Thomasville Firefighters Brush Up HAZMAT Skills

By: Ivette Marques
By: Ivette Marques

The scenario is a Jeep overturns spilling chemicals; the driver is unconscious and the chemical unknown.

CAPT Jason Hemmingway of Thomas County Fire Rescue says, "The first thing we have to figure out is what we're going into. It may take 10 minutes, it may take an hour. We don't worry about time."

With an unknown chemical spillage, firefighters enter the scene and their main goal is to identify the chemical and contain the spill.

CAPT Hemmingway says, "Our job is not to clean up the chemical, but we have to make sure no further damage is done to property, people or the environment."

The hands-on training is the culmination of a week-long training class aimed at preparing firefighters to deal with hazardous materials.

CAPT Tim Connell of the Thomasville Fire Department says, "A lot of dangerous chemicals, a lot of chemicals that don't mix with other chemicals, so we need to know how to deal with them if an incident occurs."

Chief Brian Croft adds, "We never know where the next hazardous materials spill will be. Terrorism is always a threat, so we've got to be ready."

It’s a scenario they hope they never have to face, but now if needed they'll know what they're walking into.


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