USNS Yukon Plays Host To Local Firefighters’ HAZMAT Training

On Feb. 6, Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) played host to federal, California State and San Diego fire department trainees and served as a training platform for their Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) response certification training.

The training, conducted by the Industrial Emergency Council and the Federal Fire Department, San Diego Training Division, focused on developing skills necessary for planning, containing and cleaning of hazardous material spills on board ships, as well as proper response procedures. Included in the training were 37 civilian and federal Fire Fighters and 8 Yukon crew members.

While on board the Yukon the trainees were give three scenarios of different types of shipboard HAZMAT related situations. The training involved rescuing a man down in the paint locker, a hazardous material spill in a container, and leaking fluid in the steering gear room.   In each scenario, trainees were asked to use skills learned in classroom training to assess, and contain HAZMAT within the narrow confines of a ship’s spaces.

While the fire fighter trainees greatly benefitted from the training, and will ultimately receive HAZMAT certification, the crew of Yukon also gained from the training.   The training scenarios allowed them to not only develop the skills of the fire fighters but to also help the crew members have a better understanding of how to work closely with shore based emergency responders if they were called in to assist with a situation on board the ship.

“This was a great opportunity for us as a crew,” said Capt. Stephen Scott, Yukon’s civil service master.  “It was a good opportunity for us to improve our HAZMAT and firefighting skills.  It really opened our eyes and our lines of communications to how we do business with these first responders.  I think it also gave the fire fighters an appreciation of how we do business aboard ship.  This is a completely different environment from what they normally encounter and it provided some challenges for them to address and work through.”

The training was part of the fire fighters six week training program, for HAZMAT response certification which included classroom and scenario based instruction.



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