Albany rescuers routinely train for disasters - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany rescuers routinely train for disasters

June 15, 2004

Albany- During a Hazmat scare, there's no room for mistakes.

Everything has to be perfect. That's why Albany Firefighters practice with their priorities in line.

"Life, Victim," said Capt. Pete Giddens, a Hazmat trainer with the Albany Fire Department.

This time, there's a chlorine leak.

"What ever you find down there, deal with it," he told a group of firefighters. "Need to know where the leak is. Need to know if there's any victims."

"These suits will blow up with air and you look like superman."

It takes super abilities to save someone in a Hazmat disaster. And it takes strong leaders.

"I wanted to learn as much about it because we have to respond to it and I didn't want to end up being a victim," Giddens said.

Because anyone could be a victim. And saving them in these suits is not an easy job.

"You don't have much mobility," said Albany firemen Ricky Thompson. "You can't move around good. It's extremely hot. You only have so much air."

And you only have so much time. That's why teamwork is key, and using the tools has to be second nature.

"We don't just get the equipment and let it sit in the station and rust. We're actually using it and staying proficient in it's use."

Because saving lives is always the top priority.

"Scene is secure," Giddens said. "Leak is stopped."

A mistake-free response, keeping us perfectly safe.