Texas A&M Trainers assist Albany Firefighter Recruits
Three trainers from Texas A&M came to Albany on Wednesday to help Albany Firefighter Recruits with their hazmat training.
"It's definitely a benefit to the citizens of Albany because they're no cost involved here. It's done with federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security," says Capt. Eugene Anderson with the Albany Fire Department.
The training is geared toward handling situations such as terrorism related incidents. The goal: "Keep that mess in check and keep it from getting worse, expanding any further and taking appropriate steps and action to protect the public," says Trainer Greg Moreno from Texas A&M.
Four stations were set up testing the dexterity of trainees in the suits.
Legos seem to fit in better in child playrooms, but hazmat trainers used them to coach recruits. Trainees had to take apart and reassemble the Legos to become accustomed to using their hands with two pairs of gloves on as a part of the hazmat suit.
Wednesday's exercises also tested their efficiency at decontamination. Trainers told recruits that decontamination has to be completed within five minutes. Some recruits completed it in less than three minutes.
"The hardest part to me is to trying to remember the steps, step by step, of how to do things like in decontamination -- you have to do things step by step to avoid the secondary decontamination to the other people," says Trainee Evan Owens.
Despite all of the challenges Albany Recruits faced, Texas A&M trainers say they're impressed.
"They did really, really well. As an instructor, I'm a retired air force member, watching these young recruits do their business and take care of their jobs; it's a lot of fun. I'm encouraged by their ability to serve the people of Albany," says Moreno.
If recruits pass a test on Thursday about the exercises they trained in on Wednesday, they may earn a spot on the Albany Fire team.
"They pass this and they pass all of the other pre-requisites, they'll be certified as firefighters for the state of Georgia and they'll be offered a job with the Albany Fire Department," says Anderson.