Training is an important part of everyday life for the members of the Muscatine Fire Department (MFD). The on-going training, education, and certification of fire service personnel is necessary to ensure that the organization is competent, efficient, and effective in their emergency response in operations.
Knowing the need to stay up-to-date with current tools and techniques, and the need to work together in emergency situations, Muscatine Power & Water provided the MFD with a new Chlorine Emergency Kit-B for their HAZMAT operations.
“We have an older version on the HAZMAT truck now,” Firefighter/Critical Care Paramedic Andrew McSorley said. “With the addition of this kit we will have the ability to house the old kit on one of the trucks as a backup to the HAZMAT truck.”
MPW Safety and Training Manager Jim Garrison and MPW Safety and Training Specialist Donyell Archer had discussed with McSorley the MFD’s need to upgrade the chlorine emergency kit housed on the HAZMAT trailer.
“It is in all of our interest that the firefighters and our own staff are trained on the use of this kit in the case of a chlorine gas leak,” Garrison said.
Muscatine HAZMAT (hazardous materials) is part of Muscatine Fire Department Special Operations division and serves a six-county area that includes Muscatine, Louisa, Henry, Washington, and Keokuk counties. All Muscatine firefighters are trained in the areas of handling hazardous materials, confined space rescues, high angle rope rescues, trench rescues, and clandestine lab clean up.
McSorley has been organizing and leading the HAZMAT training for the MFD. Part of that training came earlier this summer at the Muscatine Power & Water (MPW) Grandview Water Treatment Facility. The drill, planned through the cooperation of MFD and MPW, simulated a chemical (chlorine) leak from a one-ton tank and rescue of staff injured from exposure to the gas.
Drills were held over multiple days to allow all three MFD shifts to participate with MPW team members helping to coordinate while also participating and observing the drills as they were conducted.
Garrison and Archer were on hand at Fire Station 1 Wednesday (Aug. 11) to present the MFD with a Chlorine Emergency Kit B that includes devices and tools to contain leaks in and around the ton container valves and in the sidewall of ton containers.