The importance of HAZMAT training to firefighters has never been a more critical community issue. We live in an increasingly hazardous world. Declining infrastructure, threats of terrorism and increased shipping of hazardous materials across our roadways and railways create potentially explosive emergencies in any number of environments found in our local communities. It's usually the local fire department that is the first to respond. Firefighters have embodied the symbol of heroism following the 9-11 attacks for a very good reason. In HAZMAT emergencies, firefighters regularly take their lives into their own hands in order to protect the lives of others. It comes hand in hand with the job description.

Emergencies are Always Local
Hazardous material release is a surprisingly common occurrence. Much of this waste is transported across our nation's railway and highway systems, directly through local communities. When an emergency arises, it's the community firefighters who are the first to respond. It is very important that everyone on a local department has a completely extensive knowledge of HAZMAT training. Some spills are simple to clean up. Others require specialized environmental handling. Whoever arrives first needs to know when it's time to isolate the area and call in specialized handlers.

A Wide Training Base
Hazardous training that needs to be certified includes diking, drum breaching, pressurized cylinder control, retention, damming and fuel truck accidents. There are all incidents that can easily occur on highways and railways in local communities. Everyone needs certified in HAMAT training, especially those responding on the front line.

Customized Focus for Unique Needs
Your department has its own needs when it comes to HAZMAT training. Your staff may be knowledgeable in one area, but need improvement in another. You may live near waterways where water training is especially important. HAZMAT training takes a customized implementation strategy. Talk with a HAZMAT training provider to find out the best approach for you local community.

Grant Funding Available
Times are tight these days, particularly for local community departments. Look into Homeland Security and other community grants for HAZMAT training at the local level. Your community is likely eligible for specialized funding to support it, and there are online fire safety training programs that you can take if travelling is an issue.