Thanks for the reply Mike. Currently we have 1 day a month for each crew to do HAZMAT only training. Unfortunately, there is nothing to keep the training consistent between the three crews. We also do 1 mass drill each year and 1 or 2 major training sessions.
Training with the ERG is always a great thing as it is what will get you through the first 30 minutes of a HazMat incident. You could go over the different colored sections within the ERG, and what they represent, make sure folks know how to look up chemicals, etc. Also could train on the 9 HazMat classes and their respective placards, or perhaps containers they could be in.
Also, is the training geared for Awareness & Operations level personnel, or folks at the Technician level?
Our regional HazMat team trains the first 3 Thursdays of every month to allow for each shift on the 24/48 schedule. The topics vary, however, we just finished up on railcar chlorine emergencies. The railroad has been extremely helpful in the planning and implementation of the training. Plus getting your "hands on" an actual train car beats any prop any day and you have an industry expert there the entire time.
You could probably get with your local chemical plants, power plants etc. and they would be glad to give you a tour and work out a training exercise. Most of them are very excited to assist.
In regards to you request for ideas for HazMat training. I do our department’s Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations annual recertification training. Several agencies that surround our department also take part in the annual training (5 different agencies and more than 120 first responders). I have started to incorporate local businesses and their hazards into the training. Our county environmental health department is the designated CUPA for county and periodically sends us the reportable amounts of HazMat that local businesses have. I go to the businesses and take pictures, get local run maps from the engines and have even used Google Earth to get overhead pictures of the area and/or business site. I then set up HazMat scenarios based on the materials that are used and stored in the local response districts and the nearby agencies districts that we may be responding to for automatic and or mutual aid. I have received positive feedback from the students about this approach because the hazards are all in their response areas and it is possible they will one day have to respond to this business.
The drills always include using the DOT ERG. Sometimes we incorporate the NFPA 704 Placards. The run maps and Google Earth maps give a bird’s eye view of the area and are used to identify possible runoff areas of concern; they are also used to identify where intersections or streets need to be block for isolation zones; the maps also show what is down wind etc. I sometimes give the groups in class highlighters to mark the maps for the isolation zones based on what the DOT ERG recommends. I find this gives them a sense of the size and scope of the incident and makes the point of how many resources are needed to isolate and deny entry into a site. Some scenarios they are required to set up the ICS system. I provide ICS 214’s forms and have them fill them out based on the scenario (basic structure - groups, branches, divisions (evacuation branch, HazMat branch or division etc)).
One year we had a County Health representative from the Environmental Health Division come and speak to all the classes (it takes 9 classes to get everyone through our annual recertification (3 per shift)). I found it helped explain better what they do, their training, capabilities, and how they can help us and how we can better help them. It also greatly improved our relationship with that organization as we now had faces to put with names and weren’t afraid to ask questions. They put together a short power point and then answered questions; took about 30 to 40 minutes.
U-tube has some great footage that can be incorporated for drill scenarios. I have used a release from a cryogenic tank valve for scenario for a LOX tank. I was given a clip about a fire at gas station and vehicle that was being fueled. I incorporated a mass decontamination drill for this year‘s recertification. We used a ladder truck, 4 salvage covers, and wire ties. The truck ladder was extended and then the covers hung using the plastic wire ties. The different groups either used the master stream device or set up a hose & nozzle to provide water for people to wash off the contaminates. When the truck was unavailable for the class we used 2 type 1 engines and set up a corridor with both engines flowing water from a nozzle attached directly to the discharge set to a wide fog. The engines faced away from each other about 15 to 20 feet apart and water was discharged from the passenger side so that the engineers did not get wet. If the groups are motivated is should take 30 minutes to set and brake down and wipe the engines down.
Drill Scenarios we have used:
• Pool supply business- had fire and toxic plume and water runoff from fighting fire
• Leaking battery for a computer severer for a college- had a person with health problems which was the original call and then you discover a HazMat. There are multiple listings for batteries in the DOT ERG and it takes a while to figure out that the batteries are lead acid batteries
• Cryogenic tank leak (LOX)- U tube video- isolate and deny entry, evacuation, etc
• Halon extinguisher release at a business (computer room) with a person in the room
• Vapors coming from a metal plating business in a strip mall
• Gas station fire – U tube video. Had fire/fuel expanding across the apron and then down into the storm drain
• Fire in large Hardware store in the pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer section – runoff and plume were issues in scenario as the bay & highway was less than 1/3 of a mile away from site of business
• Hotel room fire that turns out to be a Meth drug lab fire – evacuation, possible mass decontamination, crime scene are issues in scenario.
• Fire at a recycle center – there have been several in our area. Burning plastic is really bad – look up Dioxin and Furan. Furan is in the DOT ERG, Google Dioxin (really nasty stuff). Scenario played out to let fire burn or put it out. Consulted County Health for guidance on this and definitely put fire out and deal with the toxic runoff later.
• Natural Gas leaks. There is some really good information out now about pipelines and how to respond. It ties in with the explosion and fire in San Bruno and several other natural gas explosions and fires in the Midwest. They have an interactive website and materials. Used 3 scenarios based on natural gas. One of theirs and 2 of my own. Their website is at pipelineawareness.org
I have never posted before. I did not realize I was writing so much, I hope this helps and does not break any blog etiquette by being so long.
Thanks for the info Arthur. Don't worry about writing to much. I appreciate as much feedback as people are willing to give. Our department has been talking about using local business' as models for a Haz Mat release. Mainly to familiarize ourselves with the hazards in our area and preplan some of those hazards.