Entries by admin

HazMat Call Game Changer

The pipeline incident may have happened more than six years ago, but it’s a vivid memory that hasn’t faded for Fred Windisch, fire chief of the Ponderosa (Texas) Fire Department and a VCOS board member. On that day, two drivers crashed and ran off the road in a road-rage incident. One of the cars ran […]

This Is A HazMat Call

Recognizing that you’re operating on the scene of a hazardous materials emergency is key to keeping responders safe during operations on such calls. Command and chief officers often operate on the scene of a hazmat call as if they were chasing a ghost in the darkness. Decisions on an emergency scene are often driven by […]

New Biodetection Studies Give Real World Application For Response Teams

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently completed an evaluation of nearly three dozen field biodetection products and performed over 5,000 tests to assess their ability to accurately detect anthrax and ricin, which are potential biothreat agents that could be encountered during suspected bioterror or suspicious powder responses. “Independent testing of field biological detection […]

Big Shifts For HazMat Response

The world of emergency response is ever evolving. A few short decades ago, the thought that the fire service would be staffing ambulances and running medical calls seemed almost absurd. Technical rescue teams were relegated to the industrial community. And the concept of a SWAT medic wasn’t even on the horizon. The world of hazardous-materials […]

New Regulations for High-Hazard Flammable Rail Shipments

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued final rulemaking that addresses the ongoing hazards and risks associated with rail cars carrying Hazard Class 3 liquids. Responding to increasing calls for improved safety regulations to address a growing number of derailments involving rail cars carrying crude oil and ethanol, these regulations will result […]

New AskRail App Helps Locate HazMat Transport Rail Cars

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has developed a safety tool for first responders. The AskRail mobile app provides accurate, timely data about railcars carrying hazardous materials on a train. Using this app will keep first responders well prepared and informed about how to respond to a rail emergency. AskRail combines emergency training and response […]

Service Life Extension of SCBA Cylinders

Good news! First responders out of the federal agency that develop and enforce federal hazmat transportation and pipeline safety regulations finally get payoff. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), announced on April 21 that it has issued a special permit to authorize the extension of the 15-year service life […]


HOW TO DISPOSE OF HAZCAT WASTE HazCat® waste is often disposed of by simply bulking it with the waste at the site. There are instances where this is not acceptable. It is the HazCat® user’s responsibility to determine compatibility of HazCat® waste with bulk waste and to determine the waste stream. All HazCat® reagents are […]

What’s That Smell?

Things like toluene, hexane, alcohol, ammonia hydroxide and xylene all produce odors.  Make sure the little washer is under the black caps on the bottles. The ammonia/acetate reagent (RE-2313) does produce an odor that is similar to vinegar and maybe somewhat sweet To alleviate the problem….Odors are from vapors and they are generated faster when […]