Device helps Camden County change the way it handles emergency situations

First responders in the area now have greater protection when responding to an emergency call thanks to a recently acquired Mobile Ventilation Unit (MVU) purchased by Camden County.

The MVU, which is the first of its kind on the east coast, has the ability to aid first responders in emergency situations and can easily reach all 37 municipalities in the County as well as surrounding jurisdictions, according to Camden County Freeholder Ian Leonard.

“It gives firefighters and emergency personnel greater control over the environment inside a structure by allowing them to regulate the movement of smoke, heat and harmful gases,” Leonard said.

The unit has already been deployed in two separate emergency situations. It was used to dissipate a gas main leak in Barrington and mitigate carbon monoxide accumulating in a Haddon Township high-rise apartment.

“The MVU-01 averted the possibility of a natural gas explosion and prevented possible medical emergencies in Haddon Township,” Leonard said.

Although the main purpose of the acquisition is for marine firefighting and train tunnel firefighting, according to Leonard, the unit can be used in a variety of instances, including large-scale incident-rehab, mass gathering cooling and vapor and gas exposure.

The unit can be deployed as soon as the first dispatch goes out to the Westmont firefighters. The MVU can be used from the truck it is transported on and can be hydraulically lowered and lifted to the ground or it can be moved from the truck by forklift or crane.

The MVU was purchased with Homeland Security and Port Security funds. Training by Westmont Fire District and Emergency Management on the equipment is taking place weekly at the station on Haddon Avenue in Haddon Township.

“Camden County takes pride in providing our first responders with the equipment and training necessary to provide the highest level of response to our residents,” Leonard said.

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