Carroll is among Md. leaders in 'hazmat' training

February 26, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Carroll County is among the leaders in the state in training volunteer firefighters to deal with hazardous materials, the Local Emergency Planning Committee reports.

Gamber Fire Company Lt. Richard Armstrong, an instructor in "hazmat" training and a battalion chief in the Baltimore Fire Department, said Monday that 320 of the county's roughly 650 active volunteers already have received the first phase of three phases of training: the identification, isolation and control of hazardous materials.

Lieutenant Armstrong, a member of the emergency planning committee, made his report when the group met with County Commissioner Elmer Lippy.

Hazmat training becomes more important every day, Lieutenant Armstrong said, as more hazardous materials pass through the county in tankers, trucks and railroad cars.

He cited a recent incident where a large truck overturned on a Gamber resident's lawn.

When firefighters opened the rear doors of the truck they found a 500-gallon tank containing hazardous liquids.

Neither the tank nor the boxes of other materials broke or ruptured, which could have caused a serious problem, Lieutenant Armstrong said.

All 14 fire companies in Carroll are training their firefighters to handle the materials, and most have firefighters who have advanced to the second phase, he said.

The county has 11 firefighters who have been trained to the third level to assist the responding hazmat team in dealing with the hazardous materials.

Carroll County does not have its own hazmat vehicle, but relies on teams from Baltimore County and Fort Detrick, in Frederick County, for assistance.

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