HomeNewsArticle Display

Better safe than sorry: firefighters exercise HAZMAT procedures

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Buckley Fire Department firefighter Eric Pingel, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron, assembles de-contamination equipment for used for hazardous material training Aug. 10, 2012. Buckley firefighters exercise hazardous de-contamination procedures several times a year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Buckley Fire Department firefighter Eric Pingel, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron, assembles de-contamination equipment for used for hazardous material training Aug. 10, 2012. Buckley firefighters exercise hazardous de-contamination procedures several times a year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Buckley Fire Department firefighter Jason DeBord, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron, judges the position of the equipment for hazardous material training, Aug. 10, 2012. At the last station, someone runs a detector that determines if there’s contamination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Buckley Fire Department firefighter Jason DeBord, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron, judges the position of the equipment for hazardous material training, Aug. 10, 2012. At the last station, someone runs a detector that determines if there’s contamination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A group of Buckley Fire Department firefighters prepare to disassemble the de-contamination equipment after their hazardous material training, Aug.  10, 2012. Three wash stations were set up for the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A group of Buckley Fire Department firefighters prepare to disassemble the de-contamination equipment after their hazardous material training, Aug. 10, 2012. Three wash stations were set up for the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Left to right, Airman 1st Class Allen Patterson, Erik Pingel and Dennis Colgan, all Buckley Fire Department firefighters, wrap up their training after disassembling the training area, Aug.  10, 2012. Buckley firefighters exercise hazardous de-contamination procedures several times a year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Left to right, Airman 1st Class Allen Patterson, Erik Pingel and Dennis Colgan, all Buckley Fire Department firefighters, wrap up their training after disassembling the training area, Aug. 10, 2012. Buckley firefighters exercise hazardous de-contamination procedures several times a year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Darryl Bolden Jr)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Safety should never be an afterthought or be taken lightly, that's why Buckley Fire Department firefighters exercise hazardous material de-contamination procedures at least every couple months.

"It's just like everything else," said Buckley Fire Department fire chief Brian Poe, "we prepare for the worst."

Poe said his firefighters would implement these procedures with anything from a rolled over tanker, a weapons attack or anytime they're dealing with any type of unknown substance.

That's why 14 Buckley Fire Department firefighters recently participated in HAZMAT training.

"Even though it doesn't happen a lot, you still never know what can happen. This is why we stay proficient on it," said Buckley firefighter Lt. Jason Kunkel.

Kunkel said, the set-up stage of the training is where his firefighters learn a lot. He said so much goes into setting up the three-part station, it's important they're familiar with it, so they're not trying to figure it out during an emergency.

Three wash stations are set up for the contaminated emergency responders, with somebody at each station to assist them in scrubbing off their suits.

At the last station somebody runs a detector over the responder to see if they've been decontaminated. If they haven't been, then they must repeat the same procedures again until free of contamination. Once de-contaminated their suits are thrown into a sealed container where they'll be cleaned more thoroughly.

Poe said this training is just like any other training they perform, whether it be fire fighting or CPR. It's something that his firefighters could be called upon to do, so it's important they're properly prepared to handle whatever situation comes their way.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.