The Lafayette Fire Department has received a $200,000 grants from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit says,

“Lafayette Fire Department Haz-Mat Team is highly respected within the region and responds to numerous municipalities to assist in hazardous material incidents. The monies from the grant will enhance our Haz-Mat Team with advanced technologies to assist their efforts in safely mitigating hazard material incidents while protecting the public.”

Benoit says the new equipment will be used in the field to identify, test and confirm the nature of unknown hazardous material.  The equipment also allows first responders to monitor air quality for the safety of citizens.

The grant money was used by the Lafayette Fire Department to purchase the following:

  • 6 Area RAEs
  • Haz-Mat ID
  • First Defender RMX

The Area RAE is a multi-gas monitor used to monitor the air quality reading around the area of an incident. The six units would be used in different locations along the perimeter and provide feedback to a central command alerting fire responders of the possible hazards.

The Haz-Mat ID is a portable solids and liquids identifier that uses Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to identify unknown chemicals such as toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), chemical warfare agents (CWAs), explosives, pesticides, suspicious white powders, and drugs and drug precursors.

The First Defender RMX is a hand-held device use by first responders, homeland security, military, law enforcement and forensic chemistry personnel to quickly identify unknown solids and liquid chemicals down range.