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  1. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber sdff1520's Avatar
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    Mostly haz-mat awareness here in rural area. I don't recall ever responding to a haz-mat incident or even hearing about our department doing it in past history (other than a bit of leaking fuel from a vehicle accident). Does that mean it won't ever happen? Certainly not! Problem with haz-mat training is it's very hard for everybody to see the value in dedicating the time and $ for haz-mat training when the frequency of incident is low or non-existent. Becomes a kind of cost/benefit risk analysis deal. We have a limited amount of hours available for training, and must use that time wisely and we choose to train for things that have a bit higher odds of happening? Would I prefer everyone to be operations level, yep...but just not realistic for us. We can only ask our firefighters to take so much time away from personal lives for department training. Vehicle Extrication, Structural Fire, Wildland Fire, Confined Space, RIT, refresher training on how to operate the massive quantity of equipment we have (saws, pumps, TI, CGI, SCBA, communications, the list goes on). It's difficult to keep evereyone proficient on the above topics and equipment...currently there just isn't room or time for haz-mat ops.


  2. #22
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    No requirement for haz-mat training in Louisiana. Outside of the larger cities, which may haver thier own haz-mat teams, haz-mat is thre responsibility of the State Police. Each barracks has "haz-mat troopers" who respond with contract teams to handle it. Often the fire department is not even called unless threat of fire, or there is a fire.
    Our department does not do any "formal certification" haz-mat training, however we do train extensivly on flammable liquid fires (at some wonderful facilities in TX) as we have a meduim sized refinary in our district as well as natural gas incidents, as we have 2 large pipelines running through our area. We have plugs that we use on leaking gas tanks and small natural gas lines ... that's the extent of our haz-mat equipment.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-06-2005 at 11:44 AM.

  3. #23
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    Here in Ohio we are trained at the Awareness level in FF1 class and Operations if you go on to FF2 class. Most area Departments require Operations no matter what FF cert you recieve.
    Scott you say your an instructor so you may know.
    Ohio isnít an OSHA state is it?
    So after you get your FFI and or FFII thatís it unless your department makes you keep it up or get more training you donít have to be even Awareness level.
    Help me with this one too Scott, in Ohio after you get your FFI or FFII thatís it you donít have to do any more training ever for life and you will still be a FFI or FFII. The state requires no minimum training per year after your FFI or FFII do they. Maybe Ohio isnít the only state that doesnít require any more training but to me it they all should. I know most of you are saying that all departments have training but your wrong! Theirs more departments out their than you think that do NO training. Some say it cost too much, some say they donít need it and Iv even heard that some say it will cost too much if someone gets hurt training (workers comp. manpower).
    Most again Most departments out their do a great job of continuing training but it would be better if the states or fed's set some minimum standards on amounts of continuing training a fire fighter must have each year.
    Thanks I'm done now
    FireMurph

  4. #24
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    Ohio isn't an OSHA state is it?
    We see this a lot.

    It doesn't matter if your state is "an OSHA State" or not. If your state is one of these so-called "Non-OSHA States" it is because they have their own state agency responsible for enforcing OSHA regulations. By federal law, no state may disregard or create labor safety standards that are less stringent than OSHA rules.

    In Illinois we have the Illinois Department of Labor. They adopt OSHA regs verbatim. Any changes ever made are to make the regulation MORE stringent. This is the law.

    Pretty much all it does is create another state agency to do what the federal OSHA could be doing. It does not relieve any of us of the legal, moral, or ethical obligation to provide a "safe" work environment. Or in our case, as safe as possible or practical.
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  5. #25
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    More on the OSHA, non-OSHA issue...

    Texas, for example, is a non-OSHA state, but we are bound by the OSHA regs related to HAZMAT because the EPA (which is over every state) adopted the OSHA regs as their own. So every state in the USofA is bound by these laws.

    They require:
    Incident command to be used at every HAZMAT incident.

    A safety officer to be in place (this job actually can be done by the IC also).

    Anyone who RESPONDS to a KNOWN HAZMAT incident to be trained to the operations level...does this mean that if you're a firefighter you must be trained to ops level? No...it just means that you shouldn't be responding to a HAZMAT call...it's basically a service that your department can't provide (legally, anyway).

    There are many other requirements related to documentation and legal stuff. Too many to list. The NFA Hazardous Materials Incident Mgmt class covers all this legalese in detail.

  6. #26
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    In Montana:

    We are supposed to be awarness level. The vast majority of FDs would not be able to aford and maintan serious hazmat gear.

    So with the given PPE and training limitations the rule of the land is evacuate and isolate and just wait.

    There are 6 regional Hazmat teams in the State funded by DHS money. They are supposed to be able to respond to any location in the state within 4 hours.

    They are incidently the paid/career fire departments in the state.

    Works out pretty good. The Urban areas get the DHS funded Hazmat goodies, the rurl guys dont have to put in to many hours or find money thats not there for Hazmat gear.

    There are not a lot of Hazmat incidents thank God.

