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One Individual Injured During A Hazardous Materials Incident in East Greenbush, NY

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March 23, 2022 | NEW YORK JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

On March 23, 2022, at 4:18PM, The Clinton Hights Fire Department along with the Sand Lake Ambulance for mutual aid was dispatched to a subject exposed to nitric acid on the third floor of 11 University Place.

The ambulance arrived on scene and met the subject that was exposed to the hazardous chemical and had chemical burns on the individuals body. After the subject was decontaminated, EMS immediately transported the individual to the nearest hospital. Police on scene notified the dispatcher that they had an active hazardous materials incident in the laboratory on the third floor and the doors were sealed. Police also notified the dispatcher that they had the material safety data sheet and was heading out to the fire chief with the information.

The Clinton Heights Fire Department's assistant chief arrived on scene and established University Place command for the incident. Squad eight arrived on scene and began to set up for the hazardous materials incident. Command after looking into the material that was spilled requested the East Greenbush Fire Department to the scene with one engine. Command also requested the City of Troy for the Rensselaer County Hazmat Team to the scene. Command requested the building to be evacuated and notified the dispatcher that they will be receiving a fire alarm activation in the building.

After the building had been evacuated, command requested additional resources from his department to the scene. The Rensselaer county bureau of public safety‘s hazardous materials team coordinator, bureau car one and additional bureau cars arrived on scene to provide assistance to command. The city of Troy's Fire Department arrived on scene with the hazardous materials rig, medic four, and additional resources from engine six. The battalion chief met with command and began to review the information on the nitric acid. After establishing a planned command had firefighters set up a hot zone and cold zone around the incident building. The East Greenbush Fire Department arrived on scene and assisted with a water supply for the incident.

As members of the hazardous materials team was suiting up, command requested the Rensselaer County Hazardous Materials Decontamination Team to the scene. The Rensselaer County Hazardous Materials Decontamination Team is made up of dedicated members of the following departments: Speigletown, Melrose, Hemstreet Park, Schaghticoke, Johnsonville, Hoosic Valley, and The Pleasantdale Fire Department. While the decontamination team was assembling and gathering the equipment to come to the scene. Firefighters from the Troy Fire department were getting their metering equipment together and suiting up their firefighters to make entry to the building.

With the decontamination team arriving on scene within 30 minutes of the initial request. The decontamination area for the firefighters that will be making entry to the building. The hazardous materials technicians for the Troy Fire Department made entry to the building and began to make their way to the laboratory where the incident had occurred. The hazardous materials technicians monitored the air quality in the building and in the room. The firefighters inside of the building notified command that the readings were neutral and it was safe for firefighters to make entry and neutralize the acid spill. Those firefighters made their way out of the building and were decontaminated by the decontamination team outside of the building.
Firefighters from the Clinton Hights Fire Department made entry to the structure and neutralize the acid bringing the incident under control. The significant collaboration of professional resources on scene made it possible for the incident to be brought under control quickly with no injuries to any of the firefighters working on scene. The individual that was injured by the chemical was transported to the hospital and was listed in stable condition at the time of the incident. Firefighters remained on scene for a short period of time after the incident. The chemical spill was ruled accidental.

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