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Annual Refresher Training

Updated January, 2012

Firefighters save lives Training saves firefighters
Review this power point and then follow the
link at the end to complete the test. You will
not receive credit for this drill if the test is
not completed.
Topics to be discussed
Introduction to hazardous materials
NFPA hazmat regulations
Accessing hazmat information
DOT Emergency Response Guidebook
Fire Department response to hazmat calls

Introduction to Hazmat
Prior to the 1940s most commonly recorded
disasters were linked to uncontrollable natural
events likes floods, fires and earthquakes.
Modern society has now also been confronted
with unnatural calamities associated with a variety
of chemical, petroleum and nuclear products.
These products are collectively referred to as
hazardous materials.
Examples of common hazardous

Humans depend heavily upon these items for our
own comfort, enjoyment and survival.
However, when these products become involved
in fires or other emergency incidents they can
create massive amounts of damage.
This could result in human harm or death.
It is the job of the fire service to understand how
to deal with these hazardous materials in order to
reduce community damages and fatalities.
General characteristics of Hazardous Materials
A hazardous material is any substance or
combination of substances that is potentially
damaging to health, well-being, or the
There are seven general classes of hazmats:
Flammable materials
Spontaneously ignitable materials
Corrosive materials
Toxic materials
Radioactive materials
Flammable Materials
These are solid, liquid,
vapor or gaseous materials
that ignite easily and burn
rapidly when exposed to
an ignition source
Examples include:
Commercial solvents (like
toluene and ethanol)
Dusts (like flour and finely
dispersed powders of
aluminum or other metals)
Fuels (like gasoline and
natural gas)

Spontaneously Ignitable Materials
Solid or liquid
materials that ignite
spontaneously without
an exposure to an
ignition source.
Examples include:
White phosphorus
Aluminum alkyl

Chemical substances
that detonate.
Detonation is usually
initiated by a shock or
the localized
concentration of heat.
Examples include
TNT (trinitrotoluene)

Substances that
generate oxygen at
room temperature, or
when exposed to heat.
This can result in a
fire or explosion.
Examples include:
Ammonium nitrate
Dibenzoyl peroxide

Corrosive Materials
Solid or liquid
materials that burn or
otherwise damage skin
tissue at the site of
Examples include:
Battery acids
Toxic Materials
Substances that cause
adverse health effects
or death in individuals
who are exposed to
relatively small doses.
Examples include:
Carbon monoxide

Radioactive Materials
Substances that emit
When exposed to
radiation it may result
in adverse health
effects or death.
Examples include:
NFPA Hazmat Regulations
The NFPA has developed a system for rapidly
identifying potentially hazardous materials.
This system is called the NFPA 704 Hazmat
Marking System, and uses a combination of colors
and numbers to inform first responders of the
potential dangers of various hazardous materials.
Facilities that transport, store, or use hazardous
materials in their daily operations are required to
place placards on all shipping and storage
containers that contain hazardous materials.
NFPA 704 Hazmat Marking

NFPA 704
This system is a diamond placard that is broken
down into 4 quadrants.
Each quadrant is a different color, representing
different hazards that are associated with any
specific chemical.
Inside each quadrant is a number from 0-4,
signifying the severity of that hazard.
0 means no hazard and 4 means maximum hazard
NFPA 704
The diamond on the left side is colored blue, representing a
chemicals health hazard.

0= materials that on exposure would offer no hazard beyond that of an
ordinary combustible material

1= materials that on exposure would cause irritation but only minor
residual injury, even if no treatment was given

2= materials that on intense or continued exposure could cause
temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury, unless prompt
medical treatment was given

3= materials that on short exposure could cause serious temporary or
residual injury, even though prompt medical treatment was given

4= materials that on very short exposure could cause death or major
residual injury, even though prompt medical treatment was given
NFPA 704
The diamond on the top is colored red, representing the
chemicals fire hazard.

0= materials that will not burn

1= materials that must be preheated before ignition can occur

2= materials that must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively
high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur

3= liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient
temperature conditions

4= materials that will rapidly or completely vaporize at atmospheric
pressure and normal ambient temperature, or that are readily
dispersed in air, and will burn readily
NFPA 704
The diamond on the right is colored yellow, representing
the chemicals reactivity hazard.

