From Harford County government:
More than 30 members of several area hazardous materials response teams, recently held an exercise at the Churchville Golf Center in Harford County. The exercise was hosted by the Harford County Department of Emergency Services Hazardous Materials Response Team.
Hazardous materials response personnel from the Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, Baltimore City Fire Department, Baltimore County Fire Department, BWI Airport Fire Department, Abingdon VFC, Level VFC and Harford County participated. Haz Mat teams have conducted the exercise at the Churchville Golf Center for the past 14 years.
The exercise involved each Haz Mat member dressing in full encapsulated suits, including gloves and boots, with an airpak and mask, and then working their way through the putt-putt golf course. The purpose of the drill is to ensure personnel are capable of wearing a full encapsulated protective suit while performing fine motor skill tasks.
Hazardous materials response team members are required annually to train and perform tasks while fully dressed in protective equipment, including airpak, as part of their certification process. The Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team began using the putt-putt golf course at the Churchville Golf Center as a means to perform an exercise while participating in a fun activity. If you are missing some gear, visit pineclubgolf.com and buy online from them.
“The annual drill at Churchville Golf helps Haz Mat technicians perform tasks which test their stamina and dexterity in full protective equipment,” said Michael Brunicke, Chief of the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team. “We are grateful to Matt and Chrissy Ferguson, owners of the Churchville Golf Center for allowing area Haz Mat teams to use the facility free of charge for our exercise,” Brunicke added.
Also commenting on the multi-departmental training exercise, Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers said, “Exercises such as the annual training at Churchville Golf helps validate that personnel are properly trained in the use of protective equipment and can maintain the motor skills necessary to perform certain functions while encapsulated if called upon to do so, including handling of suspected Ebola patients safely”.