The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Ottawa County is revising its hazardous materials response team program with the help of a consultant.

A response team was assembled through the Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency about seven years, according to EMA Director Fred Petersen.

“Essentially, over the years there has not been a lot of involvement and we need to re-energize it,” Petersen said.

That’ll be done with the assistance of the firm Resource Solutions Associates of Milan, O.

Ottawa County commissioners recently approved the consultant’s $6,000 service contract for the management, training and records maintenance for a hazardous materials response team, according to the March 22 county commissioners’ meeting minutes.

The contract is in effect one year.

Resource Solutions works with the University of Findlay, The Ohio State University, the U.S. Air Force, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop and promote emergency and disaster preparedness, according to its website.

Haz Mat teams are called out in a number of situations to provide assistance at things such as chemical spills and train derailments. Hazardous materials are dangerous goods or chemicals that are toxic to human, animal and plant life. A Haz Mat specialist is trained to handle these situations in a manner that is safe to themselves, others and the environment.

The first order of business for these professionals will be to review Ottawa County’s current program. Then they’ll organize a new plan, determine necessary credentials needed and begin training, Petersen said.

The hazardous materials response team makeup included about 20 members, comprised of various emergency services including firefighters, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers from across Ottawa County, Petersen explained.

In recent years, however, that number has dwindled to less than 10 people.

Petersen sees the plan including a remedial and operations class then setting up monthly meetings to sharpen procedures.

The funds OK’d by the commissioners come from the budget of the Local Emergency Planning Committee set up in conjunction with the EMA program, Petersen said.

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