News: Pendleton firefighters gain vital CAL EMA certification
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Hazardous Materials team conducted a field training exercise in the 22 and 24 area, Feb. 16 as part of the six-week-long course required for maintaining California Emergency Management Agency certification.
The FTX was based around environmental biological sample collection procedures. This training prepared the firefighters for both natural and man-made disasters.
Camp Pendleton firefighters were divided into six groups for the FTX. Suited up in Level C protection, which includes Tyvek suit, rubber boots and gloves, and a Millenium mask, the trainees surveyed and pulled samples for the surrounding area.
“We are showing the new HAZMAT personnel how to pull the samples, and respond in conjunction with the chemical protection officer of the county,” said Crook. “They also learn to preserve evidence and get it into the labs quickly to identify where the problem is coming from.”
Industrial Emergency Counsel has been contracted by Headquarters Marine Corps to provide this six-week course to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s Fire Department personnel for CAL EMA certification.
“We are the only CAL EMA Type 1 HAZMAT team in the Department of Defence,” said John Crook, division chief at Fire Station 1, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The response jurisdiction for Camp Pendleton’s HAZMAT team extends from the north end of base, south to the freeway and through some of the areas on the Indian reservation.
If a HAZMAT call comes from right off of the base, often the Camp Pendleton team will be the first on scene, and able to provide reconnaissance to the San Diego County HAZMAT team upon arrival.
“We lack funding sometimes for formal training,” said Crook. “These calls give the installation the hands-on training needed to make our firefighters a very well-rounded and capable team.”
The Camp Pendleton HAZMAT team first recieved their CAL EMA certification in 2008.
“With the completion of this class, 80-90 percent of our firefighters will be duel-role HAZMAT technician specialists/firefighters,” said Riana Warkentin, firefighter and paramedic, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Date Posted:02.22.2012 19:08
Location:CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
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