New Hazmat Equipment Will Provide for a Safer Texoma

The Wichita Falls Fire Department Hazmat Response Team will soon get approval through city council to purchase two spectrometers through grant money.

Battalion Chief Holzer does not know an exact date on when the purchase will be made, but the device should be here in the coming months.

One spectrometer operates off of infrared technology, the other laser, both essentially do the same thing.

"They're used in hazmat instances where you might not know what chemical is causing the problem," said Battalion Chief Lynn Holzer.

Texoma sees a high amount of drug raids and with this technology unknown hazardous material left at the scene of a crime can help the hazmat team determine what chemical is lurking inside the home.

"The sooner we can identify that problem, the sooner we can take steps to stop that problem," said Holzer.

The infrared spectrometer operates by placing the unknown liquid or powder on the device and it uses its reference library to search through thousands of chemicals for the exact match almost immediately.  The laser spectrometer allows for a much easier and safer use, you don't even have to touch the chemical to know what is is.

"You can point and shoot it and it will send a laser beam out to the chemical," he said.

The area hazmat team covers 10,000 squre miles.  With that much territory comes even more danger to the team and to residents, but now there's no more borrowing from different regions, soon enough they'll have their own and it'll provide for a much safer Texoma.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.