Monday, February 25, 2008

Hazardous Materials

We've been so busy the past few days and I have so many posts to make! On Thursday, I did a nature walk on my own - kind of a macro walk/signs of spring. That afternoon, we went from our house to my mom's and experienced a temperature drop of almost 40 degrees!

On Friday, Alexandra went to a book club event at an art museum while my mom and I explored the museum on our own. That afternoon, we went bowling! I haven't played in years and had about 7 or 8 gutter balls on my first game. But during the second game, I had 3 strikes and 2 spares! And scored 138! That's a great score for me, and I was so shocked!

On Saturday, we went to a lake that was so beautiful. I really had no idea anything like that existed near my mom's! And, it had warmed up and was a beautiful, though still cool, day. We will be visiting this lake often when we visit my mom.

We headed home on Sunday afternoon and went on a field trip today to visit a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) mobile unit. The unit was set up after (and basically because of) September 11th and there are several memorials on the sides of their trucks.

Another memorial.

There were only 4 moms and 7 kids, so we were all able to get on the truck at once. In this photo, they were demonstrating their heat seeking device. It's like the kind used by the police in helicopters, though not as powerful.
The equipment in the yellow box uses a lazer and spectrophotometry to determine the makeup of various chemicals. They also have something that tells what kind of material a dry powder is - even down to "this is Morton's table salt."
Most of the unit's calls are for spills when semi trucks wreck. They have at least 5 different kinds of suits to wear, depending on what chemicals they will be dealing with. The suits can cost over $12,000 and are disposable!
We got to go inside this building where they practice fire fighting. The men in this unit are all fire fighters and a few were also policemen who deal with arson.

They also have a field set up with semis, cars, and train cars for training.

They just got this second "fire truck" - this one is specifically to shoot out two different kinds of foams on various types of fires. On the top is one of the ways it shoots foam - and it can all be done by remote control!
A rare photo of me - Alexandra took it. I try not to post photos of our friends and, unfortunately, all the photos of Alexandra have her friends in them, too! So, here's me driving a fire truck!

And, here's the front of their fire truck. We also got to see inside where the firefighters live - where they sleep and eat. They are on for 24 hours at a time, but only work a few days a month. For most of them, this is a "second" job.

We were so grateful they took the time to show us around. And, we were glad to learn how well we're being protected from hazardous materials! Tonight, we said a prayer for all the fire fighers who help protect us.


Dana said...

I stumbled upon your blog through the CM website, and I am so glad! Your blog is a great resource and encouragement - from field trips to math to Mozart, I've followed links to things you've used and they've been so helpful. So, thanks for the time it takes you to blog all this - you're really blessing me! from one Dana to another, keep up the awesome job you're doing with your daughter!

live4evermom said...

That all looks like fun.

Rhonda said...

Sounds like so much fun. I love going to the lake here in our city. I can't wait until spring so that I can take the girls for a picnic by the lake.

Robin said...

What a sweet field trip! Who knew hazmat could be so cool? I'll bet GB would have loved it. Did the kids get to sit in the driver's seat, too?

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