Home Interviews THMG120 – Interview with David Lesak, Part II

THMG120 – Interview with David Lesak, Part II


In part two of a two-part series, Mike talks to David Lesak, who’s on staff at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. Mike was there for the Chemistry for the Fire Responder event.

Complete Show Notes

1:30 Development of PPE Standards and Regulations

  • Back in the day, PPE was reusable and most suits weren’t decontaminated properly – this could be very dangerous and led to confusion about which run produced the contaminant
  • In the 1990s, there wasn’t as much concrete knowledge or trustworthy knowledge available about the different types of PPE – they kind of just had to trust the manufacturers
  • NFPA established suit requirements and standards in the early- mid-1990s

8:35 Original Metering and Monitoring Equipment

  • Most places just had a combustible gas meter – same thing gas companies were using at that time
  • If you didn’t notice the analog dial pop off the top end before dropping back down again, you wouldn’t know you were in a dangerous environment
  • There was more technology available for work in the lab, but they didn’t have much to use in the field
  • Most (if not all) PIDs and meters used in the early days were borrowed from industry, rather than built specifically for hazmat use

15:00 Hazmat and the Fire Service

  • Most firefighters didn’t have any hazmat training, so the hazmat techs had to direct them on best practices
  • Communication was (and still is) very important, even if that meant telling a fire chief what to do

19:50 How to Contact Dave

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