HFD mans decon, command unit

By Staff
New mobile post ready for emergencies
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle Fire and Rescue Department is now better prepared to serve Hartselle and surrounding communities in the event of natural disaster, radiation or chemical contamination, or any number of emergencies, thanks to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Chief Rickey Joe Smith unveiled a new mobile decontamination unit and command post to the city council last week.
Since Hartselle serves as a relocation center for Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant emergencies, the 5 ft. by 10 ft., two-wheel trailer was donated by TVA.
"If Brown's Ferry had a radiation emergency and Decatur was evacuated, the Hartselle relocation center would serve approximately 8,000 to 15,000 Decatur residents," Smith said. "Cars would be brought here to wash away radiation contamination."
In case of such an emergency, Smith said the mobile unit is equipped with brushes, hoses, soap, and level B protective gear. Another important feature is the state-of-the-art communications hub.
"We can communicate from the unit with virtually anyone in the area," Smith said. "The communication hub will prove to be a great asset in a number of emergency situations."
The communication hub provides a direct link to the Morgan County Fire Department, East Lawrence Communications, Morgan County Commission, Decatur Police Department, Hartselle Fire Department, Hartselle Police Department, North Alabama Betworks, Morgan County Sheriff's Department, Hartselle Utilities, Hartselle Public Works, Decatur Fire Department, Cullman County Fire Department, Cullman County Sheriff's Department, Lawrence County 911, Huntsville weather, and local hospitals.
Smith said the unit has already been tested during a recent Morgan County training exercise and during a real emergency on Dec. 30, 2002.
"A serious traffic accident happened at night and a lengthy investigation took place," Smith said. "We were able to use the unit's moveable exterior spot lights to light up the scene really well for investigators."
Smith said the exterior spot lights were purchased with a $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart. Light bars, generator tray, materials and manpower were donated by Trucker's Warehouse.
"Since the unit is mobile and has its own generator, it's available for loan to other public safety agencies," Smith said. "For instance, police or search and rescue teams could use it as a command post during severe weather, lost persons, or bomb threat situations."
The unit is equipped with area maps, safety cones, dry erase boards, portable desk, tent, and a flashing green emergency light to identify the unit as a command post.
Hartselle Police Chief Ron Merkh said he believes the unit will prove to be a great asset to both departments and the community.
"The unit is a useful tool in that it has the ability to be taken to and left at a scene without tying up an emergency vehicle," Merkh said. "The unit has the ability to illuminate investigation scenes, protect police and firefighters from the elements, and serve as a central base of operations. Most importantly, it leaves fire and rescue trucks free to respond to other emergencies."

Eva

Community class reunion celebrates Morgan schools

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hats off: Class of 2024 graduates from Hartselle High School

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

City adjusts garbage routes for Memorial Day

Falkville

Larry Madison has been a pillar in Falkville for four decades

Hartselle

Hartselle trio nominated for two K-LOVE awards

Hartselle

Hartselle students chosen to attend Girls State

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Kiwanis Club continues scholarly legacy with annual golf tournament

Editor's picks

Heartbreaking finish: Hartselle comes up a run short in state baseball finals

Decatur

Fallen Morgan County officers remembered, families honored  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle drops Game 1 to Hillcrest, needs two wins for state title

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Despite title loss, Hartselle thankful for state experience 

Editor's picks

Hartselle baseball legend dies

Breaking News

Hartselle baseball legend William Booth dies at 79

At a Glance

ALDOT patching area of Thompson Road tomorrow, Thursday

At a Glance

Spring-time market day in Hartselle scheduled for May 18 

Hartselle

New Crestline Elementary School welcomes students

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle industry closing, affecting more than 150 jobs  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Habitat for Humanity applications for homeownership available June 3 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

State seeking death penalty for Fort Payne woman accused of pushing victim off cliff

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Pilot of ultralight dies in Hartselle plane crash

Editor's picks

Northern lights visible from north Alabama

Hartselle

Hartselle students to attend Boys State

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

High scorers: 42 Hartselle students a part of ACT 30 plus club

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle projects budget surplus based on midyear numbers 

x