    I know the 4 hours sounds like a long time, and it is, but this is a state that is REALY spread out.
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  7. #27
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    Lightbulb

    Haz-Mat Ops training is not a State, local or OSHA option. It is Federal Law under the Codeof Federal Regualtions. Why do your personnel need to be OPS trained:

    1. Awarenes or R&I instructors are told to make the students understand that they are not allowed to respond to a known Haz-mat incident. Per DOT an MVA is a haz-mat incident as it involves the release of DOT regulated materials or the potential release of DOT regulated materials.

    2. Haz-mat Ops training involves more indepth container and marking recognition. (RESQ 14 your awareness training was either real goor or the OPS class was bad if you couldn't see an appreciable difference- probably MFT&E the blight of fire training in Maine)

    3. A reliable Haz-Mat team should't have top go to all of your car accidents and fires to babysit any spilled liquids. How can you be certain that the liqid coming from the trunk area is just gasoline (nice and safe) as opposed to methyl-ethyl-bad-Sh*t?

    4. Our haz-amt team can sustain Tech operations in our town using our OPS people for decon. When we respond out of town we rely on the FD to assist with decon, they must be trained to do so.

    5. Legend has it: Back in the 80's FDNY was cited for allowing officers to evacuate city blocks at Haz-Mat incidents, because the offiers were not trained to the IC level of Haz-mat. I'm not sure who did the citing, but evidenatlly FDNY trained their officers after this to avoid consequence.

    Unfortuneatley , this is another federal mandate that most departments cannot keep up with and still maintain a quality fire training program. With all of the mandates: haz-mat, pathogens, sexual harassment, diversity training and then fire training, most volunteers are getting tired of it. Hell, even of fulltime personnel want a little time at home.


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  8. #28
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    Originally posted by RFDACM
    Haz-Mat Ops training is not a State, local or OSHA option. It is Federal Law under the Codeof Federal Regualtions. Why do your personnel need to be OPS trained:

    1. Awarenes or R&I instructors are told to make the students understand that they are not allowed to respond to a known Haz-mat incident. Per DOT an MVA is a haz-mat incident as it involves the release of DOT regulated materials or the potential release of DOT regulated materials.

    2. Haz-mat Ops training involves more indepth container and marking recognition. (RESQ 14 your awareness training was either real goor or the OPS class was bad if you couldn't see an appreciable difference- probably MFT&E the blight of fire training in Maine)

    3. A reliable Haz-Mat team should't have top go to all of your car accidents and fires to babysit any spilled liquids. How can you be certain that the liqid coming from the trunk area is just gasoline (nice and safe) as opposed to methyl-ethyl-bad-Sh*t?

    4. Our haz-amt team can sustain Tech operations in our town using our OPS people for decon. When we respond out of town we rely on the FD to assist with decon, they must be trained to do so.
    1 - Please provide some documentation on this one. I've been doing this for a little while, and I have never heard of this. I do not believe that an MVC is a "known hazmat incident."

    2- Our awareness training has traditionally been taught by DEP... and it has always been very thorough.

    3. OPS vs. Awareness on this one? You're telling me there is something in the OPS curriculum that will let you perform chemical analyses on "liquids coming from the trunk?" Hardly. It's the same AWARENESS material, using the same resources.

    4. I don't care to be in a hot zone or warm zone. My department is not equipped to do so anyway. Like I said, there are professional companies in my area that are on call 24/7 who are far better trained and equipped to do this. Even if that means calling in a 2nd regional team... that's fine by me. We have resources available that can be called in.

    There are limits to training a small group of personnel, and equipping them with the appropriate tools... while maintaining adequate proficiency in bread-n-butter fireground operations. Again, a low-incidence/high-risk scenario poses many dangers to personnel. In my opinion, it's best to leave hazmat to people with the best KSAEE's, rather than dabble in it.
    Last edited by Resq14; 05-07-2005 at 12:50 PM.
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  9. #29
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=20421


    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=24753


    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=20616


    I have no problem letting other people build dikes, decon, and take other defensive actions. I have zero interest in it. Not everyone wants to SCUBA dive, or dangle from a rope, or crawl onto thin ice. Awareness training will keep you safe. If you plan on doing more than that, by all means, move up the training ladder.
    Last edited by Resq14; 05-07-2005 at 01:08 PM.
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  10. #30
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    Originally posted by Firemurph


    Scott you say your an instructor so you may know.
    Ohio isnít an OSHA state is it?
    So after you get your FFI and or FFII thatís it unless your department makes you keep it up or get more training you donít have to be even Awareness level.
    Help me with this one too Scott, in Ohio after you get your FFI or FFII thatís it you donít have to do any more training ever for life and you will still be a FFI or FFII. The state requires no minimum training per year after your FFI or FFII do they. FireMurph
    Well, Ohio isn't an OSHA state, though as others just mentioned, that doesn't matter much. We are still responsible for all the normal rules that OSHA would place upon us.

    As far as the training thing, yep, Ohio certifies for life (currently), meaning that once your card is in your pocket, you never need to do another hour of training. I hate this rule and have been hoping for years that they change it, its been rumored to be changing to a few hours a year in the future, but just rumors so far.

