Thread: Chlorine Gas

  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Default Chlorine Gas

    What is the protocol for handling a known chlorine gas leak with one DOA- Is Hazmat necessary or just an option- how should firefighters prepare to handle situation?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    mdcook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Finger Lakes Region, NY

    Post Response to chlorine leak

    Since the department that I belong to has a waste water treatment facility in our jurisdiction and the counth haz mat team I am on has several drinking and waste water plants in the county, I have been involved in this discussion before. My own departemnt would respond to a chlorine leak as haz mat operations level only. This would mean that we would establish a defensive perimeter and conduct any information gathering from a distance. If it was known that there were people in the hot area, the probalility of them being alive is low. I would recommoned that they be treated as a recovery than a rescue, unless you saw someone moving and could get to them without putting your personnel in danger. Remember, at the operations level, the only protection you have is your turn out gear and SCBA. That is not much against a chemical which can easily penetrate structural turn out gear.
    As a member of the county haz mat team, we would interface with the incident commander's system and at least do a recce to determine the exact cause of the leak, number of victims and whether more specilized help was needed. This would be done after the establishment of a decon area, getting four people in level A suits (two for entry, two for back up), getting current weather readings, and trying to talk to either someone from the shipper or someone that knows the plant. After we get more precise information, a course of action would be determined by those in charge. That course may involve us using our chlorine leak kits to patch something or just closing a valve. One nevers knows.
    Hope this answers your question. If you interested in this subject, I would suggest you talk to those in charge of your department and your local haz mat team.

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