The idea of a hazmat team out of Mahaska County was started by Mahaska County Emergency Management Coordinator Jamey Robinson back in 2009. Jamey already knew the background of emergency services at the Hazmat Operations Level, and the desire of several responders in the county to enlist in more training and move to the Hazmat Technician Level. This would speed up response in our county, and utilize the funding that was going out of the county to train and equip county services. Several meetings were held with all the emergency services departments that respond within the county to see how may were willing to commit to the Hazmat Group and how many responders were willing to get the training and continue to train. A steering committee was formed consisting of the EMA and two members from Oskaloosa, Cedar Township, and New Sharon Fire departments.
HAZ-MAT Teams – PDF
As of March 1st 2014, Oskaloosa Fire, Cedar Township Fire from Fremont, and New Sharon Fire are the departments that make up Mahaska County Hazmat Response Group. We already have approximately 50 members that are certified at the Hazmat Operations Level. This is the level that all departments will initially respond to a hazmat incident in their district. Once on scene of the incident, and a decision is made needing additional manpower, higher level of expertise, or additional equipment, a phone call to the response group or the Mahaska 911 Center describing the incident, and then can request the response group respond. Once that request had been made by the Incident Commander at the scene, this would enable a team to be pulled from the twenty two Hazmat Technicians to respond to the scene anywhere in Mahaska County working through the Mahaska County EMA.
New Sharon Fire is very proud to have been involved with the hazmat steering committee from the beginning. Our members have already been required to get there Firefighter I certification within their first year of service with the department. This also includes hazmat operations level of training. We were fortunate to have seven of our members that have attained there Hazmat Technician Level. Many hours have been committed to get this new system into place. We want provide the best and highest quality of service for Mahaska County.