Firehouse Friday Chat – with Jack & Mack

Jack & Mack

Jack & Mack OCT 16th 2020

Each week Jack & Mack will answer your questions on any Hazmat and CBRNe matter. On Firehouse Friday they’ll meet to discuss an important topic in their own indomitable style!

Meet Jack – His eyes peer out from his lank black greasy hair, like a light from a cinema screen before the drab velvet curtains had been fully withdrawn. A veteran, Bon Vivant and storyteller, he runs a major east coast city Hazmat team and has over 40 years industry experience.

Meet Mack – His chiseled chin looks like granite and matches his heart and looks like it’s defending something. No fashion guru out of camo, when he wears a tie it looks like it’s been put on by the enemy to strangle him. Over 35 years in weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological warfare and nuclear issues. He trained as a bomb tech and was wearing a mask everyday before it was required under Covid 19.

Jack: “Hey Mack, you know the reason the CBRNe and Hazmat bicker amongst themselves is that they don’t speak the same language! For instance, Take the simple phrase “secure the building”.

The CBRNe unit Army will post guards around the place. Hazmat will have someone on the team with a side gig who will take out a 5 year lease with an option to buy!

And how the Military Uses the Word “Suck”. A CBRNe grunt stands in the rain with a pack on his back, weapon in hand, and a detector after having marched 15 miles, and says, “This sucks.” A Hazmat officer sits in an easy chair in his air conditioned,
 carpeted firehouse office room and says to his friend, “Man, Cable’s out! this sucks!”

And we have different rules – You CBRNe guys have three chief rules;

1. March 50 miles with all CBRNe detection kit and a rifle, eat dried food and wear the same clothes every day.

2. Sew your patches on right shoulder.

3. Curse bitterly when missions are aborted.

Mack: “That’s about right!”
Jack: “In the Hazmat world, we have 9 primary rules!”

1. Have a cocktail after work every day
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what’s on HBO.
4. Have a select range of BBQ sauce for every occasion
5. Request more grant funding from FEMA with a “killer” Power Point presentation. 6. Wear sunglasses and cool T-Shirts
7. Work on your side gig.
8. Cheer loudly when calls are cancelled!
9. Hurry to make 13:45 tee off time.

Mack: “You’re a *******in Idiot!” This weeks questions!

Sarah B from MN asks Mack: “How can we integrate CBRNe into regular infantry training?”

Mack: “Put at least one chemical strike into your in your exercise. This will help train your command post staff, and CBRNe officer and NCO. For the troops any CBRNe incident, will cause confusion and increase stress in the tactical operations center (TOC), but it will also instill confidence in the team and test your CBRN officer. If training on basic CBRN skills is an objective, the strike could affect many Soldiers; or if the objective is exercising the command post staff, it could affect only a few. Training at home station in the CS gas chamber is valuable for individual skills (protect yourself with individual protective equipment, immediate decontamination, unmasking), but the TOC also needs training, particularly the CBRN.

A great scenario would be the search and secure of a HME lab.

Jack: “ From a Hazmat perspective we can train in the firehouse – we don’t need to go on the ground – I use the Hazsim simulator to do gas training on a regular basis, we also have cool flash cards that I’ll challenge the team with periodically.”

Our second question is along the same lines, from Andrew K in SW Florida: “Any training tips for Hazmat?”

Jack: “ My old mucker Phil Ambrose wrote a great article for Hazmat Nation in 2015 on a great training exercise called “Stopping the Leak”;

Equipment list: 2-4 milk crates with sides cut out to slide flange ends through two 2′′ PVC or galvanized steel 2 flange heads 1 gasket for flange 4 bolts washers and nuts garden hose connection to one end of flange 1 mini garden hose manifold with 1 intake and 4 discharge.