Fire Science Students Train to Remove Hazardous Waste

Published 03/14 2014 05:17PM

Updated 03/14 2014 09:40PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Fire Science students at Hillyard Technical College in St. Joseph learned how to block hazardous materials in the event of a chemical spill.

They dug through mud, and battled racing waters Friday. Those were just a few difficulties they endured during the training.

"So, that if there was an emergency out on the highway, or a chemical spill for transportation, they would be able to protect the public from the spill, and contain the product," said Angie Jones, Fire Science Instructor.

They stopped hazardous waste by building two types of dams out of sandbags, dirt, shovels and pipes.  The first type is called the 'underflow,' which stops chemicals lighter than water.

"So, we put the tubes down under the water, and bring the good water out the other side," she said.

The second is called the 'overflow,' which stops chemicals heavier than water.

"So, they sink and the good water flows over the top, and they saves the chemicals back behind both types of dams," said Jones.

If the force from the spill is too strong, and the dams break, they started all over again.

"So, if you do have a dam that breaks or fails like that, you go downstream again, and start all over and build it again. Hopefully, get it done before the product gets there again," said Jones.

"Everybody needed to do their part and try to prevent what was happening," said Aaron Gingerich, Fire Science Student.

Gingerich said he enrolled in the class to learn how to protect the community.

"It's what more I can do for other people rather than what they can do for me," he said.

He said training to remove hazardous waste is one step closer to accomplishing that.

"Not only will this carry over into the fire service, but it could carry over into multiple careers as well," said Gingerich.

Students will be tested on hazardous waste clean up at the end of the month.

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