Just after 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 7th, the Bedford Fire Department was dispatched to respond to the science wing of Fox Lane High School for an unknown odor in the building. An update from the Bedford PD School Resource Officer confirmed it to be some type of chemical smell; the science wing was immediately evacuated by school personnel, and the assignment upgraded to a hazmat box.
Command was established with Car 2041, 2031, and 2042; the upgraded assignment brought Tower Ladder 57 from Bedford Hills, Ladder 39 from Katonah and Engine 104 from Mount Kisco. As a precaution, Bedford EMS and a paramedic from Westchester EMS were also placed on stand by at the scene.
Crews worked to isolate the classrooms, and were able to locate the room where the odor had emanated from. Additional investigation found some material had also been put into a hallway bathroom, causing the odor to remain strong.
Working with school officials, we were able to positively identify the chemicals that were being used for science class, and determine any health and safety risks. Special Operations Chief 2001 was also conferenced on the phone for hazardous materials support to fully understand the nature of the chemicals. It was determined the flow hoods from the class room were not functioning properly, resulting in the odor throughout the building.
Fans were set up throughout, and meters were used to ensure no other readings of any kind were present. After an hour of ventilation, the building was cleared and students were allowed to return to the building.
Car 2041, Car 2042, Engine 110, Engine 108, Utility 140, Ambulance 52-B2
Bedford Hills Car 2031, Car 2032, Tower Ladder 57, Katonah Ladder 39, Mount Kisco Car 2282, Engine 104, WEMS 45-Medic 1, Bedford PD, WCDES Car 2001