The regional hazardous materials response team that's part of the Fort Dodge Fire Department has a new leader.
Firefighter Tom Ubben was recently named the team's coordinator by the Region V Hazardous Materials Response Commission.
In that capacity, Ubben will be in charge of daily team activities and commanding its operations during emergencies. He'll also be tasked with developing training and response procedures.
Fort Dodge firefighter Tom Ubben checks a chemical monitor next to the Region 5 Hazardous Materials Response Team truck in the Fort Dodge fire station. Ubben was recently appointed to be the unit’s coordinator.
''I enjoy the hazardous materials work,'' he said.
He said continuing to meet with firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel and industry representatives throughout the nine counties that the team serves is one of his goals.
''I want to continue building relationships with Region V members,'' Ubben said. ''I want to get out and network.''
Ubben replaces Lt. Jason Vandi, who left the coordinator post after being promoted to his current rank late last year.
The new coordinator is a relatively new member of the team who was recruited for it by Vandi.
Ubben joined the Fire Department in 2011 and the hazardous materials team in 2012.
He is certified as a hazardous materials technician and hazardous materials highway emergency response specialist. His other training certifications include firefighter I, firefighter II and paramedic.
He will continue to work all of his regular Fire Department shifts and will be on call 24 hours a day for hazardous materials emergencies.
The 21-member team serves Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster and Wright counties.
Ubben said the principal hazardous materials found in those nine counties are anhydrous ammonia, chlorine, ethanol, gasoline and sulfuric acid.