Posted at: 09/07/2012 6:03 PM
Updated at: 09/07/2012 7:01 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Rochester Fire Department Trains for Hazardous Chemicals
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Incidents involving hazardous chemicals don’t happen very often. But when they do, they can be extremely dangerous for both the rescue team and surrounding areas.
With glowing flashlights and muffled voices, members of the Rochester Chemical Assessment Team searched for hazardous materials as part of mock training session.
"These are very low occurrence, but high risk events,” said Battalion Chief Chris Bailey.
The fire department was assisted by Homeland Security, The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota’s 55th Civil Support team- resources that would allow them to perform better on their own, if and when the real thing happens.
"The local community is gonna know how to respond to their community best that they're gonna know how to best respond to their community, they're gonna be the first one's here,” said Sgt. Mike Lubovich, who leads the 55th Civil Support Team in chemical training.
Any time they would be called to an unknown chemical leak or situation where they're not really sure what is present they would put on a suit like this. The suit protects their skin and the mask allows them to breathe without taking in the chemical.
"I'm a little exhausted, it takes a lot of time and effort to put in these scenarios,” said Kathryn Briggs.
She was one of three to search this garage for the chemical responsible for knocking this man unconscious.
"Every time we do this, there's some enjoyment out of it cause I know it's gonna polish and refine the basic skills for when the big incident does happen,” said Briggs.
And polish they do. Even brushing and rinsing off mock chemicals, leaving nothing to chance.
"All the I's and T's get dotted and crossed in that situation,” said Bailey.
To keep both the fire department and the community safe.