About the program
When a hazmat incident occurs, somebody has to be in charge. This person is called the incident commander. It is the incident commander's job to implement a command system, to set up a command station, to oversee support personnel, and to bring the incident to a successful termination. The major concerns during the emergency are the safety of the emergency responders and the protection of civilians and the environment.
The responsibilities of the incident commander, especially during the confusion of a hazardous materials emergency, can appear to be overwhelming. But with proper training and planning, the incident commander and the emergency response team can work together in an organized manner to conclude the incident in an efficient, effective and professional manner. HazMat Command is a two-tape video series designed to provide training and assistance to personnel who may be called upon to assume control of a hazardous materials emergency. The first film, Sizing up the Hazardous Materials Incident, tells how to set up a command system and discusses methods of gathering information at hazardous materials incidents. Part two of HazMat Command, Managing the Hazardous Materials Incident, shows how to organize the incident scene and discusses command post operations.
OSHA standard 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Hazwoper) states that Incident Commanders must train and their employers must so certify. HazMat Command is a valuable aid in setting up a training program that conforms to OSHA standards.
Sizing up the Hazardous Materials Incident explains the importance of the command system and defines the duties of the incident commander. It explains that the most important question to be answered in any hazmat emergency is what chemical or chemicals are involved, and tells how to find out the answer to that question. Other critical size-up factors are also discussed. The importance of implementing incident command right from the start of the incident is stressed, as well as the need to continue size-up throughout the entire incident. Other topics covered include air monitoring, toxicity, fire and reactivity hazards, site control and transferring command. (17 minutes)
Managing the Hazardous Materials Incident tells how to set up an efficient command post, and how to organize the incident area into the Hot Zone, Warm Zone, Decon Area and Cold Zone. This film also discusses organizing the support system into sectors in order to limit confusion at the command post, and discusses the responsibilities of each sector. Tactical priorities are outlined, and both offensive and defensive strategies are covered. Other subjects in the film include the selection of chemical protective clothing, preparing the entry team, fire suppression activities, decontamination, termination of the incident and debriefing of response personnel. The value of a post-incident meeting to improve the response is stressed. (22 minutes)