Preston Health Department donates equipment to hazmat team

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Health Department  purchased 11 air cylinders and two boxes of Nitrile gloves for the local hazmat team.

The money for the purchase came from a threat preparedness grant.

Health Department Administrator V. J. Davis said the equipment “belongs to the health department, but it will be housed with the hazmat team for their use.”

He said the department uses some of its threat preparedness money to buy items to be used by other agencies in case of a disaster or threat.

“I call around to find out what is needed by the [Preston County Office of Emergency Management], hazmat and other county entities,” he said.

Corky Thomas, chief of the Preston County Hazmat Team, said the 11 air cylinders are self-contained breathing apparatus  that go inside  a hazmat suit. He said the cylinder gives the person wearing the suit enough air for about 45 minutes of work time.

A hazmat suit  consists of an impermeable whole body garment worn as protection against hazardous materials. They are used by firefighters, personnel responding to toxic spills and people who work in toxic environments.

Thomas said the Nitrile gloves are used by team members when they are handling hazardous materials.

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