Thread: FRO and Decon

  1. #1
    Jason_Moats Guest

    Post FRO and Decon

    I am doing a bit of informal research on whether operations level people can/should do decon.
    Based on a couple of incidents and safety issues raised in the recent past, I was asked to re-evaluate the stance of this issue.

    The primary standard - which governs all hazardous materials responders, states that FRO shall be able to implement basic Decon procedures. However, it does not specifically state they will do decon. NFPA 472 is much more specific. In the majority of departments, a decon line would not be completed without the help of operations level responders.

    In light of this, and in accordance with the standard (29 CFR 1910.120) it may be construed that the operations classes should be more than 24 hours.

    My real questions are since NFPA 472 is only a recommendation for hazmat teams:
    1) Should OPS level responders do decon, especially if the decon requires level encapsulated level B or level A protection?

    2) If you teach decon and PPE, how long is your overall course AND how long do you take to do "hands-on"? AND does everyone have to successfully put on a suit and take one off?

    3) Has anyone ever been slammed by OSHA for letting ops level people do decon/don protective clothing?
    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Petie Guest


    FRO should be able to conduct hazmat decon provided they are properly trained and equipped. Not only does this make sense but it is part of Hazwoper and NFPA 472. It is also reasonable as any responder could become contaminated at a moments notice and there may be no time to wait for the hazmat team to arrive, set-up decon equipment, and then dress deconners to do the decon.

    Training I have conducted includes a 3 hour course above the base operations course that pertains specifically to decon. This course includes what decon is, why it is important, and how to conduct safe decon. It is a hands-on course where I have all participants get into an all encapsulating Level B disposable suit in order to conduct decon. All of the equipment I outline for every fire department to acquire to do safe and proper decon costs approximately $500, and this includes a minimum of four Level B suits. My thinking is to over-protect the responders by using SCBA and disposable suits. This is the safest way. The training is important! All responders must be trained to do any task that they are required to do. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Litch Guest


    I coordinate a decon task force. Our members are trained to the operations level with additional training of about 6 hours in decon specific issues and protective clothing selection and donning. The decon group operates in level "B" protection.

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