Miami Dade Fire Rescue test Radiation Shield hazmat suit in recent joint exercise
MIAMI May 4, 2017 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, National Guard, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department (“MDFRD”), several local law enforcement agencies and PortMiami authorities partnered together to train for something each hope to never put into action.
"I couldn't think of a better training environment than one of the busiest ports," said Lt. Alvaro Tonanez, the HAZMAT lead trainer for one of the largest fire departments in America, with more than 3,000 personnel assigned to MDFRD. "To put our firefighters and the Army Reserve unit into a realistic scenario where we could use the assistance in a real-world situation is a win-win for both sides."
Sponsored by Department of Defense's U.S. Northern Command and hosted by the MDFRD, the hazardous material exercise was the second joint-training event between a large municipality and the Defense CBRN Force, according to Thomas Frankhouser, a senior survey analyst with U.S. Army North, based at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Frankhouser said, when needed, the 329th CBRN Company can assist civilian responders at a scene and provide capabilities that may not be available for the civilian incident commander. Like local fire departments and HAZMAT teams, the 329th CBRN Company has the capability to identify and analyze certain toxic chemicals and materials with advanced equipment and can provide that critical support to an incident commander.
Col. Mike Vail, Chief, Homeland Operations Division for the Army Reserve, said the 329th CBRN Company is currently one of two Army Reserve units supporting the Defense CBRN Response Force (“DCRF”) for the CBRN Response Enterprise.
The DCRF mission is to save lives, mitigate human suffering and facilitate recovery operations in a CBRN environment. More than 5,200 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians from active-duty and reserve component units make up the scalable force which can respond to local, state, tribal or federal agencies to support efforts in the event of a CBRN incident.
Miami Dade Fire Rescue Department, MDFRD, Hazardous Materials Bureau recently conducted field testing of the Demron Ice suit as a potential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) garment for certain mission specific tasks.
Miami Dade Fire Rescue Department’s Hazardous Materials Bureau at the time had just finished developing an EBOLA response plan in which several chemical protective garments were tested for that threat. One of the garments tested at the time showed to be promising for both Biological and Chemical agents since it provided the same capabilities of a Level A suit.
The final challenge which proved to be the hardest, according to Captain Tony Trim, Hazardous Materials Bureau of MDFRD “was to find an appropriate garment that would be able to handle the abuse of working in a not so friendly environment such as that found in the ship cargo holds, cargo containers, and engine rooms, and still provide the user with the best chemical protection.” Working together with the suit manufacturer, Radiation Shield Technologies, the garment was upgraded to meet the demands for abrasion protection and heat diffusion. “The Demron ICE CBRN suit is a game changer. The Demron ICE PPE is the only self-cooling suit that can be used in prolonged tactical operations, while providing uncompromised protection against Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Protection,” says Ronald DeMeo, MD MBA, the CEO of Radiation Shield Technologies.
Once the suit was developed it was put through rigorous testing during the joint exercise at PortMiami to ensure it would hold up to the demands of a Maritime Response. Both exercises were designed to test the capabilities of MDFRD’s potential response to the release of a Hazardous Material release onboard a vessel. During each exercise the Demron ICE suit was worn by six members of the HazMat team for a period of approximately 105 minutes without any interruptions or without any need to break the seal. Average temperatures during both events was approximately 82°+Fahrenheit. Where other PPE suits would not have been suitable or as effective as the ICE suit for these missions, the ICE suit performed well and showed its adaptability and durability as a rugged, yet flexible protective garment.
The suit has now been incorporated into the response plan of MDFRD as the preferred level of protective garment for Maritime Response.
ABOUT RADIATION SHIELD TECHNOLOGIES (RST)
With its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Miami, Florida, RST is the global leader in the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of high energy anti-chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and thermally protective garments. RST is the developer and sole producer of Demron®, a revolutionary lightweight, non-toxic and lead-free radiation protective fabric for individuals. Taking years to develop, Demron® has been scientifically proven to shield the human body against nuclear, biological, chemical and infrared radiation, and reduces heat stress, while leaving its wearer unencumbered and fully mobile. Demron ICE is lighter in weight and used for low to moderate radiation while providing unsurpassed chemical, biological, as well as blood and viral protection (Certified to ASTM F1670 and ASTM F1671 standards). Demron®’s product line currently includes full body suits, blankets, tents, and other products, and is used worldwide by NATO, NASA, every branch of the U.S. military, U.S. CST teams, the FDNY, IAEC, DSTA, Pentagon Force Protection Agency and many international first responders and military teams in Japan, China, Iraq, Kuwait, South Korea, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Singapore. For more information please visit http://www.radshield.com, or contact us via email [email protected] or via phone (866) 7DEMRON.
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