Sept. 27, 1999
More that 200 hazardous materials technicians from business and industry and public safety sectors along the northeast coast will attend Harrisburg Area Community College's sixth annual HazMat Training and Educational Conference at the Public Safety Center on Industrial Road and at the C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center on the Wildwood Campus. Pre-conference workshops will begin Thursday, September 30, leading into the three-hour, hands-on workshops Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2. The conference concludes on Sunday, October 4.

"With Harrisburg being one of the largest transportation hubs on the east coast, it's critical that our municipal fire departments and emergency response technicians be properly trained for any hazmat incidents. With an increased awareness and focus on domestic preparedness for emergency services personnel, the conference will also provide hazardous materials response teams with training on responses to incidents involving terrorism," says David Frazer, executive director of HACC's Public Safety Center. "This is our sixth year providing the Harrisburg region the means for training personnel to handle hazardous materials. Our comprehensive program and facilities have become known regionally; many of our students this weekend have traveled from neighboring states."

With partial funding from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association (PEMA), HACC is presenting a number of hands-on workshops at the Public Safety Center in addition to the seminars. Friday afternoon, from 1-2:30pm, workshops include responding to biological incidents, clandestine drug labs, and handling compressed gas containers. Saturday's workshops will be held between 8-11:30am and 12:45-4-15pm and include topics about handling isocyanate emergencies, emergency response to compressed gas emergencies, and patient decontamination.

Additional topics include hazmat response teams and responses to terrorism, environmental crimes, using the internet as a response tool, handling cryogenic liquid (extremely cold fluids), handling cargo tank truck incidents, and other current issues in HazMat preparedness and response.

The conference keynote speaker is David Leask, of Lehigh County HazMat Response Team. Other faculty include Robert Broyles, chief of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in Harrisburg, Mike Shannon, Oklahoma City Fire Department, Steve Patrick, FBI HazMat Response Unit at Quantico, Richard Woodcock, special agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Instructors from Air Products in Allentown, DuPont Fibers Research and Development Group, Richmond, Virginia, and regional fire companies will conduct sessions on emergency readiness for transportation leaks and spills, and for gas manufacturers.

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