    We'll see. I just spent the day on a training burn for my level 1 class. Those kids have a long way to go, I'd hate it if mine was the last class that they ever took. But technically, it could be.

    Stay safe.
    Scott

  11. #31
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    Federal Regulations can make your head spin.

    Your best defense...use your head and make good decisions that keep people from getting hurt in the first place.

    This whole debate reminds me of the probably apopcraphyl story of the OSHA inspector being asked about red-bagging biohazards...

    "So, you'll cite us if you find a bloody bandage disposed of in the trash?"
    "Yep, have to red bag them."
    "What about tampons in the bathroom?"
    "Uh..."

    Because while I don't go into Women's bathrooms in workplaces all over the U.S. on a regular basis, I'm pretty sure the factory down the street doesn't have red bags there for the tampons or napkins to go in. But if you want to get nitty gritty on the exact intrepretation of regulations...under 1910.1030(b) "regulated waste" includes "contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed" and under 1910.1030(g)(1)(i)(A) "Warning labels shall be affixed to containers of regulated waste."

    So if you really want to see industry pop a nutty, tell them every bathroom in the nation has to have a red-bag garbage can and they have to pay for bio-hazard disposal to comply with 1910.1030...

    ========
    Similiarly, try and make sense of this:

    1910.120(a)(3)
    Emergency response or responding to emergencies means a response effort by employees from outside the immediate release area or by other designated responders (i.e., mutual aid groups, local fire departments, etc.) to an occurrence which results, or is likely to result, in an uncontrolled release of a hazardous substance. Responses to incidental releases of hazardous substances where the substance can be absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled at the time of release by employees in the immediate release area, or by maintenance personnel are not considered to be emergency responses within the scope of this standard. Responses to releases of hazardous substances where there is no potential safety or health hazard (i.e., fire, explosion, or chemical exposure) are not considered to be emergency responses.

    1910.120(q)
    Emergency response program to hazardous substance releases. This paragraph covers employers whose employees are engaged in emergency response

    1910.120(q)(6)
    Training. Training shall be based on the duties and function to be performed by each responder of an emergency response organization. The skill and knowledge levels required for all new responders, those hired after the effective date of this standard, shall be conveyed to them through training before they are permitted to take part in actual emergency operations on an incident. Employees who participate, or are expected to participate, in emergency response, shall be given training in accordance with the following paragraphs:

    1910.120(q)(6)(i)
    First responder awareness level. First responders at the awareness level are individuals who are likely to witness or discover a hazardous substance release and who have been trained to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release.

    1910.120(q)(6)(ii)
    First responder operations level. First responders at the operations level are individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release.

    So in the case of (q)(6) we have it specifying training for those who "Employees who participate, or are expected to participate, in emergency response" and what is the very first thing listed? Haz-Mat Awareness!

    (q)(6)(ii) goes on to say the Haz-Mat Ops is for those who respond to "respond to releases...for the purpose of protecting"

    Which of course is where the people who say a car leaking gas/anti-freeze/oil is a haz-mat.

    But let's remember to go back and look at (a)(3) -- "Responses to incidental releases of hazardous substances where the substance can be absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled at the time of release by employees in the immediate release area, or by maintenance personnel are not considered to be emergency responses within the scope of this standard."

    Just like I don't go into women's bathrooms, I'm no administrative lawyer either...but I'm going to betcha you can drive a Mack Truck through the word "incidental" as it relates to typical fire department responses to house fires, car fires, MVAs, etc where yes, there may be some hazardous material involved but it's nature and quantity are not consequential. As Awareness trained, combined with firefighter training, we should be assumed competent to making that determination, or at the worse case being conservative and calling our local agency having jurisdiction over haz-mat and consulting with them whether an ops/tech level response is needed. And since OSHA doesn't define "Maintenance Personnel" in 1910-120, you'd have a strong arguement that the response of a FD to a small release of common materials (like gasoline) isn't materially different than a maintenance worker at a large plant. A factory employs it's own workers to clean up such minor spills; the public employs or has volunteer firefighters to do the same.

    Which I think comes down to this:

    Use common sense.

    Ops is good, and lets you start defensive operations on spills that are more than incidental.

    But ****ing away time complaining that people need awareness...well, I wouldn't waste my time complaining about it. Far more things get far more firefighters killed & injured every year, and if we're arguing where exactly the line is between a bandage and a tampon when it comes time for OSHA citations, that's probably time better spent on physical fitness, driving skills, and how to fight a fire efficiently.
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  12. #32
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Amen.
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  13. #33
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    Lightbulb Lets start with a legal response!

    I agree however fire departments should not be in violation of OSHA law before they arrival on scene.If is any indication that HazMat is suspected on scene and the department is not at the operations level,the department is in violation.Lets try to at get off to a safe and legal start to the response, even if the department takes no other action other they identification,isolation and evaculation.Fire departments have a little grace from OSHA when dealing with common flammable liquids and gases such as gasoline or propane.The key word is a known HazMat!!
    Last edited by coldfront; 05-08-2005 at 12:56 PM.
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