Representatives from a number of county and city agencies charged with responding to emergencies will join employees at The University of Texas-Pan American for a four-day training seminar on handling hazardous materials beginning May 11.
Ten representatives from the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department, two representatives each from the Edinburg Police Department and the Hidalgo County Buildings and Grounds Department, one representative from the Edinburg school district and three individuals from the Edinburg Fire Department have confirmed they will attend.
"We're not charging them for this training," said Ken Sator, UT Pan American's director of environmental health and safety. "We had to pay for this training for our employees anyway, and we can do a tremendous community service. We can help these agencies get training to let them help their communities."
The 32-hour course, "Hazardous Materials First Responder at the Technician Level," is designed to train the "first responder" to prepare for or respond to incidents with hazardous materials - chemical spills, gas leaks and chemical fires - "anything that may have the potential of being a dangerous material, including any out-gassing that will be produced in a fire," Sator said.
Staff members from the departments of chemistry and biology, the Physical Plant and Central Receiving will attend the three days of classroom training and one day of practical exercises that will include practice in decontamination and the use of protective clothing.