Unfortunately each year people choose to end their life by mixing chemicals to create a lethal environment. Although immediately toxic near the source, and when confined (such as a car) there are many misconceptions as to rescue in this situation. I often pose the argument that if the car was on fire, any firefighter would choose to don their gear and effect a rescue, but with chemicals, there is often an concern for responder safety which includes some deciding to NOT effect rescue. I speak on this topic each year at FDIC as well as this article in Fire Engineering.
With the HazSim we have been able to replicate this scenario in drills. If this scenario concerns you, it is wise to conduct drills to practice your response and leave nothing to chance. As professionals we are expected to respond, especially to save a life, and as professionals we should be training regularly.
FireXtalk Where rescue meets HazMat
Drill Scenario: Using the HazSim our team (and HazSim users) have created evolutions where the firefighters/students can approach a ‘chemical suicide’ situation, such as a car, and receive real-time readings on the meter. With the HazSim the instructors are able to create a scenario where the students are challenged and must make a decision. This sort of realistic and results oriented training ensures situational awareness as well as reinforces your teams own policy or SOG.
Phoenix Fire Drill
At HazSim we believe that nothing should be left to chance. If you are able to drill for a scenario, you should make it realistic and repeat until it is second nature.