Newly Formed Hazardous Materials Team Trains For First Time - - The News for South Mississippi

Newly Formed Hazardous Materials Team Trains For First Time

 Jackson County Hazardous Materials members check their equipment and suit up. The team is made up of firefighters from Ocean Springs, Moss Point, Pascagoula and Jackson County.

In the exercise, they must tackle a 55 gallon drum that's leaking. Instructor Charles Cunningham says "We're simulating a leaking drum that was disposed of improperly in the county, and the proper way to safely address the drum and assess the situation".

The Reconnaissance Team goes in first. Moss Point Fire Chief Earl Etheridge says "They're going in to evaluate the scene, see what we have, what's leaking and see if they can identify the product that's in the container".

In the drill, they find that the chemical is Acetone, a flammable liquid. The team stops the leak and relays the information to the Incident Commander, who's in charge of the scene.

The next step is to over pack the drum. That's when team number two moves in to contain the chemical. After they secure the scene, it's off to the De-contamination Zone where the suits are cleaned from top to bottom.

Those in charge of the training say they're impressed that firefighters from several agencies are working together to hone their emergency response skills. Chief Etheridge says "There's so much heavy industry in Jackson County, and there's so much transportation of chemicals, especially along the I-10 corridor. We felt this training needs to be done for the safety of the whole county". The next training session is May 4th.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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