Hazardous Materials Team | Greene Government Hazardous Materials Team | Greene Government

Hazardous Materials Team

The mission of the Greene County Hazardous Materials Team:
Protection of Public Health and Safety
Protection of the Environment
Protection of Property and Assets
Safety of all Emergency Responders

On January 21st 2004 resolution 34-04 was passed by the Greene County Legislators creating the Greene County Decontamination Team. At the time of inception the team was made up of 30 members from 11 fire companies and departments throughout Greene County. Leading the newly formed team was Delbert Higgins of Palenville and Eric Bessenfelder of Coxsackie. Del and Eric spent many hours working to create operating procedures and training the members using state run courses and in-house training. As the decontamination team members progressed in training a decision was made to expand the unit to a full Hazmat team.

In 2005 the team was upgraded to a Hazmat level and through DHS and NYS grants the team was allocated $50,000.00 dollars to purchase 60 minute Scott airpacks, Level A response suits, and the teams first gas meter with PID. In February of 2006 Eric Bessenfelder was elected Hazmat Coordinator with Bill Mirando as Assistant Coordinator. Eric and Bill are working closely with Columbia County Hazmat to expand the teams training and build on the mutual aid agreement between the two counties. From 2005 today the team has been alerted 5 times with full response on three of the calls. The latest call was for support during the Story’s Nursery fire where decontamination and chemical detection were performed.  The Hazmat team consists of members who have taken Tech level, Responder level, and at the minimum decontamination level training. Membership to the group is open to all companies and departments in Greene County.

If anyone is interested in joining the team please contact Eric or Bill via the Emergency Control Center. As 2006 continues the team will continue to train both in-house and out in the field. If any fire company would like training for decontamination, Hazmat, or the response kits please contact the Control Center and Eric or Bill will schedule the training.

Along with the training the Team with the States assistance is creating Hazmat response procedures that will be distributed to all agencies. The guide will provide the local fire and EMS agencies with the basic flow of policies and procedures that should be implemented when a Hazmat team is called.


Towns of Ashland, Athens, Cairo, Catskill, Coxsackie, Durham, Greenville, Hunter, Jewett, Lexington, New Baltimore, Prattsville, Windham.

Village of Athens, Catskill, Coxsackie, Hunter, Tannersville.

Equipment Used:

Emergency Response Truck, Decontamination Trailer, Sled, Scene Lights, Vacuum, Heaters, Hot Water Heaters, Decon Shelter.


Meetings are the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM.

Hazardous Materials Officier’s

Team Coordinator HazMat Car 1 – Bill Mirando
Deputy Coordinator HazMat Car 2 –Dave Cramer
Quarter Master – Brandon Wickson
Secretary – PJ Pugsley
Safety Officer – Glenn Kazanjian
County Car 5 – Peter Alberti