Barrow First Responders get Refresher Training on Handling Hazardous Materials
The training session was attended by firefighters from Barrow County Emergency Services and Winder Fire Department.
Barrow County's first responders got a refresher course on handling hazardous materials this past week.
The joint training session, held at the Barrow Leisure Services Center, was organized by Barrow County Emergency Services, the Winder Fire Department, Stepan Company and the Georgia Department of Public Health and included hands-on drills.
“The class just shows the cooperation that occurs in Barrow County,” Barrow County Emergency Services Training Officer Captain Bryan Bullock said in a news release. “The whole class was made up of multiple departments and businesses contributing. It made for a better training for the firefighters involved.”
Barrow County Emergency Services has operated a FEMA Type 3 Team since 2005, which allows the department to handle most incidents involving hazardous materials in Barrow County. In the event of an incident, team members would respond to a scene and work to contain and control any spill.
"We continue to plan for these events and prepare for them by making sure we know where to get resources when we need them to deal with any haz-mat event we incur," Barrow County Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield said in the release.
This past week's training was taught by Bullock with assistance from Barrow County firefighter Royce Bottoms and Boone Brothers with Stepan Company. The training also included a demonstration by Tony Huff of the Department of Public Health on radiation monitoring equipment the department has available, as well as a demonstration from Charlie Hollins with Barrow Regional Medical Center who demonstrated the hospital's decontamination system.
Firefighters also had an opportunity to explore the Georgia Fire Academy’s Biological and Chemical Training trailer, which allowed participants to test different equipment and hone their skills in handling a possible spill.
Students from Apalachee High School filmed a portion of the training to create DVDs that can be used by both the county and Winder fire departments.