We do not push training as a department in the ERG. Everyone knows how to use them and has their own copy of them. We urge them to go through them to get used to them. I'm a haz-mat geek though and keep one in the car. We have lots of train tracks we have to wait on so while we are doing that I'm going through the ERG looking them up. My best friend and I are always trying to one up the other one on who can get more looked up during a set time.
In Albuquerque we have two full time, fully staffed Haz Mat Squads that also have two task forces of people they can call out when needed. I know that the Glow Worms do yearly refreshers that are pretty extensive requiring eighty hours.
The rest of us non radioactive people have a much more condensed refresher on Haz Mat every other year that involves using the ERG. Every Engine, every Ladder, every rescue, squad and ambulance has an ERG on the front dashboard.
I understand brother! However, I do have a concern everyone in the truck should be reading it on the way to the run. The officer may have missed something. I really think you should push to put them all the trucks along with a NIOSH book. The reason for that is chemicals have trade names that can be looked up in he NIOSH book and not in the ERG until you find another name for it. CROSS REFERENCE
MMS- Glad to hear that you train on the ERG. I have the privliage of traveling all around teaching HazMat and what I have found is that people have them but have'nt used them and forget. It is always good to train on the ERG a few times through out the YEar. Take a look at my article on FE.com it is called REMOVING THE DUST FROM THE ERG thanks Todd
Being the Nations First Fire Dept, we do not have a dedicated HAZ-MAT unit. Our Hazmat units consist of I believe 3 trained Engine Companies and 3 Trained Ladder Companies. We do have "special operations" Tech that responds to most incidents right away but carries no equipment. Besides the basics, meters and small equipment, the suits and heavier gear are kept on a seperate unit. That responds from, I actually forget where now they move it around so much. Back to the ERG. The ERG is only good if people read it. Some officers do not like to because "they already know" and dont want to create a "Big deal out of it". I just walk away. My life is more important. I actually keep mine in the bathroom and go through it picking out the different placards I see out there. Sounds silly but it works!
I passed a Clean Harbors truck today and went home and learned what it was carrying. They only will train or encorage it on the haz mat companies. I asked to be sent to haz mat school and was shot down because we are a foam company not a haz mat.
I try to have my FF pull it out when we see placards and/or 704 signs or MSDS sheets during pre plans and have a few minutes. It is amazing what we have in our districts!
Unfortunately, like many departments we do not practice with it enough.
I am a Tech Rescue guy but ALWAYS want our Haz-Mat Team on tech rescue calls. We are starting to train more and more together. We have great Haz-Mat guys and Gals, which is good because our tech team guys are Operations Level only.
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