On August 14, 2010, members of the Wilmington Fire Department / NC RRT-2 Hazardous Materials Response Team finished first at the annual Haz-Mat Challenge held during the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo in Raleigh, NC. Team members were Master F.F. J.W. Brown, Master F.F. W.A. Kraus, Master F.F. D.C. Mickler, and Capt. J.H. Stephenson.
The competition consisted of various stations which simulate the activities Hazardous Materials Technicians may be faced with on an emergency call. The stations included capping a leaking valve on a chlorine train car, over-packing and transporting a leaking drum, applying a pneumatic patch to a leaking drum, and removing a downed victim.
In addition to the competition itself, the challenge gives the team members the opportunity to network with fellow technicians from around the state, and discuss recent incidents, lessons learned, and planning for additional training opportunities in the coming year.
The teams competing this year were: Wilmington Fire/RRT-2, Asheville Fire/RRT-6, Fayetteville Fire/RRT-3, Greensboro Fire/RRT-5, Raleigh Fire/ RRT-4, Williamston Fire/RRT-1, and Monroe Fire Hazardous Materials Response Team. Wilmington had a winning time of 5 minutes, 11 seconds.
In addition to the challenge, team members also attended additional training offered at the Expo including "Emergency Response to Railroad Incidents and Ethanol Considerations", "Tactical Operations and Considerations on Commercial Structures", and an emergency response to a live power line demonstration by members of Progress Energy’s training division.