The prospect of terrorist events has placed additional burdens upon fire departments across the country. Suddenly, fire service personnel have had to learn new techniques and methods to protect their communities from these threats. The Manchester Fire Department is meeting this new challenge in two ways.
The first step has been the purchase of specialized response equipment and the implementation of an advanced hazardous materials technician training program. This 40-hour program teaches our firefighter / hazmat technicians the basics of chemical/biological/nuclear agents. They learn about the various agents’ physical properties, their effects and the methods needed to identify them.
Throughout the five-day training, the firefighters perform hands-on practical exercises in the use of new chemical, as well as, biological detection equipment. Selection of proper personal protective equipment, operation of computerized air modeling systems and the operation of a new chemical identification lab round out the program. This training, coupled with new response equipment, will provide the City of Manchester with advanced response capabilities to possible terrorist incidents.