Hey I don't wana start another argument but what is everyone's response to these hoaxes that have been occuring. Here in Jefferson County we send an EMS Suprivisor and they determine response form there. Since EMS is the head agency for Haz-Mat here they call the shoots as far as response currently to these incidents.
You are not starting arguments. Your questions are valid.
In NJ, the NJ State Police has directed that all these incidents be handled as crime scenes. The police are in charge, just as in any other crime scene.
In Morris County, we are running a task force with Detectives, trained as hazmat techs or bomb techs, running to the jobs after they have been secured and evaluated by first responding officers. After the evaluation, the appropriate response is determined. For example, we are no longer handling mail that has no threat level (ie; no residue, staining or threats). However, when there is a powder or similar substance, the detectives will go in and document the scene, collect the evidence and determine the extent of the contamination. The hazmat team or FD provides the back up. Once the forensic aspect has been taken care of, the scene is turned over the haz mat team, if warranted. Many times, the residue is very, very small in quantity and the building is turned over the owner and the public health officials who monitor the clean up.
We need to remember to keep these incidents in perspective. The overwhelming majority are bogus. Some are honest fear and panic. Some are hoaxes. We should aggresively prosecute those who perpetrate these hoaxes as if they were actual incidents.