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Chapter 15


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  • 1. Chapter 15 The ISO at Hazmat Incidents
  • 2. Objectives
    • List the federal regulations that may have an impact on ISO functions at hazmat incidents
    • Define the reporting structure for an ASO-HM at a hazmat tech-level incident
    • Define the two overriding risks that the ISO must evaluate at hazmat incidents
  • 3. Objectives (con’t.)
    • List the four control zones that need to be established at tech-level hazmat incidents
    • List the three hazmat rehab components that require close evaluation
    • List the ten federal-level components of a hazmat response site safety plan and five hazmat ancillary plans that may require ISO-signoff
  • 4. Objectives (con’t.)
    • List five or more alarming hazards at a clandestine drug lab incident
    • List and describe the three strategic goals for the safety section at a WMD/terrorist incident
  • 5. Introduction
    • Hazmat incidents: most regulated of all incidents to which fire departments respond
      • ISO assignment at a hazmat technician-level incident is mandatory
      • ISO should be aware of CFRs regarding hazmat incidents
      • If ISO does not have required technician competencies (NFPA 472), an ASO-HM should be appointed
  • 6. Introduction (con’t.)
    • Assistant safety office-hazmat (ASO-HM)
      • Meets or exceeds NFPA 472 requirements for Hazardous Materials Technician
      • Trained in ISO responsibilities as they relate to hazmat response
      • Fulfills safety functions for technician-level components of incident
      • Works with ISO, hazmat directors, technical specialists, and industry representatives
  • 7. Figure 15-1 The ASO-HM may actually be working with three or more persons.
  • 8. ISO General Duties at the Hazmat Incident
    • Be familiar with NFPA 471: Recommended Practices for Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents
    • Ensure initial zone and isolation efforts are in place upon arrival and assignment
    • Take a strategic approach
      • Interface with other command staff members
      • Maintain position at command post
  • 9. Monitoring Issues at Hazmat Incidents
    • Risk
      • Liability: is hazmat team entry warranted?
      • Risk communication: established risk guidelines
    • Operational effectiveness
      • Rely on ASO-HM to evaluate technician operations
      • Other ASOs evaluate support activities
      • Preplan action plan prior to operations
  • 10. Personal Safety System Issues at Hazmat Incidents
    • Accountability systems
      • Two systems: hazmat team and support responders
      • Encourage cross-communication
      • ISO deals with strategic accountability
      • ASOs deal with tactical accountability
  • 11. Personal Safety System Issues Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Control zones
      • IDLH zone
      • No-entry zone (including collapse zone)
      • Support zone
      • Contamination reduction zone
        • Decontamination takes place
        • Safe refuge area for contaminated persons who have left the IDLH zone
  • 12. Figure 15-3 Simple diagrams can help responders understand zone areas and travel paths.
  • 13. Personal Safety System Issues Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Control zones (con’t.)
      • Use simple diagrams that include travel pathways and gateways between zones
      • ASO-HMs should verify appropriate level of PPE in each zone
      • Personnel moving from one zone to another should follow prescribed pathway
      • Check personnel before leaving contamination zone
  • 14. Personal Safety System Issues Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Radio Transmissions
      • Multiple radio types and frequencies
      • Backup communication systems
        • Hand signals
        • Message boards
        • Tag-line signals
        • Spontaneous system on-scene for specific needs
  • 15. Personal Safety System Issues Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Rehab
      • Medical monitoring
        • Establish baseline before technician stabilization efforts
      • Sanitation needs
        • Best hazard mitigation approach is separation
      • Food service
        • Distance from working areas
        • Cleanliness (further decon)
  • 16. Defining Other Needs at Hazmat Incidents
    • Traffic
      • Roadway, railway, air, and waterway: basic approach to traffic issues is to get rid of them
      • For people, define:
        • Specific shuttle pathways
        • Escape zones
        • Zone transition gateways
  • 17. Defining Other Needs at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Need for ISO assistance
      • ASO-HM
      • One or more ASOs
      • Technical specialists
      • Corporate risk managers
      • Process experts
      • Public health representatives
      • Department HSO or infection control officer
  • 18. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents
    • Risk evaluation at the hazmat incident
      • ISO and ASO-HM must strive to agree on overall risk profile
      • ISO may need to communicate an acceptable risk profile to nonfire service personnel
      • Pace: slow, methodical, and intellectual approach
  • 19. Figure 15-4 A slow, methodical, and intellectual approach is the best pace for hazmat incidents.
