HazMat Team Spotlight: Nutley, New Jerseyby Robert Burke
Nutley, NJ, is located in North Central New Jersey approximately seven miles North of Newark and just west of New York City. In fact, you can see the upper half of the Empire State Building from some locations in the Nutley area. The Nutley Fire Department is a combination department (one of only two in the state) with 38 career and 65 volunteer firefighters led by volunteer Chief Tom Peters. Deputy Chief Fred Scalera is the highest ranking career officer on the department. The Nutley Fire Department covers 3 square miles with a population of 29,000 people. The Nutley hazardous materials team covers the entire county of Essex by contract with a coverage area of 32 square miles and a population of 800,000.
The first volunteer fire company in Nutley, Yantacaw Hose & Truck Company, was formed on March 5, 1894 under the direction of Chief Dr. A. Harvey Van Riper who served until 1903. Yantacaw Hose & Truck received its first piece of equipment on November 6, 1894. It was a hand drawn "chemical engine and wagon" that cost $1,250. It wasn't long before it was pressed into service on November 8 to make a great save on the Beardsley house confining damage to $600.00. During December of 1894 a second fire company was formed in Nutley, the Avondale Hook & Ladder Company. As it turns out the new Hook & Ladder Company was actually a bucket brigade. It appears that Avondale Hook & Ladder Company did not actually get a ladder truck until 1905 when a combination chemical engine, hose carriage and hook and ladder was purchased. During 1923 the first career firefighter was hired and the department evolved into the combination department of today with a career company operating the first out engine and truck supplemented by the volunteer companies.
The Nutley fire department operates four engine companies, one truck company, and four hazardous materials response vehicles. Truck 1, Engine 1, and Engine 4 are located at the main station. Truck 1 and Engine 1 are operated by the career company and Engine 4 is operated as one of the three volunteer companies in town. EMS service is provided by Nutley Volunteer Rescue Squad which is a separate organization from the fire department. Nutley Rescue Squad also provides a SCUBA rescue team and confined space rescue in conjunction with the fire department.
Nutley officially formed their hazardous materials team on November 5, 1986, which was made up of both career and volunteer firefighters. It was initially formed to help control oil slicks that came down the Third River. A gasoline tanker accident and fire on May 5, 1985 also emphasized the need to be prepared for hazardous materials incidents. The hazardous materials team responds to an average of 250 to 300 hazardous materials calls a year in the county. Hazmat calls within Nutley average about 30 per year. Statistics for hazmat responses do not include local engine runs for hydrocarbon fuel spills and natural gas leaks. Each engine company in the county carries speedy dry and absorbent materials for small hydrocarbon spills less than 10 gallons. When a spill is greater than 10 gallons the hazmat team responds.
The core of Nutley's hazardous materials response centers around three Quick Response Vehicles. These vehicles include
Hazmat 1: a 2005 F550 Ford utilizing an ambulance body customized
Hazmat 2: a 2002 E450 Ford plumbers body
Hazmat 3: a 1999 E550 Ford plumbers body
Hazmat 4 was recently purchased with a grant from Essex County Homeland Security funds. This vehicle is a combination hazmat and mass decontamination vehicle. It is a 2005 Freightliner with an E-One Rescue Body and customized for mass decontamination. It was recently placed into service. The hazardous materials station is located at 1 Franklin Terrace.
Hazmat 1 carries Level A & B PPE and communications equipment and acts as a command vehicle for hazardous materials incidents and other emergencies in the response area. It does not have any spill capabilities.
Hazmat 2 is the first response vehicle. With supplies on board it can contain 150 gallon fuel spills, has some level B suits but is limited for entry because the first response team does not have the required personnel to make an entry.
Hazmat 3 is a support vehicle and has more Level B protection and some Level A. Level A entry requires Hazmat 1 support. Hazmat 3 carries the same equipment as Hazmat 2 with some additional items. Both vehicles can handle spills and chemical detection.
Hazmat 4 supports 300 person decon, FF Rehab and Hazmat Entry Support. WMD PPE and limited Level B Equipment are carried on board. This vehicle will respond to Hazmat incidents for support. Hazmat 4 is self sufficient for conducting Mass Decontamination.
There are 32 career technicians and 6 volunteer technicians on the Nutley Fire Department. Hazmat team shift staffing consists of three dedicated hazmat technicians on duty Monday through Friday from 7-12. From midnight to 7 two technicians on the fire shift respond if hazmat is needed and two additional technicians are on call. If shift personnel are taken for hazmat response, replacements are called in for duty. Ambulance support is provided from the Nutley Rescue Squad on hazardous materials calls.
Training consists of Awareness & Operations, 80 hour Technician Course, Rail Car Specialist Training and Tank Truck Specialist Training. Some team members have also attended the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama, and the Nevada Radiological Training sites.
Monitoring Instruments & Identification Equipment
Monitoring capabilities include:
- 4-Gas Meter
- Sensor IR
- Draeger Tubes
Terrorist Agent ID:
- APD 2000
- Draeger Tubes CDS Kit
- Bio Test RAMP
- Radiological meters
- 40 Personal monitors
- M 256
Personnel Protective Equipment
- Dupont Lakeland
- Flash Suit
- Dupont Lakeland
- Respiratory Protection
- Draeger CBRNE SCBA 1 Hour
- Draeger Panorama NOVA CBRNE Cartridge
- Motorola ear piece
- Draeger face piece
- Bureau of Explosives Railroad Guide
- ERG 2004
- Coast Guard CHRIS Manual
- Jane's Bio
- Condensed Chemical Dictionary
- Merck Index
- NIOSH Guide
- Air monitoring (weather station)
- Community Right-to-Know MSDS Book and Computer Data Base
Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines
Check with Nutley Fire Department Hazmat for specific SOP/SOG's
Hazardous Materials Exposures
Transportation routes include Interstates 80 and 280 and state highways 21, 46, New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are also located in the county. Port Authority bridges and tunnels, the Passaic River, and rail lines are also major exposures for hazardous materials. Water treatment and sewer plants and Newark International Airport are located in Essex County. There are also propane and hydrocarbon fuel terminals and storage. Light manufacturing facilities and laboratories use a wide variety of chemicals in the county. Major chemical companies are Kuene, which manufactures chlorine and Hoffman-LaRoche Pharmaceuticals.
Nutley hazmat provides support to the Police Rapid Deployment Team for terrorist and other law enforcement events as needed. There is also a decontamination task force in the county involving other fire companies and engine company mass decontamination. During mass decontamination Hazmat 4 supplements as needed. The hazmat team also provides support to the bomb squad when a suspicious package contains hazardous materials.