Lafayette Fire Department receives Haz-Mat grant

The Lafayette Fire Department received a $200,000 grant for its Haz-Mat Team for modern equipment that better identifies hazardous materials in a spill and tests the air for the safety of residents and emergency responders, officials said.

Alton Trahan, spokesman for the Fire Department, said in a news release that the money will come from the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

“(The) Lafayette Fire Department Haz-Mat Team is highly respected within the region and responds to numerous municipalities to assist in hazardous material incidents,” Fire Chief Robert Benoit said in the release.

Among the items purchased with the grant are six monitors that detect a number of deadly gases. Haz-Mat Team members can set up a perimeter around a suspected hazardous materials site, Trahan said.

“The information would be used for multiple purposes including evacuation of residences and businesses,” Trahan said.

An instrument that identifies toxic chemicals, explosives, pesticides and drugs also was purchased, he said.

Haz-Mat Team members and the Louisiana National Guard 62nd Civil Support Team have received training on the equipment.