Hazmat teams from across North Carolina display their skills at ANNUAL HAZMAT CHALLENGE

North Carolina Association of Hazardous Materials Responders

CarolinaFireJournal - Glenn Clapp
Glenn Clapp CHMM, CFPS
10/18/2009 -

On Aug. 22nd, eight hazardous materials teams from across the State met in Raleigh for fun, fellowship, and competition in the Annual Hazmat Challenge. The Hazmat Challenge is an annual event sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Hazardous Materials Responders (NCAHMR) and is held at the North Carolina Firemen’s Association Conference/ South Atlantic Fire Expo. The 2009 Challenge drew a large number of spectators and featured unprecedented sponsor involvement and prizes for the top finishing teams.


The Challenge, open to hazardous materials response organizations operating within the State, consists of four-person teams competing in a series of timed evolutions, with penalties incurred for incorrect techniques. The evolutions for the 2009 Challenge were as follows:

  1. Application of Chlorine C Kit on Railcar Protective Housing Simulator
  2. Overpack of Drum
  3. Placing Overpack and Drum on Dolly and Transporting 100’
  4. Sampling Using a Coliwasa Tube
  5. Victim Removal Using Stokes Basket

Each four-person team was divided into two-person elements. The time started when the first two-person element placed their accountability tags on the starting table. Evolutions one and two were then performed, with the second two-person element entering the course and starting Evolution three when the first two-person element returned to the starting table and retrieved their accountability tags. The second two-person element was required to place their accountability tags on the starting table prior to entering the course. The time stopped when the second two-person element fully crossed the finish line with the victim. The second two-person element then had to retrieve their accountability tags to avoid a penalty.

The response capabilities of the competing teams were reflected in the close results of the competition. The final standings -- including the times corrected for penalties for teams one through three -- were as follows:

  1. Fayetteville 4:56
  2. High Point 5:22
  3. Raleigh Team #1 6:02
  4. Greensboro
  5. Wilmington
  6. Asheville
  7. Raleigh Team #2
  8. Asheville/Williamston

In an overwhelming show of support by event sponsors, the first place team (Fayetteville) received four scholarships to Railcar Specialist School at TTCI, Pueblo, Colorado (sponsored by Norfolk-Southern Railroad). Teams finishing in first through fifth places received prizes from Callan and Associates. CSX Transportation also provided a scholarship to Railcar Specialist School at TTCI, Pueblo, Colorado; which was given away in a drawing from a list of all competitors’ names. The CSX Scholarship was won by John Randolph of the Greensboro Fire Department Team. All participants and spectators then enjoyed a lunch provided by Smiths Detection.

Special thanks also go to the Raleigh Fire Department for their provision and set up of course equipment and rehabilitation. The 2009 Challenge would not have been possible without the hard work of the NCAHMR Education and Outreach Committee, chaired by Abby Moore; and the assistance of A.C. Rich and Hieu Sifford. Thanks also go to those serving as judges for the 2009 Challenge: Garry McCormick (Charlotte Fire Department), Harry Hopes (CSX Transportation) and Abby Moore (Asheville Fire Department).










If you have an interest in hazardous materials response, please consider joining the North Carolina Association of Hazardous Materials Responders. Both Team and Associate (Individual) Memberships are available. The NCAHMR meets quarterly and serves as the focal point for hazardous materials response professionals within the State in terms of information sharing, networking, and serving as the collective voice of hazardous materials responders in policy issues. Visit our website at www. nchazmat.com for further information. Please excuse the upgrade of our website, and if you encounter any difficulties with accessing it, as we are expanding our website to include new resources for hazmat responders. The website should fully return shortly. Also feel free to attend any of the NCAHMR quarterly meetings as a visitor. 


Glenn Clapp is President of the North Carolina Association of Hazardous Materials Responders and is a Fire Training Commander (Special Operations) for the High Point Fire Department. He is a Technician-Level Hazmat Instructor, a Law Enforcement Hazmat Instructor, and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager and Certified Fire Protection Specialist. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology and a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Safety.
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