Home Podcasts THMG121 – NFPA 1072 Unpacked, Part II

THMG121 – NFPA 1072 Unpacked, Part II


In this episode, we continue our discussion of NFPA 1072 and expand on the skills required for operations-level staff.

Complete Show Notes

3:30 What is an Operations-Level Responder?

  • NFPA 1072 says these are “persons who respond to hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incidents for the purpose of implementing or supporting actions to protect nearby persons, the environment, or property from the effects of the release”
  • On the national level, firefighters must have some sort of operations training to become firefighters in the first place
  • The logistics, manpower, and support on any scene comes from operations-level individuals
  • They’re generally the first people on-scene – assist with life safety, IC initiation, calling in additional resources, providing manpower support for the technicians, and closing the scene (handing it off to a different agency or making the call that the incident is over
  • This is one of the most overlooked aspects of hazmat – operations-level personnel constitute a tremendous amount of manpower and make decisions that can drastically impact an incident
  • Most firefighters take the role of an operations-level responder for granted and may not even fully understand what they need to know and what they’re responsible for

9:30 NFPA 1072 5.2 – Analyzing the Problem

  • First things first – start by identifying any potential hazards
  • Responsibilities:
    • Identify container types
    • Determine the materials within the container
    • Locate the release point
    • Assess the surrounding conditions
    • Collect hazard information
    • Communicate with pipeline operators or carrier representatives
    • Describe the likely behavior of the hazardous material/WMD and its container
    • Describe the potential hazards, harm, and outcomes associated with that behavior and the surrounding conditions

12:30 NFPA 1072 5.3 – Identifying Action Options

  • Involves identifying response objectives and action options based on the scope of the problem and available resources
  • We also need to be able to identify whether approved PPE is suitable for the incident conditions
  • Finally, we have to identify the emergency decontamination needs based on the scope of the problem
  • Requirements for implementing an action plan:
    • Establish and maintain scene control
    • Recognize and preserve evidence
    • Inspect, don, work in, go through decon, and doff approved PPE
    • Isolate contaminated tools, equipment, and PPE
    • Conduct gross decontamination of contaminated personnel, tools, equipment, and PPE in the field
    • Clean, disinfect, and inspect approved tools, equipment, and PPE

19:10 NFPA 1072 5.5 – Starting Emergency Decontamination

  • Responsibilities:
    • Select an emergency decontamination method
    • Set up an emergency decontamination in a safe area
    • Use PPE in the proper manner by implementing emergency decontamination
    • Prevent the spread of contamination
    • Avoid hazards during emergency decontamination

21:30 Process Evaluation and Reporting

  • Responsibilities:
    • Determine the incident status
    • Determine whether the response objectives are being accomplished
    • Use approved communications tools and equipment
    • Communicate the status of assigned tasks

23:20 NFPA 1072 Chapter 6 Overview

  • Deals with mission specific operations, which give the AHJ a little bit of wiggle room
  • Fills the gaps between an offensive technician and hands-off defensive operations-level personnel
  • Does this by allowing the AHJ to designate operations-level responders to perform additional tasks to support the response mission

24:15 NFPA 1072 6.2 – Personal Protective Equipment

  • Responsibilities:
    • Select PPE for the assignment
    • Inspect, maintain, store, don, work in, and doff PPE
    • Go through decontamination (emergency and technical) while wearing PPE
    • Report and document the use of PPE

25:40 NFPA 1072 6.3 – Mass Decontamination

  • Responsibilities:
    • Select and use PPE
    • Select a mass decontamination method to minimize the hazard
    • Set up and implement mass decontamination operations in a safe location
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the mass decontamination method
    • Complete required reports and supporting documentation for mass decontamination operations

27:30 NFPA 1072 6.4 – Technical Decontamination

  • Responsibilities:
    • Select and use PPE
    • Select a technical decontamination procedure to minimize the hazard
    • Set up and implement technical decontamination operations
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the technical decontamination process
    • Complete reporting and documentation requirements

29:20 NFPA 1072 6.5 – Evidence Preservation and Public Safety Sampling

  • Responsibilities:
    • Identify incidents with a potential violation of criminal statutes or governmental regulations
    • Identify the agency having investigative jurisdiction over an incident that’s potentially criminal in nature or a violation of government regulations
    • Operate field screening and sampling equipment to screen for corrosivity, flammability, oxidizers, radioactivity, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and fluorides
    • Secure, characterize, and preserve the scene
    • Identify and protect potential evidence until it can be collected by an agency with investigative authority
    • Follow chain-of-custody procedures
    • Characterize hazards
    • Perform protocols for field screening samples for admission into the laboratory response network or other forensic laboratory system
    • Protect evidence from secondary contamination
    • Determine agency having response authority to collect public safety samples
    • Collect public safety samples
    • Package and label samples
    • Obtain decontaminating samples
    • Determine the agency having investigative law enforcement authority to collect evidence and public safety samples
    • Decontaminate outside sample packaging
    • Prepare samples for protection and transportation to a laboratory
    • Complete required reports and supporting documentation for evidence preservation and public safety sampling operations

33:00 Product Control

  • Responsibilities:
    • Select and use PPE
    • Select and perform product control techniques to confine/contain the release with limited risk of personal exposure
    • Use approved control agents and equipment on a release involving hazardous materials or WMDs
    • Use remote control valves and emergency controls
    • Shut off devices on cargo tanks and intermodal tanks in transportation and containers at fixed facilities
    • Perform product control techniques

34:55 Detection, Monitoring, and Sampling

  • Responsibilities:
    • Select and use PPE
    • Understand field testing and be able to operate approved detection, monitoring, and sampling equipment
    • Read, interpret, and document readings from detection, monitoring, and sampling equipment
    • Communicate the results of our detection, monitoring, and sampling
    • Decontaminate the detection, monitoring, and sampling equipment
    • Maintain detection, monitoring, and sampling equipment according to the manufacturer’s specifications or AHJ policies and procedures
    • Complete the required reports and supporting documentation for detection, monitoring, and sampling operations

36:40 Victim Rescue and Recovery

  • Responsibilities:
    • Identify both rescue and recovery situations
    • Complete victim prioritizing and patient triaging
    • Select proper rescue or recovery options using available specialized rescue equipment
    • Select and use PPE for the victim and the rescuer
    • Search for, rescue, and recover victims
    • Complete required reports and supporting documentation for victim rescue and recovery operations

38:10 Response to Illicit Laboratories

  • Responsibilities:
    • Implement scene control procedures
    • Select and use PPE
    • Select detection, monitoring, and sampling equipment
    • Implement technical decontamination for personnel
    • Secure an illicit laboratory
    • Identify and isolate hazards
    • Identify safety hazards by conducting a joint hazardous materials/hazardous devices assessment operation
    • Decontaminate potential suspects and tactical law enforcement, personnel, weapons, and law enforcement canines
    • Complete required reports and supporting documentation for illicit laboratory response operations

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