The Rogers Fire Department has been part of theNorthwest Arkansas Hazardous Material Response Team for more than two decades. Twenty three years later, Rogers wants to withdraw their contributing responders.
The Rogers Fire Department has 97 hazmat trained firefighters and Fire Chief Tom Jenkins said he feels confident they can handle most situations without the regional team.
"We did it because we felt it was the right decision, it was the most appropriate, and best for our citizenry. Historically we hadn't used them in the last 10 years inside the city limits," said Jenkins.
The city pays the regional hazmat team $13,000 a year. Rogers city leaders said they can use that money to buy and maintain its own hazmat equipment.
Rogers hazmat team responds to dozens of incidents in their city every year. Jenkin said the regional hazmat team served it's purpose for Rogers. The reason is that when it began none of the cities had a hazmat team.
"We're fortunate that we have the equipment and we've had the backing of our elected officials to obtain that equipment and we've got our guys and gals trained to respond and we exercise them regularly," said Jenkins.
If there's a major hazmat situation in Northwest Arkansas, the chief assures Rogers will be there.
"The regional team needs the help of the Rogers Fire department on a hazmat call we will be there running and likewise we anticipate that if we had a huge train derailment they will be there to help us," said Jenkins.
The recommendation to leave the regional hazmat team will head to the Rogers city council on March 14th.
The Northwest Arkansas Regional Hazmat Team has 35 responders from fire departments in seven cities in Benton and Washington counties.
Those cities include Bella vista, Bentonville, Springdale, Fayetteville, Lowell, Siloam Springs, and Rogers.