Any incident that the Fire Service attends has the potential to cause damage to the environment. It is therefore essential that we do everything possible to mitigate this damage.
The Service has a strong partnership with the Natural Resources Wales. These links have provided us with two part funded Environment Protection Units based at Lllanelli and Newtown Fire Stations. These vehicles have a vast array of equipment which can be used at incidents to assist in protecting the environment from hazardous materials.
A number of our managers have been specially trained as Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection Officers. The 4 week course in the Fire Service College provides training on how to manage what are commonly referred to within the Service as "hazmat" incidents and minimise damage to the environment at all incidents.
A hazmat incident is any incident involving uncontrolled dangerous goods or hazardous materials which may be solid, liquid or gas that impose a danger to people, other living organisms, properties or the environment. An example of a hazmat incident is the Fforestfach fire which occurred in 2011 where tyres burnt for over 3 weeks.
Hazmat incidents are increasingly complex and challenging. They fall under the following categories:
Environmental: the natural world, surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates
Chemical: a distinct compound or substance, especially one which has been artificially prepared or purified
Biological: Micro-organism based
Radiation: the action or process of radiating
Nuclear: technology that involves the reactions of atomic nuclei