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Grrr...

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  • Grrr...

    Now I'm no Hazmat Tech, so I guess I can't say much, but the way our disaster drill ran last night was atrocious in my opinion. Last year, a "tornado" hit one of the local schools. This year, it was a "massive formaldehyde spill" by the local hospital. They had so many people on scene that half were left with nothing to do. And all the guys from nearby stations that would be running mutual aide with us completely trashed our Hazmat trailer and didn't bother helping to clean up. I sat around for 2 hours before there was something for me to do. NOT happy. Definitely needs to be some changes.
    Angie

  • #2
    At a well run HazMat incident, there SHOULD be a lot of idle time. Running headlong into things without taking the time to think things through THOROUGHLY is how people get killed. HazMats are not like fire calls where speed counts.

    I'll be the first one to admit that there's such a thing as too many people on a lot of fire calls. Not so on HazMats. As long as the people with nothing to do are doing just that- nothing, not making up things to do on their own, you're good. I think this is easier to manage with the HazMat team members than the general membership. Having gone through the extra training, and being a little more dedicated on the whole, they aren't so prone to freelancing.

    As far as the neighboring guys trashing your trailer, well that's just rude. Shame on them!
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
    Vermont

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    • #3
      I feel your pain. Too many FD's fall into the training trap of setting up practical exercises for unrealistic mega-disasters that will never occur.

      Where are most FF injured or killed? At basic, nuts and bolts incidents. In a well-run FD, the value of training for the basics will pay dividends over and over again. I would be that a FD who can screw up a house fire, can forget about working well at the big one, no matter how much they trained for it.
      PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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      • #4
        Hi Angie...........

        Long time no see... er.... read. First, the bozos who trashed your apparatus need a swift kick in the... But something does trouble me a bit. I am a level II Hazmat tech myself, and I know where George and TWEJFD are coming from. The first thing you learn at Gloworm 101 is Don't rush in. In fact, don't rush. Period. That said, there are a zillion things to do, most of which involve people who are NOT Hazmat techs, such as setting up a Decon system. getting out the wading pools, filling them with water, hooking up the hose and the hanging basket wands, breaking out the chairs and the walkers, setting up the "Dirty" (I can't spell contaminated) suit and tool collection point, setting up tents for sun or rain, are labor intensive things that need to be done. And that's just decon. ReHab, Accountability, research, documentation, EMS, Fire Suppression, and other sectors all need people too. I can't help but wonder if the pre incident planning might have been a bit thin. But then what are these drills for? To point out areas where we can improve our game. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it makes it closer to perfect than before. Stay Safe....
        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
        In memory of
        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

        IACOJ Budget Analyst

        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

        www.gdvfd18.com

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        • #5
          I am in total agreement with George and Hwoods... To take your time in Haz Mat and Not rush in.....IS A GOOD THING. Haz Mat Incidents are labor intensive with the needs for ICS, Logistics, Decon, Research, Safety, Haz Mat Team Leader, Entry, medical....etc.... To have folks standing around (better term is staged for future use) is a good thing. And most of the time...all that come to the Haz Mat do not get to play...

          I fault the IC for the condition your Haz Mat was left in. Perhaps he should have made sure everything was in a mode of "ready for service" before anyone was released. We make it a habit of assigning different folks to specific tasks during the "termination of the incident", which includes cleanup.
          09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
          ------------------------------
          IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
          "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
          BMI Investigator
          ------------------------------
          The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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          • #6
            In addition, every exercise should conclude with a critique, where that type of problem would get aired out. Perhaps there was a good reason for it, like not being told to do it.
            PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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            • #7
              I agree that since I'm not a Hazmat I probably wouldn't get to see any of the "action", but I didn't even get to help set up the decon corridor or anything. Grrr....They spoke about it in the debriefing, I believe. Those guys do need a swift kick. The only problem that's bringing up now is the old men vs. women problem. Since I am the only woman at my station now, all the guys think that I am mad at those departments because they "treated me like a woman". Looks like it's a neverending battle. And it's nice to read you all again too
              Angie

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              • #8
                Using firefighters to set up decon is a common practice here. They do not have to be Haz Mat certified as technicians to do it. All of them are operational level trained anyway and we can give them a "picture" with a description of how to do it and believe it or not they perform admirably most of the time.

                I wish you had not gone and made it a man vs women thing! This may get pretty ugly now!
                09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                ------------------------------
                IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                BMI Investigator
                ------------------------------
                The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I should have proofread what I said. I am not the one that brought up the man vs. woman thing A couple guys at my station took it upon themselves to assume that I was ****ed because I wasn't getting to do anything because I was a woman. That's what I was upset about....the fact that something completely unrelated is automatically assumed to be gender related.
                  Angie

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