The mission of the Somerset County Hazardous Materials Response Team 600 is to provide the county with specially trained personnel to respond to nuclear, biological, and chemical releases upon request. The rescue of victims, hazard mitigation, technical guidance, and advanced control and capture of hazardous materials are the primary functions of the team.
WHAT ARE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS?
Hazardous materials are chemicals, which if released, spilled, or misused can pose a threat to the environment or health. These chemicals are used in industry, agriculture, medicine, research, and consumer products. Hazardous materials come in many forms. They can be liquids, powders, solids, or gases. They can be explosives, flammable, and combustible substances, poisons, and radioactive materials.
These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of accidents in plants where they are produced or used.
WHY DO WE NEED HAZMAT TEAMS?
If not contained immediately and properly, hazardous materials can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes, and other property.
The HazMat Team is here to ensure that any incident is contained and its effects on the residents of this county are minimized.
WHO MANAGES THE HAZMAT TEAM?
The Somerset County HazMat Response Team 600 is managed by the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services, utilizing emergency management and Region 13 staff. The day to day emergency operations, administrative tasks, coordination of training, and equipment maintenance is all overseen and administered by this department.
WHO ARE THE HAZMAT TEAM MEMBERS?
The Somerset County HazMat Response Team 600 is comprised of 40 volunteer members...Firefighters, EMT's, Paramedics, and Career Emergency Management Personnel. The volunteer members are comprised of 10 county wide volunteer fire departments. These volunteer fire departments range from the far north to the far south. By utilizing volunteers from all corners of the county the team has a wide range of local expertise.
HOW MUCH TRAINING IS INVOLVED?
Somerset County HazMat Response Team 600 members are required to complete a minimum of twenty five (25) hours of approved hazardous materials training or incidents each calendar year to maintain their individual proficiency. Members that do not achieve this degree of HazMat continuing education are removed from active hazmat duty. This mandate assures that the members comprised of this team are not only proficient in new response techniques, but are familiar with working with each other as a team in extreme conditions in abnormal situations.
100 East Union Street
Somerset, PA 15501
Non-Emergency: (814) 445-1515
Fax: (814) 444-0799
Richard B. Lohr
HMRT Program Administrator
William G. Barnhart Jr.
Terry D. Phillips
North Assistant Chief
Central Assistant Chief
Gary Compton D.C.
South Assistant Chief
Joel D. Landis