Program Helps Camden Combat Hazard Sites

A state pilot program in New Jersey will help Camden firefighters by identifying hazards that may be stored in buildings.

“When they walk up to address the emergency at this building, no one hands them a floor plan and says, “Look, when you go inside, there’s going to be acetone, a floor that’s missing here,'” Fire Chief Michael Harper said. “We don’t get that benefit.”

The pilot program, undertaken by New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, will target 31 abandoned warehouses, and industrial and commercial buildings in Camden. They were selected based on their likelihood of housing dangerous materials.

Representatives from multiple agencies analyzed the contents of each site. Their findings were incorporated into a computerized program that can be accessed by first responders and dispatchers.

The system, which also provides maps and pictures, is accessible via laptops in battalion chiefs’ vehicles and select fire apparatus. The hope is to connect every truck in the department eventually.

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