Hartsdale responds to Hazardous Materials Incident
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By FF Brian Townsend
August 1, 2017

Just before 3pm on Tuesday, August 1st the Hartsdale Fire District received a call regarding a 5-gallon container on the street containing an unknown liquid at the intersection of Keats Ave and Longfellow St. Units arrived on location and set up a safety isolation zone around the container. Members verified the container was not leaking or off-gassing using binoculars and a thermal imaging camera from a safe distance. Parties in the area who possibly had contact with the container were interviewed to gather further information. Fairview Fire was requested to respond with specialized meters from Squad 6 Hazardous Materials Equipment. Greenburgh police were advised of the incident and requested to respond. An engine from Greenville Fire District relocated to Hartsdale Fire District to provide coverage. Members then prepared to send a team down range by donning personal protective equipment, setting-up decontamination resources and establishing a Rapid Intervention Team. A unified command post was established with Greenburgh Police who had resources from their special operations division and an ambulance responding. Hartsdale members were sent down range to investigate the container utilizing meters and monitoring equipment. The chemical was identified as Calcium Hypochlorite (often used in swimming pools). Members returned to the staging area and the situation was declared under control. The chemical container was turned over to Town of Greenburgh representatives for mitigation and disposal. The scene was turned over to Greenburgh Police. Command was terminated and units returned to service.

Units: Car 2171 (Hazmat Saftey Officer) Car 2172 (IC) Engine 170, Engine 171, Tower Ladder 15
Mutual Aid: Fairview Engine 175, 2121, Greenburgh Police, Greemburgh EMS, Greenville Squad 15, Battalion 14

Comment Comment 2 Comment(s)

Mona Fraitag August 03, 2017 at 6:26 PM
The Greenburgh Police Report states that the container was marked "calcium hydrochloride", but it was determined that the liquid was actually water.

I commend all first responders for their actions on Tuesday. They were prepared and acted swiftly and accordingly. Had this been an actual hazardous material we were in very capable hands.

As residents of Greenburgh, however, when these things happen, we always like to know that the ending is a good one. Please do not send out messages without telling us that at the end of the day the liquid was water unless of course, you indeed have something of a disaster to report. People were unnecessarily worried and alarmed. We appreciate the job you do and we know that it takes many hours of training to be prepared to do it. You do it selflessly and energetically and you never complain. We just don't want to be frightened without cause.

We will continue to do our part and report when things are out of place and do not appear to be the norm. We are vigilant and mindful of our environment. If there is something special that you need us to watch for, by all means, let us know. Just don't scare us needlessly.


Hartsdale Fire Department August 03, 2017 at 11:06 PM
We do not determine the actual contents of the container. We simply meter to determine if there are any hazards present. Since there were no hazards as per our metering, we turn the incident over to the Town for disposal as was noted in the post.

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