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Hazmat Training Put To Use Within Weeks of Classes

Fairfield Glade Volunteer Fire Department

FAIRFIELD, TN -- The members of the Fairfield Glade Volunteer Fire Department are older than your average firefighter, having retired from their professional careers, says Fire Chief Dave Allstaedt. Firefighting is a job for younger people, he says, "but because of the training grant we received, our firefighters are better trained and more professional than ever before." Their members have received training from state-certified instructors in fire safety, SCBA and PPE use, HAZMAT awareness, wildland firefighting, and engine driving.

Fairfield Glade's population of about 6,000 doubles in the spring and fall when visitors golf and vacation in this resort area. The Department is responsible for about a 22-square-mile area, which includes forests that have been infested and devastated by the southern pine beetle. With the training grant the members took training in wildlandfirefighting to prepare them should they have to fight fires in those forests.

When the Fairfield Glade firefighters were taking basic HAZMAT training, the instructor told them that they probably would never have occasion to use such training. "Two weeks later, a truck carrying chemicals to a local water treatment plant tipped over," recalls Allstaedt. "That training came just at the right time for us," says Allstaedt. With their recent training in mind, the firefighters took the proper precautions before approaching the vehicle. After it was discovered that chlorine was leaking from the containers in the truck, they coordinated their response with other agencies. After the chlorine was stabilized, the Department helped to evacuate the area within 1,000 square feet of the incident, which was considered to be at risk. "Everything went very smoothly, and about 100 people were evacuated without any injuries," says Allstaedt.

What They Bought With The Grant:

  • State-certified fire instructor and fire safety training
  • Training in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Training in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • Basic HAZMAT awareness training
  • Engine driver training
  • Wildland firefighting training