This year's hazmat refresher course is looking a little different for the Marietta Fire Department
The squad may be donning the usual neon suits as it brushes up on old tricks, but it's also learning how to use some new equipment it acquired when it joined a regional hazmat response team made up of several Southeast Ohio counties.
"They will respond to each other's areas to provide enough man power to control a hazardous materials release if there is one that occurs," said acting Fire Chief C.W. Durham. "Through Homeland Security money [they] provide us with new equipment."
But before strapping on the green body suits, fire fighters must figure out what substance they're dealing with.
Aiding the squad in that process is a computer program that assesses the chemical's properties to narrow down the options of what it may be.
Joining the regional team has made that info more accessible for Marietta Fire, as it's been given a new tough book lap top to take on the road.
"It provides the community with a safer response, we can more quickly identify what we're dealing with," said Durham.
Once they do that, the squad will now be better equipped to secure the scene, with help from a device that determines where fumes from the material may end up.
"We have on-site data to help determine wind, humidity, barometer," explained Durham.
The team has also received a new radiological detector.
New equipment that, coupled with sharpened old skills, could help save more lives.