03/13/14 330 W, 2 I - + 7 - 3 Yesterday's Haz-Mat Call on Capital Boulevard

An unusual haz-mat call unfolded yesterday morning at the corner of Thornton Road and Capital Boulevard, at the Sheetz gas station addressed 4801 Thornton Road. Recalling radio traffic, small containers with possible biological hazards had been found on the gas pumps. At least one of these was subsequently moved by an employee to a dumpster. The employee called 911 out of concern at 10:21 a.m. Engine 22 responded the scene, and subsequently requested a full haz-mat assignment.

Dispatched fire units about 11:05 a.m. were Haz-Mat 1 (staffed by Engine 2), Haz-Mat 2 (staffed by Engine 27), Haz-Mat 3 (recon unit staffed by Engine 8), Squad 15, Battalion 3 (haz-mat Battalion Chief), Battalion 5, Air 1, and Car 20. The medical response included EMS 15, EMS 33, EMS 10, District 4, District 3, Medic 93, and Truck 1. 

Arriving units staged at both a church beside the gas station, and on Capital Boulevard. It was quickly determined that there were no patients, so the third ambulance was returned to service. District 3 established medical branch, with EMS 15 and EMS 33 for medical monitoring and rehab. District 1, Medic 93, and Truck 1 also stayed on scene until rehab was completed.

Upon his arrival, Car 20 assumed incident command, with Battalion 3 as previously established haz-mat branch. An isolation zone had been  established, including the sheltering-in-place of customers and employees (thirty to thirty-five, from news reports) who were inside the store. Crews also prepared an area for decontamination on Thornton Road.

Wake County Fire Services (WC1) and Wake County Emergency Management were among the agencies that also responded. As this WRAL footage shows, haz-mat crews entered the hot zone wearing encapsulated suits. They removed the materials and determined they were not hazardous. They were unused medical supplies. The "all clear" was given about 1:20 p.m. Readers can augment this armchair summary as needed. Media links: WRAL, WTVD, News & Observer, Wake Forest News ("Biohazard at Sheetz. It's Not a Hot Dog"). No photos from Yours Truly, who was working.

WRAL photo

Chris Seward/News & Observer photo

Haz-Mat 4 was also on the run card. Didn’t know Raleigh had a Haz-Mat 4, but it was on the card.
D. McKay - 03/13/14 - 12:41

HM-4 is the “old” SR-3 (Decon unit) from Station #22. It is part of the “full HM response” CAD response type. The numbering was changed about 6 months ago for consistency.
A.C. Rich - 03/14/14 - 00:24

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