Anniston's response unit is a Pierce 2004 hazardous materials vehicle (Figure 5.10A). It is equipped with a light tower, 40 kW generator, air cascade, command post, and four-man crew cab. Storage space is available on the top along with the light tower. A built-in collapsible stair can be set up to allow access to the top storage and light tower. Compartments have roll-up doors, and some are equipped with pullout trays for easy access to equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and other equipment. The unit is housed at Fire Station One, located in downtown Anniston at 217 East 17th Street. The hazmat trailer is located at Fire Station Three along with an engine, 100 feet aerial ladder truck, and brush truck.
Figure 5.10A Anniston's response unit is a Pierce 2004 hazardous materials vehicle.
The hazardous materials unit is not staffed full time. When a hazardous materials call is received, the firefighters/hazmat technicians from the other companies in town assemble at the main station where the response force is selected to staff the hazardous materials unit. For an initial hazardous materials call, eight firefighters will respond with the hazardous materials unit. For large calls, off-duty firefighters/technicians are recalled to duty.
PPE and Equipment
Personnel protective equipment (PPE) worn by hazmat team members for Level A is the Kapplar Tychem Responder equipped with flash protection. Protection worn for Level B is the Tychem encapsulated and non-encapsulated suits. Respiratory Protection is provided with MSA SCBA with 1 h bottles and 3M 6000 negative pressure cartridge respirators. In-suit communication is provided by Motorola radios. Radios in use are on the 800 MHz band with ability to talk county wide to all other response agencies.
Monitoring Instruments & Identification Equipment used by the Anniston Hazmat Team include photo ionization detector (PID), Haz Cat System, AP 2C, RAE Systems five-gas meter, MSA four-gas meters, and TIMS. Terrorist agent monitoring instruments include the APD-2000, which detects chemical warfare agents, pepper spray, and mace, and the RAMP System.
Research materials on board the hazmat unit include NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, DOT ERG, Emergency Handling of Hazardous Materials in Surface Transportation, NFPA Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials, CHRIS Manuals, Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook, DuPont Permeation Guide, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens. Computer databases include Oreis, CAMEO, Aloha, and Marplot.
Hazardous Materials Exposures
The destruction of the chemical weapon stockpile of Anniston Army Ammunition Depot (ANAD) was completed in 2011. ANAD today is primarily a maintenance facility for the Army. Anniston has the Norfolk Southern Railroad traveling through town, Interstate 20 to the South, an ice plant with anhydrous ammonia, an industrial park, a gasoline tank farm, propane storage tanks, acids, and a high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline. Anniston has available an equipment trailer with a decontamination tent, water heaters, and other equipment for mass decontamination (Firehouse Magazine).