Hazmat training prepares Ottumwa Firefighters for emergency situations

Ottumwa Fire Department participated in hazmat training at Cargill Meat Solutions to prepare them for emergency situations

A chemical spill can be very dangerous and sometime deadly.

Learning how to deal with those situations requires hazmat training and thatâ??s just what the Ottumwa Fire Department was doing on Wednesday.

If you drove byCargill Meat Solutions on Wednesday you may have seen guys in blue suits on the roof of the building; this was all part of the hazmat training.

Cargill does have its own in-house hazmat team. However in case of an emergency, the Ottumwa Fire Department plays a very important role.

â??If we would actually have an event, that the guys on the fire department along with in conjunction with our guys, would both have a familiarity of the room and the working equipment that they would have to go into,â?? said Brian Bramschreiber, Safety Manager at Cargill.

Various real life scenarios were playing out at the training.

Fire Chief Tony Miller said the training is a chance to see what things went well and what things they need to work on.

Ever since 1991, the Ottumwa Fire Department has been a hazmat team.

â??We've had hundreds of calls, emergency calls and we did the exact same thing we're doing right now. We've got a lot of new guys on the department that haven't been there only a couple of years and this is the best training they can receive because theyâ??re going to get the training â??practice -- training theyâ??re going to do at an actual call,â?? said Chief Miller.

The entire process it not a simple one. In a real event, the hazmat team could be exposed to very dangerous amounts of chemical and that is where the protective suits come into play.

Every member on the hazmat team has their own role that is vital to the success and safety of the situation.

â??Right now Iâ??m part of the decon line and my job is to scrub the guys, the chemicals off the guys after the come out. Weâ??ve got a hot area, a warm area and a cold area and before you can go from the hot area to the cold area, you've to get cleaned and that's what the warm areas for,â?? said Chris Cale, Ottumwa Firefighter.

Chief Miller said training exercises such as hazmat training help prepare the crews for any situation.