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In November, Lubrizol hosted the 2019 Ohio Fire Academy’s Hazmat* Technician class. The class is required annually to train new responders according to the Ohio Fire Academy Curriculum (required by NFPA(1) , OSHA(2) and the Department of Homeland Security). It allows emergency responders to enter a hazard zone in order to offensively and defensively fix a leak or spill of hazardous materials.
Emergency responders from Lubrizol’s Painesville, Wickliffe and Avon Lake facilities attended this 40 hour week long training. Ten firefighters from local Lake County fire departments are also invited to the class at no charge. Local fire departments sending students this year included Wickliffe, Kirtland, Willoughby, Leroy, Willowick, Painesville Township and Concord.
Instructors for this class included six state certified Hazmat instructors: Bill Whelan (Pvl Twp), retired Chief Frank Whittaker, Joe Hum (Lake County EMA) and 3 Lubrizol instructors: Greg Hollerbach, Matt Sadowski and Joe Hunt.
The course consisted of ½ lecture and ½ hands on experience. Some topics included: Basic chemistry, assessing risk and hazards, instruments & meters, rescue and evacuation procedures, spill control and containment (and how to use the equipment), Incident Command System (who’s in charge and who does what), bomb squad procedure, drone usage, and decontamination.
Why train together? Having Lubrizol emergency responders train along side outside fire department responders allows everyone to learn what their capabilities and limitations are. They also learn what is expected of each member of the team working on an emergency involving hazardous materials. They become more familiar with our plant, our Lubrizol fire department and our response capabilities. At the end of the week they get to test what they’ve learned with a joint drill, practicing their new skills and working together using a unified command system – where Lubrizol and an outside municipality handle the emergency together. At the end of their 40-hour class they are highly skilled and well trained to handle spills and leaks of hazardous materials. We are in good hands!
*HazMat – Hazardous Materials
(1) NFPA: National Fire Protection Association