PPE, Equipment, and Training

PPE for body protection is provided with Kapplar and DuPont suits for Level A entry and Kapplar encapsulated and unencapsulated suits for Level B entry. Motorola radios with ear pieces and mikes built into the SCBA face pieces are used for in-suit communications. Hazmat team members are equipped with Draeger SCBA with 1 h bottles, along with Draeger PAPRs and cartridge respirators for respiratory protection at hazmat and terrorist incidents. Firefighters in the city also use Draeger SCBA but with 45 min bottles. Originally they used 1 h bottles like the hazmat team, but they found them too bulky for interior firefighting operations.

Hazmat team personnel receive the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) 56 h Hazmat Technician course and a 40 h Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) course before they are assigned to be active in the unit. Some personnel are sent for additional training at the TTCI Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado; Radiation School at the Nevada Test Site near Las Vegas, Nevada; WMD training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama; and Incident Command courses at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Hazardous Materials Exposures

Highway transportation routes in the Baltimore area where hazardous materials are shipped on a regular basis include Interstates 70, 83, 95, 97, 395, 695, and 795. Baltimore is situated on the Patapsco River which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Hazardous materials in intermodal containers are shipped to and from the city through the Port of Baltimore. Intermodal containers are loaded on highway vehicles and railcars and shipped throughout the Eastern United States. Rail lines located in the city include CSX and Norfolk Southern. The CSX line which runs under the city below Howard Street was the site of a major hazardous materials spill and fire in 2001. Colonial Pipeline Company has a pipeline system which terminates in the Curtis Bay area in the SE side of the city where there is a major concentration of petroleum and chemical facilities. Some of the chemicals found in the industrial areas include uranium-hexaflouride, anhydrous ammonia, chlorine, petroleum products, and ethanol produced at a facility in the city.

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