Home Podcasts THMG064 – 6 Tips to Make You a Better Resource Officer

THMG064 – 6 Tips to Make You a Better Resource Officer


In this episode, we offer some pointers on how to be an effective science/resource officer and discuss how it benefits your entire team.

Complete Show Notes

4:10 Tips 1, 2, and 3 – Know Which Information to Gather and How to Communicate Clearly

  • Main job is to gather as much information as possible from the start of the run – who’s responding, which units are on-scene, and getting call back from dispatch
  • Have a good understanding of the responsibility of people on-scene – link between the hazmat team and the outside world
  • The science/resource officer must have perfect communication skills
    • They’re the eyes and the ears of units responding and the units on-scene
    • They have to ask questions about operations-level procedures to paint a picture
    • They have to give the entry team a clear picture of what’s going on before they get there
    • If the entry team is surprised by anything they see on-scene, it’s the resource officer’s job
    • They have to translate complicated information to a fifth-grade level for chiefs, officers, and civilians
  • The resource/science officer needs to know who’s responsible for what and who’s taking care of things at the end of the day – crowd control, finances, decontamination, etc.

24:10 Tips 3, 4, and 5 – Have the Knowledge Base to Make Informed Decisions

  • Know how to look up chemicals – use books, computers, your phone, notes from drills, etc.
  • They also have to know how to read safety data sheets (SDS) and material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • Additionally, they must have a good understanding of chemical-physical properties – helps them provide PPE recommendations, give action steps to on-scene personnel, and clearly explain what’s going on
  • Ultimately, they have to be two steps ahead of the team, officer, and command

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