Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

Patience Is a Virtue

09/10/2015

RICHARD MARINUCCI

A coordinated, planned, and prepared response to a hazmat event is a relatively new concept in the fire service.

By that, I mean that up until 25 or 30 years ago, fire departments responded to calls involving hazardous materials and did the best they could with minimal preparation. Often materials were diluted and “washed down” the drain or into a ditch. There were no “moon suits” or various levels of protection. Chemicals like mercury were just picked up and thrown in the trash. For the most part, departments did the best they could. If they realized they had something above their level of training or expertise, they contacted a private company. Thankfully, this has changed, and there is an expectation that fire departments will have the necessary knowledge to address these events in an appropriate manner….

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