Six Billings Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedics have spent the last two weeks taking specialized training in the care of victims exposed to Hazardous Materials. The Firefighters, all paramedics and hazmat technicians, are all attending an 80 hour local delivery of the National Fire Academy’s “Advanced Life Support Response to Hazmat Incidents” class.
This intensive class covers chemistry, toxicology, supportive care, and patient transfer of victims of hazardous materials exposure. It utilizes lecture, hands-on training and a life like computerized mannequin training aid. This program is a cooperative effort between the Billings Regional Hazmat Response Team, MSU-City College, Montana State Fire Services Training School, and the National fire Academy.
Once their training is complete, these 6 paramedics will join the other 5 Billings Fire “Hazmedics” and ten other “Hazmedics” attached to each of the other 5 Montana Regional Response Hazmat Teams. This training is the final part of a three piece program intended to provide advanced medical support to the State’s Regional Hazmat teams.
By the end of July, all 6 Regional Hazmat teams will have at least one NFA trained Hazmedic, a full set of hazmat medical equipment and medications provided by a Homeland Security Grant, and the Hazmedics will have a standardized set of medical protocols under a unified medical director.