This is one of the most extensive teams. You may be surprised as to the amount of hazardous materials presently being used in your community or at least traveling through it.
The fire department must be trained in this area in order to avoid injuring or killing firefighters and the public. Handling these substances and the incidents involving them incorporates many variables. Weather, location, amount of product, and time of day are some of the concerns. The training is extensive and the continuing education requirements are very stringent. Training eliminates the mistakes that may cost lives. Lake Zurich has had several incidents ranging in size and is certain to encounter more.
What is nice about these specialized teams is that the firefighters trained in these areas all become part of the area wide combined teams. Lake County has teams which incorporate members from all the surrounding departments. This reduces each departments need for individual training. The training can be pooled together. Resources and manpower are also combined to help each town effectively meet their needs on an emergency scene.
The requirements to be on the Haz Mat team is that each member needs to take the operations class which is 40 hours. Every firefighter on the department has this certification. Technician A and Technician B are both 40 hour classes and are required. There is a 2-day team entry class each day approximately eight hours that has to be attended before being allowed to join the Lake County Team.
To remain on the team requires 40 hours of training annually.