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Hazardous Materials Training

By Jackawa Jackson | September 8, 2009

On Saturday, August 29th, withstanding the summer heat and humidity, the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Hazardous Materials Task Force performed their monthly Continuing Education by performing a simulated “Level-A Entry”.  The drill, conducted at the LBFD Training Center on Argonne Avenue simulated leaking cylinder of sulfur dioxide that had been knocked over at a loading dock.  Each month, the Hazardous Materials Continuing Education (HMCE) curriculum concentrates on a specialized aspect of a hazardous materials emergency.  The simulation of a “Level-A Entry” brings all the specialized aspects together as a whole.
At the Command Post, Hazardous Materials Specialists help determine the response objectives
After the exercise, the “entry team” joked that they would prefer a winter simulation.  The Level-A entry suits, better known as “sauna suits”, protects the wearer from chemical exposure but also encapsulates them to “bake in their juices”.  Hazardous Material emergencies are labor intensive and support personnel are needed to dress the entry team and decontamination (decon) teams, stand-by for rescue, decontaminate, dress down the entry and decon teams, and provide medical support.

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