best service we can provide is a quick and strong response, not necessarily having to commit declining volunteer resources to confined space, haz-mat, ems, trench rescue, scuba rescue, etc, etc, etc....

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    not necessarily having to commit declining volunteer resources to confined space, haz-mat, ems, trench rescue, scuba rescue,

    With the exception of ems and a caveat with scuba, you won't have an argument from me in those areas. Confined space, serious haz-mat, and most technical rescue situations are so rare there's no sense in distracting from limited training time to meet those needs. If there's some individuals who are gung-ho, more power to them.

    No matter how slow you are, rural & suburban departments will be working hundreds of structure fires for every true emergency of a haz-mat or technical rescue.

    I don't subscribe to the belief that training in other areas, like trench rescue, are necesarry for motivation or keeping young firefighters "interested." Having guys who are well trained on fires and know they did a good job -- by seeing their training work -- even a few times a year is far more motivating then spending years of evening and weekend drills and missing the one time there is the once-in-decade actual activation. Continually having chinese fire drills on the fireground however is pretty de-motivating -- volunteers will legitimately question the value of their time when they see disorganization and people not following their training and see controllable fires lost.

    For most volunteer fire companies that means you should train, equip, and be ready for the emergencies your community faces regularly -- on fires, motor vehicle accidents, first response to actual emergency medical calls. Some will have peculiar hazards they should train for -- which is the SCUBA caveat since some communities do have a true need for water rescue. And the general ability to recognize, initiate stabilization (which may just be scene control initially), and establish command of technical incidents while awaiting specialized resources.

    In a state of our size, If I Was Jodi Rell...sadly I'd be better looking, but I'd also add some extra manpower or funds for OT to departments like UConn, Willimantic, and Norwich to allow them to rotate career firefighters through additional technical training as part of a regional response system -- along the lines of the haz-mat system recently developed -- to provide technical capabilities to the numerous small towns in Eastern CT.

    But that wasn't the question you asked Htfdjake...you asked how Ellington would provide for their own town and that's what I answered

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