Fire departments partner for CAT

The Coon Rapids Fire Department wants to continue its partnership with two other fire departments in providing hazardous materials response services.

Since 1995, the Coon Rapids, Fridley and Spring Lake-Blaine-Mounds View (SBM) fire departments have comprised one of 10 chemical assessment teams (CAT) located throughout the state.

The CAT contract with the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is up for renewal.

On the recommendation of Fire Chief John Piper, the Coon Rapids City Council has approved submission of a proposal to the state that would continue the city’s partnership with the other two fire departments in providing CAT services.

According to Piper, the Coon Rapids Fire Department has partnered with the Fridley and SBM fire departments as a highly trained and well-equipped hazardous materials response team.

“This partnership has been good for Coon Rapids, our partners and the region and state,” Piper wrote in a memo to the council.

“The team provides support to law enforcement agencies as well as responding to hazardous materials emergencies.”

Prior to 1995, the Coon  Rapids department prepared and equipped its firefighters to respond to incidents involving the release of hazardous materials, according to Piper.

The Coon Rapids Fire Department operated a hazardous materials truck in conjunction with some eight other departments, Piper wrote.

The truck and much of equipment were worn out and obsolete by 1995, so the council authorized staff to submit a proposal with the state to provide hazardous materials response along with Fridley and SBM as one of the 10 CAT teams in the state, he told the council in his memo.

“The contract provides funding for training, exercises, maintenance and equipment,” Piper wrote.

The state agency has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the chemical assessment teams.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]