GEORGE NEWS - The George Fire Brigade has taken the initiative to roll out Hazardous Material Awareness training to the rest of the George Municipality Protection Services Directorate staff as first responders and technical staff in the other directorates.
According to Ms Santa Sternsdorf,Platoon Commander at George Fire Brigade, who did the training, said the course is aimed at educating the candidates to recognise the presence of Hazardous Material and or the potential for a Hazardous Material (Hazmat Emergency).
The trainees are now skilled to help identify the substances where possible, what to do when an emergency does occur and how to contact the right response for the emergency.
“They are trained to identify substances in quantities or forms that may pose a reasonable risk to health, property, or the environment. HAZMATs include such substances as toxic chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste products, and biological, chemical, and radiological agents,” Sterndorf said.
In recent months the explosion of a gas tanker in the middle of town in Worcester has sparked concern and highlighted the risk of vehicles carrying these dangerous substances en route through towns and cities.
These vehicles move with high volumes substances through the jurisdiction of George Municipality because of the N2, N9, N12. Most of the time traffic officers and Law-Enforcement officers are first respondents on a scene of these types of incidents and deal with the vehicles that transport these materials.
Sterndorf said there is also a variety of hazmat materials being used by the municipality in technical services and staff needs updated training of the safe handling and use of these materials.
The training was conducted over five days from 16 to 20 September at a facility on the Denneoord Airbase. The training is mandatory for fire fighters and invaluable for the rest of staff to have the skill and knowledge to protect themselves and the public.
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