Hazardous Materials Team
All members of the Southard Fire Department are trained to respond, in some fashion, to incidents involving hazardous materials (HAZ-MAT) releases. Hazardous Materials response in the state of New Jersey is divided into five levels, covering defensive operations, offensive operations, specialized operations, and command operations. Defensive operations are actions that do not involve responders intentionally coming in contact with a hazardous material. Offensive operations are actions where responders will aggressively enter an established danger zone in order to confine, isolate, or otherwise mitigate an incident. We have members trained in all five areas:
Level I - Haz-Mat Awareness – DEFENSIVE
Level II - Haz-Mat Operations – DEFENSIVE
Level III- Haz-Mat Technician – OFFENSIVE
Level IV - Haz-Mat Specialist – OFFENSIVE,
--- Requiring specialized knowledge of a specific discipline such as Cargo Tank Truck, Railroad Specialists, Radiation Emergencies, COBRA (Chemical, Ordinance, Biological, Radiological), Level "A" Protective Clothing, and Atmospheric Monitoring.
Level V - On Scene Commander – COMMAND,
--- Required for any person that will command a Haz Mat incident
State law requires that all personnel are trained at minimum to Level II, which enables the responder to recognize hazardous materials, and perform defensive protective actions until the situation can be brought under control.