The Madison Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Incident Team (commonly known as "Hazmat") is trained, equipped, and ready to respond to hazardous situations including leaks, explosions, and other threats to life and the environment.
Being prepared, though, requires routine specialized training. The Madison Fire Department works with the local Civil Support Team to augment the abilities of hazardous materials response. Both agencies came together recently for two unique exercises.
Air Monitoring At Camp Randall
Four members of the MFD HIT team joined the 54th Civilian Support Team (CST) in conducting monitoring of Camp Randall Stadium during the Badger football game against Rutgers University on October 31.
Air monitors were placed remotely in strategic entrances while mobile radiation monitoring was also done. These devices, known as Rae monitors, assess air quality from a determined location, and they allow operators to observe conditions without being present in a potentially hazardous environment.
On October 22, a simulation was conducted mimicking a "call" dispatched to the Janesville Fire Department.
The information obtained from that "call" determined that a subject had planted some dispersal devices around the softball diamonds at a local park-- in this exercise, Elver Park in Madison.
The Madison Fire HIT responded along with the 54th CST to assist. After setting up some safety parameters, the teams made several initial entries to assess the area for safety hazards.
Both teams used their air monitoring equipment as well as radiation detection. Photos were taken of the alleged dispersal devices to be used by other agencies for further investigation.
Overall, the exercise went well. Both teams evaluated the exercise and determined ways in which an investigation like this could go even better should the agencies be faced with it in a real-life scenario.
Like personnel in all corners of the Madison Fire Department, the Hazardous Materials Incident Team stays on top of its game by participating in routine training exercises. Collaborative exercises like these strengthen our ability to effectively manage an actual emergency.
Lieutenant Tracy Recob, Division Chief Tim Mrowiec and Captain Tom Reiter contributed to this blog.