In the final episode of our five-part series, Mike and Bob finish their discussion of APIE and how it applies to hazmat.
Complete Show Notes
4:50 APIE Continued: P is for Plan
- Also referred to as the hazmat huddle – when everyone gets together and talks about what they see and know to come up with a game plan
- No matter your experience or rank, it’s very important that everyone has an equal say
- It’s important to talk about what we can do, what our abilities are, and what our options are
11:20 What Are Our Abilities and Options?
- Always be thinking about chemical and physical properties
- If it’s a leak, figure out if you can stop it – is it a liquid, gas, or solid?
- Is there a big hole, little hole, long hole, short hole, cap replacement, etc.?
- Remember that your options are limited by what you have on hand
- Can you stop the leak at the source?
- Time is also a consideration – waiting for a resource could easily change how we move forward
- Manpower is also a consideration – you could be working with a skeleton crew or have more than enough people
18:25 Choosing PPE
- All forms of PPE have their own unique limitations and benefits
- At the operations level, decon is simple – just open the line and wash it off like you’re doing an emergency decon
- At the technician level, it’s a lot more than just a hose line and requires us to go deeper into decon
- Making sure you can get harmful substances off of you is just the tip of the iceberg
23:50 Executing Your Plan
- Once the ICS has been established, it’s time to set up our decontamination zones
- The hot zone isn’t as well-defined as other zones and may need to be flexible as the scene changes in size
- The cold zone is the area between the isolation line and the hot zone – this is where we put all of our standby resources
- The warm zone is an area set aside for decon and as a place to hold people that can’t go into the cold zone yet
- If the situation is bad enough, we may also need to consider downwind evacuation for the public
- At that point, we’re ready to go in – communication is extremely important
- Factors, environments, and situations change – you always need to be ready to take a step back and stop when the situation goes beyond the plan
29:20 APIE Continued: E is for Evaluate
- We should constantly be evaluating what we’re doing – is it working? If it’s not, what can we change?
- Be flexible with your ideas, and don’t hold on to an idea that isn’t working
- If you’re entry level, communicate with your officer regarding what’s going on – help them see your little picture so they can better assess the big picture
- Officers and chiefs need to trust their techs and remember that they know what they’re doing – if you feel you can’t trust them, that’s something to work on
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