Pinellas County’s Fire Administration Special Operations Teams prepare for emergencies – getting training to handle and rescue people injured in chemical spills, tanker accidents and more – at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center and Fire Training Center.
The college has a contract with the county to provide training for two countywide Special Operations Teams – the Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Technical Rescue Team. Members of the teams participate in bi-monthly training exercises with instructors at the centers as well as representatives from Shell Oil, Amoco Safety Training, Air Products, Peoples Gas, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Hazardous materials emergency training; countywide response
All of the hazmat technicians are trained to respond to a variety of incidents including gas leaks, train derailments, tanker truck accidents, chemical spills, or any incident involving toxic substances.
Each hazmat response unit also carries specialized air monitoring and chemical testing equipment as well as chemical resistant suits and decontamination appliances.
In July, the hazmat team has been using classroom space at the Allstate Center. The focus of the training involves scenarios they may typically encounter when responding to an incident involving hazardous materials.
After reviewing scenarios, team members break into various groups necessary to successfully handle the incident. They split up into groups responsible for command, safety, research and planning, decontamination, entry, and recovery.
This training is great practice for the new and the old members of the team. It allows them to develop and use skills needed to successfully handle the situations involving hazardous materials that they may encounter in real-time situations.
Firefighting Academy; public safety programs at SPC
St. Petersburg College offers a variety of public safety programs and public safety training academies including the Firefighting Academy. The academy is certified as a training center by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training.