DFRD gains more hazmat training

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department assistant chief Chad Johnson and battalion chief Tommie Tate completed Homeland Security training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston.

“We went through what’s called intercity command,” Tate said. “If we had an incident here, and we had multiple agencies coming together, this would help set up a structure where you would have an incident commander, a safety officer, planning and logistics. It showed us how different departments work together.”

“You could have three administrators come in under the incident command and tell what their capabilities are,” Johnson said. “Then, they’d be able to plug them in as information or whatever and have sector chiefs and operations chiefs and work under police, fire or EMS (emergency medical services).”

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Johnson and Tate were impressed with the coordination between different entities working together.

“This (training) helps everyone working together staying on the same page, and that’s the key,” Tate said.

Members of different agencies took part in the training, from the National Guard, Marine Police, bomb squad, police and fire department, from several different areas, from Alabama to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We had a wide variety,” Tate said. “We had some who worked with Hurricane Katrina — a big mix of people. That was the whole point. When we broke up into groups, you had to communicate with somebody you didn’t know. You had to come together and build strategic plans to solve the problems.”

The training comes soon after the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department took over as this region’s hazardous material team.