Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 10:28:30 -0800
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Holland, Duv**At_Symbol_Here**CDCR" <Duv.Holland**At_Symbol_Here**CDCR.CA.GOV>
Subject: Re: SOP for First Responders
In-Reply-To: <4D10827D.FB11.0089.1**At_Symbol_Here**>

This is covere d by OSHA's HAZWOPER standard.  Subsection (q) addresses emergency response at a H az Mat incident (which this would be by definition if police or fire were dispatched) and outlines the training levels for responders (police, fire, etc). 
 < /DIV>
Typically, Pol ice departments are trained to a First Responder Awareness (FRA) level so they can recognize a Haz Mat incident, respond to an incident, secure the scene (big gest role of Police...they are very good at setting up perimeters and keeping pe ople out), and make notifications.  At the FRA level, they would not be involved in doing anything to stop or contain a leak.  They would simp ly make sure that folks had gotten out of the lab/building/area, make sure tha t nobody went back into the secured area, make sure fire or other emergency responders were notified, etc. 
Your average F ire Department is training to First Responder Operational (FRO) level.  Th ey can do the same things as the FRA level responders, plus do defensive containment.  This is doing something away from the spill its elf to keep the spill from getting worse or control where it goes.  In a Chemistry lab, they might enter the lab itself, if they knew the chemical and it was safe to do so.  More likely is that the response w ould simply resemble a FRA level response because FRO level responders are not responsible for plugging or patching leaks, coming in contact with the substance at its source, etc.  While firefighters have SCBA on board, FRO level responders are not trained, nor they have the PPE to take aggressive actions or clean up the spill.
 < /DIV>
Fully trained, equipped, and suited up Haz Mat teams are Technician and Specialist level responders that might be able to enter the spill area.  Typically, they will take time to mobilize (full team with specialty equipment, etc) and this will be a full team.  Offensive actions where the responders may come in con tact with the substance during an emergency require full teams of this sort.
 < /DIV>
IMHO, the most prudent coarse of action with regard to an SOP is to:
  • If the spill is indeed an emergency, require all individuals to evacuate and make notifications (ca ll 911, activate alarms, whatever your procedures are) per your emergency plan
  • Require the Police Dept to become FRA level tr ained, and to maintain this certification with an annual refresher
    < /LI>
  • Know the capabilities and training level of your local Fire Dept. so you know what you can expect o f them in an emergency
  • In the event of an eme rgency, be prepared to fully inform the police and fire of the chemical(s) involv ed, quantities, etc.  If you cannot disclose what it is, how much was spilled, what the hazards are, etc, they won't be able to do much beside keep people (including themselves) far from the spill area.
  • Again, be prepared to fully inform responders of the chemicals, quantities, and hazards.
  • Did I mention to discl ose the hazards to the responders? :-)
  • As for the SOP, your p art of it would be to identify what is considered an emergency (as you know, some s mall spills of known substances can readily be dealt with w/o requiring an emergency response), how people will evacuate the lab, who to call/notify , and where responders can get good information on the spilled substances.  ; The campus police dept. should also be writing their own SOP on their training/response level (FRA vs. FRO), how they will respond, how they wi ll secure the scene, etc.   Basically, information specific to the ir response and how they conduct their police business.  This could be combined into one document, but I certainly wouldn't expect you to know t heir police-specific information and response procedures.
    Regarding PPE, if lab experiments are going on requiring the students to wear eye protection, tha t eye protection should also be provided to and required of anybody else ent ering the lab.  I will note, however, that it doesn't sound like this w ould be a first/emergency response  if the lab is full of students actively completing their experiments.  If it truly was an emergency response requiring first responders, the first step would be to evacuate all personnel (a small spill not hazardous enough to remove people from the area would not be considered an emergency response).

    From: DCHAS -L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Katherine Wall
    Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:34 AM
    To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
    Subject: [DCHAS-L] SOP for First Responders

    The chief of our campus police has asked me to write up a SOP for his staff when dealing with an emergency in the Chemistry labs.  I have a CHP th at talks about emergency situations, but he is looking for something very spec ific that can be used for training.  Does anyone have something like that I could use as a guide?
    Also, do you require the first responders (police, fire fighters, EMTs, etc.) to put on safety goggles or glasses before entering a Chemistry lab that could be full of students activity completing their experiments?
    Thank you!
    Kathy Wall
    Chemistry Lab Coordinator
    Office SCI 204
    Waubonsee Community College
    Rt 47 at Waubonsee Dr.
    Sugar Grove, IL  60554
    (630) 466-7900 ext 2347
    email kwall**At_Symbol_Here**

    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This message, inclu ding any attachment(s), is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidentia l and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delive ry of the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the Technical Assist ance Center immediately by telephone at 630-466-4357 and then delete the message from your system. Thank you.

    Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

    The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
    The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.