The Fayetteville and Springdale Hazardous Materials teams want to unite to better protect residents in Washington County.
“We were looking at a way that we could combine our efforts both in Fayetteville and in Springdale and help Washington County out as well,” said Springdale Fire Chief Mike Irwin.
Fire Chief David Dayringer said, “It was a natural evolution because we worked together on the previous regional team.”
The Regional HazMat Team, which was made up of Northwest Arkansas fire departments, was disbanded last November.
Since the regional team no longer exists, both fire departments are stepping up to share resources.
The HazMat teams are equipped and trained to respond to dangerous threats and chemicals.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” Irwin said. “We have it all here, but yet we share it between cities, so it saves the taxpayer money.”
If approved by the city of Fayetteville, the agreement heads to the Washington County Quorum Court in order to charge a fee of 38 cents per person.
“What happens is, they are asking the Washington County towns that aren’t part of Fayetteville or Springdale to help offset that cost, so that we can respond to outside the cities of Springdale and Fayetteville.”
The money from the fee will go to the Washington County treasurer, who will give half the money to Fayetteville and half the money to Springdale.
The Fayetteville Fire Department has 18 HazMat technicians while Springdale has 21.
Springdale has a HazMat truck ready to go, and Fayetteville is waiting on theirs from the same Florida company to arrive.
Both departments will have a HazMat Team training in early May.