UNIT ONE Role and Responsibility of the First Responder
Federal laws and standards • Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). • 29 CFR 1910.120 and EPA 40 CFR part 311
Five levels of training • Awareness • Operations • Technician • Specialist • On Scene Incident Commander
First Responder Awareness Responders at the awareness level are individuals who are likely to witness or discover a hazardous substance release and who have been trained to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release. They would take no further action beyond notifying the authorities of the release.
First Responder Operation Responders at the operations level are individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release. They are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to stop the release. Their function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent exposures.
Hazardous Material Technician Individuals who respond to a release or potential releases for the purpose of stopping the release. They assume a more aggressive role than the first responder at the operations level in that they will approach the point of release in order to plug, patch or otherwise stop the release of a hazardous substance.
Hazardous Material Specialist Individuals who respond with and provide support to hazardous materials technicians. Their duties parallel those of the hazardous materials technician, however, those duties require a more directed or specific knowledge of the various substances they may be called upon to contain.
On Scene Incident Commander Individuals who will assume control of the incident scene beyond the first responder awareness level. Incident commanders shall have received training equal to the operations level.
First Responders must be able to perform basic: • Recognition • Identification • Isolation/Protection • Notification, and • Initiation of the Incident Command System
Recognition • The First Responder must be able to recognize a hazardous materials incident. RESPONDERS SHOULD NOT RUSH IN! IF YOU ARE HURT OR KILLED YOU CAN NOT HELP ANYONE.
Be Aware of any of the Following: • Vapor clouds • Smoke • Injured Persons • Environmental Damage • Evidence of explosive devices • Booby traps • Surrounding populations • Dispersion pathways • Suspicious persons around the scene
Potential Ignition Sources • Traffic and Emergency Vehicles • Open Flames • Flares • Lightening, or Static Discharges • Electrical Sources, Downed Power Lines • Flashlights and Two-Way Radios • Exothermic Chemical Reactions (Heat Producing)
Identification • Six clues • Occupancy / Location • Container Shapes and Sizes • Markings and Colorings • Placards / Labels • Shipping Papers / Material Safety Data Sheets /Facility Pre-Plans • Senses / Employees / Witnesses
It is not the responsibility of the first responder to disregard their own personal safety for the identification of the hazard.
THE FIRST RESPONDER SHOULD PROTECT THEMSELVES FIRST! Isolation / Protection • Isolate the area by prohibiting access • Move un-injured & un-contaminated people outside of the release area • Isolate anyone contaminated
Isolation / Protection (cont.) • Stop at a safe distance and use binoculars or such vision-enhancing device to assess the scene for placards or other clues.THE STOPPING POINT MAY BE DIFFERENT FOR EACH INCIDENT
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL FIRST RESPONDERS TRAINED TO THE AWARENESS LEVEL SHOULD NEVER PASS INTO THE CONTAMINATED AREA OF THE RELEASE FOR ANY REASON OUTSIDE OF DUTY TO SAVE LIVES.
Notification • Fire Departments • Police Departments • Sheriff’s Offices • Highway Patrol • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) • Hazardous Material Response Teams • FBI (WMD Related Incidents) • Environmental Protection Agency • Public Health Departments • Public Utilities Commission • Environmental Clean-up Companies
What they need to know • The chemical name, placard and/or U.N. number with a description of the incident. • Weather conditions and wind direction • Status of the hazardous material container • (stable, leaking, burning, etc.,) • The location impacted • (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.,) • Victim’ s injuries
Incident Command The role of the Incident Commander (IC) will be assumed by the appropriate authority, as designated by state or local law. In many cases, the IC will be the most senior public safety officer (most likely the fire department chief or deputy chief; however, in many circumstances it may be a local sheriff or senior local or state police official). As such, it is the responsibility of the IC to establish the Incident Command System (ICS) and to ensure that notifications of the above mentioned responders have been made or are in the process of being made. As the referenced agencies arrive, the IC will evolve into a Unified Command, as necessary.
The Incident Commander The Ohio Revised Code 3737.80 specifies: “In any emergency situation relating to the prevention of an imminent release of a hazardous material, to the cleanup or disposal of a hazardous material that has been released, or to the related mitigation of the effects of a release of a hazardous material, the chief of the fire department in whose jurisdiction the emergency situation is occurring or his designee is responsible for primary coordination of the on-scene activities of all agencies of the state, the United States government, and political subdivisions that are responding to the emergency situation until the chief relinquishes that responsibility to a representative of one of the responding public agencies and so notifies that representative.”
Incident Commander – Title used under the emergency response training section of OSHA 29 CFR, Part 1910.120.
Safety Officer – Tasked with the responsibility to maintain the health and safety issues of site operations. He shall have the authority to Suspend, Alter, or Terminate any operations that are determined to be unsafe or immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH)
PIO – Their purpose is to make contact with the media and the general public. They will release information regarding site activities.
Liaison – Serves as the contact between the Incident Commander and other governmental and/or private organizational personnel.
Finance/Administration –The Financial Officer provides the necessary financial guidance and contractual support that may be necessary during a large incident.
Logistics – Oversees the delivery of the manpower, supplies and/or the equipment to effectively control the incident site.
Planning – Develops an emergency action plan and monitors the success of the established plan.
Operations – Directs the activities of the team leaders within the site and coordinates these activities with the I.C.
Unified Command • New Federal Guidelines • National Incident Management System (NIMS)
Response Procedures • Standard Operating Procedures • Emergency Response Plans
ICS Summary • The first fifteen minutes on the scene of a hazardous materials incident will set the stage for the remaining response. If the initial response is safe and appropriate and the first responder fulfills their duty to recognize, identify, isolate, protect, notify and establish command then the subsequent responders can build upon this foundation and safely mitigate the hazard.