FALL RIVER: On a humid late October night, firefighters with Station 41 (Waverley); Station 43 (Grand Lake); Station 42 (Wellington); and Station 45 (Fall River) put their training to use during a HazMat/medical exercise at Lockview High.
The scenario saw a large dump truck—donated by Enviro Service for the training—filled with a chemical slam into a Chevrolet Sonic driven by a man who was in his happy place with plenty of Fentanyl strewn throughout his car. (The fentanyl was not real but photocopies of a label). Reporter Pat Healey played the role of the driver of the car.
As firefighters arrived, they were greeted with the area around the scene being wet from the chemical leaking out of the dump truck and flowing towards the edge of the teachers parking area. (There was no real chemical. It was just water).
Two firefighters approach, but before the session is even minutes old, one firefighter hits the contaminated area and is told what he did wrong by Tom Heighway. He and Pam Wolodka were overseeing the exercise. It was Wolodka’s idea for it.
The one firefighter has to pretend he is now contaminated and injured, while the second guy goes and reports to his commander what took place.
Crews than come up and hook up some water and begin hosing it down. With the window open on my drivers side car, the spray from the water certainly felt nice on my face.
After a little while of spraying towards where the “chemical” was leaking out of the truck, two other firefighters come and check on both myself and Richard Prevost, who was the victim in the dump truck. They first check through my car, not able to see the four pieces of paper with Fentanyl on it on my dash and seat. The firefighter finally finds one and has to leave as he is now contaminated.
That leaves the two other firefighters to get Prevost out of the dump truck. Before they can come take me out, the scenario is called complete.
At the side of Engine 41, Wolodka and Heighway explain the scenario and why they picked this.
Given the amount of traffic and truck traffic carrying dear knows what along Highway 102 and 118, and train traffic in the area, it’s good to be prepared if such scenarios take place.