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Most firefighters shy away from haz-mat. Why is that? Isn't every fire a haz-mat run? Doesn't every EMS run have haz-mat potential? What are your thoughts?

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Thanks for the reply. I agree that we tend to stay with things that we are comfortable with. One of the things that concerns me is the lack of knowledge of what we deal with on a fire. You don't have to be a chemist, but anything that can harm me I want to know how. It's not enough to know that smoke is bad, we need to know why!! I have attended chemistry courses that were way above what we need to know. Covalent & monovalent bonding, who cares. What we need to know is what type of protection is needed,what harm it will do to me, and how do I detect it. When I teach chemistry thats what I use. 2 Instructors from the IAFF taught me how to teach chemistry that is applicable for the fire service Joe Gorman of Fairfax Co. & Chris Aguirre a Lt. from Miami have a website http://www.hazmatiq.com/ that gives us what we all need to be better firefighters
Is it Coffee? I have a Bat Chief that insists on putting 24 oz in a 12 oz cup then walk down the hall like some 2 year old trying to find a bathroom. No most incidents involve a hydorcarbon typically Gasoline. The numbers are usually consistant year after year. According to the NRC there was over 100,000 gallons spilled in the US from 1999-2004 at both fixed and mobile incidents.

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