On Monday, May 19th, 2014, members of the Kingsport Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team hosted a training for several area volunteer fire departments to attend. The training was held at Fire Station 7 in the Rock Springs community, which houses Engine 7/Haz-Mat 7.
Sullivan County and the City of Kingsport have worked together to provide the county/city with a Hazardous Materials Response truck that is equipped with many pieces of equipment needed to mitigate a hazardous materials incident. The vehicle is equipped with decon supplies, Class A entry suits, overpack drums, as well as other items. The apparatus is also equipped with a mobile command center that contains many monitors, computers, and radio equipment. The truck is housed at KFD Fire Station 7, and the city of Kingsport staffs the vehicle when Haz-Mat calls are received.
The City of Kingsport Fire Department ensures that all new-hires are trained to the level of Haz-Mat Technician through the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. This training is provided during “rookie school.” In addition, KFD has 7 personnel per shift (21) that are members of the KFD Haz-Mat Team. These members train together on a monthly basis, and the full team also hosts a training drill annually. The Team Members are also trained to the level of Haz-Mat Specialist.
Members of Sullivan West Fire Rescue and Warriors Path Volunteer Fire Department attended the training session on Monday evening to familiarize themselves with the decontamination procedures. During the drill, the members set-up a decon area similar to one that would be established on-scene. An entry team was established and a decon team was used to simulate cleaning the Class A entry suits as the responders exited the “hot zone.”
In the event of a Haz-Mat incident in Sullivan County, the KFD Haz-Mat team will respond. The members of the county fire department on-scene will be utilized in assisting with the decontamination process. Incidents involving hazardous materials require teamwork fire, medical, and police agencies. It was great to see the area firefighters working together to ensure that we are all able to provide the citizens with the best response available.