Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Emergency Response Coordinator John Murphy congratulate the volunteer members of the Dutchess County Hazardous Materials Response Team (HazMat), who recently won the HazMat Challenge 2010 in Montour Falls, NY. The event was part of the 17th Annual HazMat Training Program, hosted by the New York State Academy of Fire Science, held February 19 – 21, 2010.
The HazMat Challenge is designed to provide hazardous materials teams with an opportunity to practice typical response drills while competing against colleagues from across New York State.
“One of our top priorities has been to provide high-quality training programs and facilities for our volunteer and professional emergency responders throughout the County,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We are pleased to see that training has paid off with our volunteers proving that Dutchess County has the top team in New York State.”
Nine members of Dutchess County’s HazMat Team participated in the Challenge including:
• Alex Elie, Haz Mat Team Captain
• Brian Hay, Haz Mat Technician
• Eric Phillip, Haz Mat Technican
• Nick Baisley, Haz Mat Technican
• Noel Dillon, Haz Mat Technician
• Steve Van Buren, Deputy Fire Coordinator
• Chris Cassidy, Haz Mat Technician
• Paul Bennett, Haz Mat Technician
• Kent Amsden, Haz Mat Technican
As part of the HazMat Challenge, participants performed various hazmat entry related tasks while wearing “Level A” Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Level A PPE consists of a self-contained breathing apparatus and a totally encapsulating chemical-protective (TECP) suit and provides the highest level of respiratory, eye, mucous membrane, and skin protection. The tasks included:
• Overpacking exercise – placing a leaking 55 gallon drum into an 85 gallon “overpack” recovery container.
• Transportation of 55 gallon drum in and out of building over a distance of 200 feet.
• Stopping a leak on a pressurized leak simulator
• Applying a chlorine "B" kit installation to a stimulated leaking 1 ton chlorine cylinder
• Liquid sample retrieval
• Decontamination of a contaminated patient.
Dutchess County’s Haz Mat team scored a perfect “10” on the leak control exercise from all 5 judges.
“Congratulations to all of our HazMat team members on this impressive achievement,” said Emergency Response Coordinator John Murphy. “This event demonstrates how vital quality training is to effectively respond to emergencies. The County HazMat team is an integral component in our Emergency Response plan and we are proud to know we have the best in the state.”
The Dutchess County Hazardous Materials Division consists of 25 volunteers, who are on call 24 hours a day to respond to and assist in coordinating and managing incidents when hazardous materials are suspected to be involved. This highly trained team meets all Public Employee Safety & Health (PESH) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and responds within the Hudson Valley region as well as Dutchess County.