MAUMEE, Ohio—Helping chemists learn from his experience is a great joy to consultant James P. Barnhouse. Helping people in need also continues to be his hobby.
Barnhouse became a HazMat responder in 1992 at the Sellersburg (Ind.) Volunteer Fire Department, responding to all kinds of hazardous material incidents, when he worked for Zeon Chemicals Inc. across the Ohio River in Louisville, Ky. Eventually, he headed the unit.
He spent 20-30 hours a week responding to calls involving hazardous materials, as well as firefighting, Barnhouse said. Ultimately he found he enjoyed the medical end in particular, and he became an Emergency Medical Technician.
“I spent a lot of time working out of an ambulance,” he said.
When Barnhouse moved in 1998 to join Aeroquip in Maumee, he joined a local volunteer fire department for about a year. “I got too old and out of condition, and gracefully bowed out,” he said.
He migrated to his current “hobby,” being an American Red Cross disaster assistant. “When a family has, say, a house fire, I find them a hotel room, give them a credit card to get clothing and food, work with them to make sure they are OK,” he said. “It sort of dovetails with the fire service.”