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Emergency Response to Hazardous Material Incidents

NCJ Number
Date Published
718 pages
This course manual, intended for emergency response personnel, provides the necessary information and skills needed to recognize, evaluate, and control an incident involving the release of hazardous materials.
The Emergency Response to Hazardous Material Incidents manual was designed as a training course by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response Environmental Response Team to provide the best available information on the emergency response to hazardous material incidents. The course is offered primarily to firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical services personnel and provides them with the information and skills to recognize and evaluate a hazardous materials incident, organize the response team, protect response personnel, identify and use response resources, implement basic control measures, refine decision-making skills, and protect the public. The course manual is divided into 19 sections discussing the following: (1) course orientation and introduction; (2) emergency response overview; (3) safety plans and standard operating procedures; (4) the incident command system; (5) characteristics of hazardous materials; (6) toxicology; (7) information resources; (8) identification of hazardous materials; (9) size up, strategy, and tactics; (10) levels of protections; (11) chemical protective clothing; (12) initial scene survey and reconnaissance; (13) confinement and containment; (14) regulatory overview; (15) direct-reading instruments and radiation survey instruments; (16) response organization; (17) decontamination; (18) self-contained breathing apparatus; and (19) glossary. Upon completion of the course, course participants are expected to be able to select the appropriate personal protective equipment when responding to an incident; be able to use combustible gas detectors, oxygen meters, and detector tubes in evaluating an incident; be able to use confinement and containment techniques in order to control the release of a hazardous material; identify the importance of an incident command system; develop procedures for decontamination of emergency response personnel; and use size-up techniques to develop strategies and select respective tactics to reduce the chances of a hazardous material incident. Figures, tables, resources and appendices