MONTOUR FALLS–A combined team from Columbia and Greene counties won the third annual Hazmat Challenge during the 19th annual Hazmat Training Seminar at the New York State Fire Academy, February 16 through 19.
This year’s seminar was attended by nearly 200 firefighters from paid/career and volunteer Hazmat teams throughout the state.
The challenge is a team competition in which exercises are completed at several skills stations. The stations included: evacuating and decontaminating a simulated patient, sample collection, stopping leaks in a chlorine tank and a pipe flange. Events were timed and judged with penalty time added to the team’s total time for deficiencies at each station.
Challenge team members were Chris Harris and Paul D’Onofrio of Columbia County and Bill Mirando, Eric Bear, Ron Dombrowski and Dave Cramer of Greene County. Stan Koloski and Jim Acker of Columbia County and Eric Besenfelder of Greene County also attended the seminar.
The Columbia County team has taken first or second place all three years the Hazmat Challenge has been held. The first year the team won the event and last year they took second place. Because of limited manpower from both the Columbia and Greene County teams, this year they combined to create one team, further demonstrating the strong partnership between the two teams, according to a press release from Columbia County Hazmat Team Secretary Koloski.