  • 20. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Recon evaluation at the hazmat incident
      • Confirm initial zoning and isolation upon arrival and assignment
      • Verify that defined zones and gateways are appropriate
      • ASO-HM should consult a technical reference specialist as necessary
  • 21. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Recon evaluation (con’t.)
      • Define the principal hazard
        • Dictated by the chemical involved
      • Define environmental integrity
        • Weather, infrastructure stability, container condition, hazardous energy
      • Define physical surroundings
        • Location defines impact of surroundings
  • 22. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Recon evaluation (con’t.)
      • Crew exposure to hazards
        • Physical hazards +- Chemical properties + Crew mitigation efforts = Crew hazard exposure
        • ASO-HM in best position to evaluate tools, teams, and rapid withdrawal factors
        • Rapid intervention is far from rapid at hazmat incidents: ensure clear direction for activation
  • 23. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Resource evaluation at the hazmat incident
      • Time
        • On-scene time may not be practical: manage impacts of time passage
        • Reflex time for any unplanned event is delayed
      • Personnel
        • Determine adequate training for task
      • Equipment
        • May need on-the-spot training for specialized equipment
  • 24. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Report issues at the hazmat incident
      • Tech-level stabilization effort requires formal delivery and development of
        • Written site safety plan
        • Safety briefings
      • 15-minute rule for face-to-face communication is impractical
        • Keep unit log for documentation
        • Hazmat documentation not subject to statute of limitations
  • 25. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Report issues (con’t.)
      • Federal requirements for site safety plan include:
        • Safety, health, and hazard risk analysis
        • Site organization
        • Identification of PPE type required for task
        • Medical monitoring procedures
        • Environmental monitoring and sampling procedures
        • Site control measures
  • 26. Applying the ISO Action Model at Hazmat Incidents (con’t.)
    • Report issues (con’t.)
      • Federal requirements for site safety plan (con’t):
        • Decontamination procedures
        • Predefined responder emergency plans
        • Confined space entry and escape procedures
        • Spill containment and handling procedures
      • ISO/ASO-HM may also have to sign off on numerous other hazmat incident plans
  • 27. Unique Considerations at the Hazmat Incident
    • Clandestine drug labs
      • Hazards
        • Poor ventilation
        • Flammable/toxic atmospheres
        • Incompatible chemicals
        • Chemical reactions in progress
        • Unidentified chemicals and/or containers
        • Unstable and/or leaking containers
        • Booby traps
  • 28. Unique Considerations at the Hazmat Incident (con’t.)
    • Weapons of mass destruction
      • Develop local WMD plan that addresses ISO functions until IMT takes over
      • ISO initially coordinates:
        • Quick in/quick out approach for immediate rescues
        • Adopt a back off posture after rescue
        • Isolation of victims and exposed firefighters
        • Staging out of sight as much as possible
  • 29. Unique Considerations at the Hazmat Incident (con’t.)
    • Weapons of mass destruction (con’t.)
      • Strategic goals of ISO and ASOs
        • Gather RECON and threat information
        • Analyze options: lean towards the worst case
        • Develop a safety action plan across organizational boundaries
        • Expand role into manageable parts
        • Address health and safety issues prior to IMT arrival
  • 30. Figure 15-5 Expanding the ISO function into units can help at WMD incidents. ISO units are not currently NIMS compliant.
  • 31. Summary
    • Hazardous materials incidents require specialized training
      • ISO oversees and addresses general duties
      • ASO-HM focuses on technician-level issues
    • Issues at hazmat incidents
      • Proper training
      • Communication to nonfire service responders
      • Control zones: contamination reduction zone
  • 32. Summary (con’t.)
    • Issues at hazmat incidents (con’t.)
      • Medical evaluation before operations
      • Separation of sanitation and food areas
    • ISO action model at hazmat incidents
      • Reporting is a significant effort: federally mandated site safety plan
    • Unique hazmat considerations
      • Clandestine labs
      • WMD incidents