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What are some HazMat equipment minimum requirements, recommendations, suggestions and storage ideas?

What should be placed on a rescue truck and engine, for smaller dept's?

A neighboring dept. has a dedicated railer. Another dept. has specific spill type equipment boxes from Pig on a smaller rescue.

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Replies to This Discussion

Paul we carry Pads Pigs ,booms, trash cans , floor dry, and decon materials on our heavy rescue- The State of Ohio has levels for teams 1-3 . I have the lists if you would like to become a team. Todd
I would Echo Brent’s comment, With everything engine companies must do these days I can't see placing a lot of hazmat equipment on them unless your department has had a history responding to certain incidents or there is a specific hazard within your area. In my state engine companies usually carry a few bags of kitty litter or similar clay based absorbent. Also engine companies may respond to CO calls and Natural gas or odor calls, for this they are equipped with a 5 gas monitor or a single sensor CO monitor.

My best advise would be to take a good look at the hazards within your area and decide a response plan i.e. transportation, rail, highway, fixed facilities, special hazards, etc. A lot of this information you can attain through your local LEPC or emergency management in the form of Tier II reports. Then figure out what you want your engine companies to be able to before a HazMat team arrives. Then you can look at equipment and training needs.

An important issue here is hazmat training and response are regulated by Law. Contrary to popular belief fire departments can and have been found in violation and subsequently fined. I don’t want to scare you on this issue but if you equip and expect a firefighter to respond to hazmat make sure that they are trained and meet all applicable standards.

If they can’t shoot it or put handcuffs on it they call us and we have always responded, however I feel its time we prepare our firefighters before they are knee deep in the mess.

Don’t mean to get on a soap box but my recruit training (years ago) consisted of three 8 hour days watching IFSTA tapes, the training chief showing me how to make a hydrant and put on a smoke mask. On the 4th day I started on shift. I was in my first fire my second shift on, was the first one in following my captain. To make a long story short it was a bad fire to start and only got worse and I was lucky to make it out OK. That fire is why I got involved in training.
As a firefighter, it is important to be qualified to perform the tasks when it comes to HazMat calls. In NJ, firefighters are only trained to the HazMat operational level so they are not supposed to come in contact with the product. However, fuel spills that are common are cleaned up regularly using Speedy Dry, a broom and a shovel. From the county fire marshals office (through a grant), every department in the county was issued a HazMat kit that includes 8 suites (level B/C), SCBA Mask Filters, gloves, boots, and tape. In addition, we carry a 100’ garden hose with a wand nozzle and a long handled scrub brush (purchased at Home Depot) for decon, a Combustible gas meter, a CO meter, and a 4 gas meter (H2S, O2, CO, LEL), and pH paper.
As a HazMat Response team, we are all trained to the technician level. Our standard equipment includes (but is not limited to):
-Detection: Binoculars, NIOSH Pocket Guide, MSDS Sheets, Multi-Gas Meters, pH paper, analysis tubes, etc…
-Protection: Level A, B/C, and D (firematic) suites, gloves, boots, respirators, SCBA, etc….
-Clean up: Absorbent pads to pick up aqueous solutions and oil based materials, Speedy Dry, etc….
-Containment: Pigs, metal and plastic buckets, drums (liquid and dry), over pack drums, etc….
-Accessories: Brooms, shovels, scrapers, plug kit with rubber and wood plugs, straps, etc….
-Oh and most important our brains.
There is so much that can be purchased to perform the functions of HazMat containment and clean-up you can spend an entire budget on stocking the apparatus. The best way to set your apparatus is to take a look at what you have in your area, do some good pre-plan walkthroughs, before you stock up. This way you won’t have a bunch of unusable supplies.
DON’T be the next one, BE safe!
Richard
I couldn't agree more; I have been all over the country in the past few years and have seen teams with equipment they will most likely never use. Equipment that was purchased with grant funds sit on a rig or on a shelf in a bay and is un-deployable because the department does not have the funds to maintain it. Using our brain and some rather simple equipment and supplies we can rule out what the $7000 to $80,000 equipment MAY identify. Chemistry didn't radically change after 9/11 just our perception of the hazard

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