Nine members of Loudoun County Fire and Rescue received certification April 13 as Hazardous Materials Technicians from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
For the past 11 years, LCFR personnel have trained together with personnel from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue during the 10-day program hosted at the Dulles South Public Safety Center.
LCFR personnel who completed the program and earned the certification were:
Battalion Chief Glenn R. Swain
Firefighter/Paramedic Robin L. Smith
Firefighter Jason D. Yaussy
Firefighter Jacob C. Keck
Firefighter Cody H. Simpson
Firefighter Michael E. Burgesser
Firefighter Philip Tsionis-Agostino
Firefighter Toni Ann Gambale
Firefighter Kade O. Burk
The 80-hour program included intensive classroom sessions followed by practical application exercises that required students to work in self-contained breathing apparatus, chemical protective clothing and confined spaces. The curriculum focused on chemistry, hazardous materials detection and monitoring, personal protective equipment, decontamination, offensive leak control techniques, risk assessment, incident management and safety.
Upon successful completion of the initial course, these technicians must re-certify annually via the department’s proficiency program focusing on continuing education and job performance requirements.
All LCFR operations personnel are certified to the Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations level and with the department how has more than 80 Hazardous Materials Technicians.
LCFR’s Dulles South Station houses the Hazardous Materials Response Team to include the Hazardous Materials response vehicle, mass decontamination trailer and several support units in addition to an engine, tower and advanced life support ambulance.
“The Hazardous Materials Technician program is especially challenging, requiring a significant amount of time and energy from participants and training staff,” System Chief Keith Johnson said. “These individuals are immersed in a rigorous training program that is both mentally and physically challenging and I’m confident these Hazardous Materials Technicians will be an incredible asset to our community.”