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Grant prepares OFD for hazmat incidents

The Opp Fire Department recently has received a grant specifically for tools needed for the clean up of hazardous materials, thanks to the Covington County EMA.

The Homeland Security grant is for a hazardous materials decontamination corridor to be used during hazmat incidents in Opp and Covington County.

“There are several firefighters within Covington County that have hazmat certifications but we didn’t have anything within the county to meet their qualifications,” Deputy EMA Director Frank Shaffer said.

“This is a very big deal for Covington County because for a while we didn’t have this equipment.”

With the grant, the fire department was able to afford a substantial amount of equipment, Shaffer said.

“They got mobile decontamination sprayers, tents and I believe a trailer even came with it.”

Shaffer said that it’s important to have this equipment in case anything happens.

“We have a few industries nearby that could have the potential to create hazmat issues. There are also major roads like 331, 84, 29, where major incidents can happen.”

Shaffer said that they wanted to make sure the firefighters were prepared for anything that happened.

“This kind of equipment prepares our firefighters to at least get the ball rolling during a hazmat situation, whereas normally they would need to wait for help from places like Dothan and Mobile,” he said.