Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Verizon Business Hazmat Team Ready for Emergencies

Verizon Business said its Major Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT) is ready to roll in the event that the company's network becomes damaged during natural disasters or hazardous materials incidents. Potential threats include hurricanes, train derailments and industrial fires, plus the Santa Ana winds that sweep through Southern California during the fall.

Founded in 1992, MERIT consists of 35 team members including communications technicians and specialists, building engineers, and Verizon Business environmental, health and safety employees. All team members, who have fulltime daily responsibilities in their specialties, have been trained under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines, the same certification guidelines used by major fire department hazardous materials teams in the U.S.

MERIT team members, who are also trained in emergency response management, are authorized to operate at the highest operational protection level (Level A), which allows them to enter a contaminated zone, wearing fully encapsulated hazmat suits. The team uses multiple tools to detect more than 30 chemicals, Ricin and radiological contamination.

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