0= materials that by themselves are normally stable, even under fire
exposure conditions, and which are not reactive with water

1= materials that by themselves are normally stable, but which can
become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures or which
may react with water with some release of energy, but not violently

2= materials that by themselves are normally unstable and readily
undergo violent chemical change, but do not detonate. Also,
materials that may react violently with water or may form
potentially explosive mixtures with water
Reactivity Hazard, cont
3= materials that by themselves are capable of detonation
or explosive reaction but require a strong initiating
source or that must be heated under confinement before
initiation, also may react explosively with water

4= materials that by themselves are readily capable of
detonation or explosive decomposition or reaction at
normal temperatures and pressures
NFPA 704
The diamond on the bottom is colored
white, and may have different symbols
inside of it, representing different hazards
associated with that chemical

No symbol means there are no additional threats to
worry about
A three bladed propeller means that the chemical has a
radiation hazard
The letter W with a line drawn through it is advising
not to apply water to the chemical
The letters OXY indicate that the material is an
oxidizer (it will help other things burn)
NFPA 704
Remember, even though this marking system is
very helpful for initially determining what types of
hazards a specific chemical has, it does not tell
you the name of the chemical or any more detailed
Whenever there is a hazmat incident, you must use
all resources available to you to determine the
exact chemical and all of its hazards.
Where else can you find
information about a chemical?
If the hazmat incident is at a building, often times
there is a manager or other employee who can tell
you exactly what you are dealing with, and how
much of the material is involved.
If the incident has happened on a road, train track,
or other travel routes, then the truck driver or
engineer should have shipping documents with
them. These documents can be found:
In the cab of a motor vehicle
In the possession of a train crew member
In a holder on the bridge of a ship
In the possession of an aircraft pilot
Shipping Documents
Shipping documents are papers that provide
vital information about items that are being
shipped. It includes such information as:
The materials name
The hazard class of the material
Material ID number
A description of the hazards of the material and
the proper way to mitigate an incident
involving that material
Other sources of information:
Some transportation vehicles will have a placard with a 4
digit number on it. This number can be referenced in
hazmat manuals to find the exact name and properties of a
Call a 24 hour emergency response service to obtain
updated information on how to deal with any type of
hazardous material. Their contact information can be found
on the inside back cover of your Emergency Response
Guidebook. These companies include:
THE MILITARY (if involving a military shipment)
Emergency Response Guidebook
This guidebook is available on every fire truck and
ambulance operated by the Newstead Fire
Company. Guidebooks are located in the front cab
of each truck, near the driver. All line officers
should also have a copy in their vehicles.
It is primarily a guide to aid first responders in
quickly identifying the specific or generic hazards
of the material(s) involved in an incident, and
protecting themselves and the general public
during the initial phase of the incident.
ERG (cont)
This guidebook will assist responders in making
initial decisions upon arriving at the scene of a
dangerous goods/ hazmat incident.
It should not be considered as a substitute for
emergency response training, knowledge, or sound
It does not address all possible circumstances that
might be encountered at a hazmat incident.
It is primarily designed for use at an incident
occurring on a highway or railroad.
It may have only limited value at an incident in a
fixed-facility location (example: I Squared R)
Click the link below to view a video about how to
use the Emergency Response Guidebook. (If the
video does not automatically open, then you will
need to click on the videos tab, then the
hazmat tab, and finally The emergency response
guidebook 2008 video .)
Fire Department Response to
Hazmat Calls
When responding to an incident that may
potentially involve hazardous materials,
always approach cautiously from upwind
(and uphill whenever possible). Resist the
urge to rush in and remember that others
cant be helped until the scene has been
fully assessed.

Secure the scene. Without entering the
immediate hazard area, isolate the area and
assure the safety of people and the
environment. Keep people away from the
scene and outside of the safety perimeter.
Identify the hazards by looking for
placards or shipping papers or by talking to
people who are knowledgeable about the
materials involved. Use your 3 step plan to
determine what your initial risks might be.
Assess the situation. Consider the following:
Is there a fire, spill or leak?
What are the weather conditions?
What is the terrain like?
Who/what is at risk: people, property, or the
What actions should be taken (use your 3 step plan)? Is
an evacuation necessary? Is diking necessary? What
resources (human and equipment) are required, and are
they readily available?
What can be done/needs to be done immediately to
mitigate the situation?
Obtain help. Seek assistance from the Clarence
and Erie County Hazmat Teams.
Decide on site entry for the hazmat team. Any
efforts made to rescue persons, protect property or
the environment must be weighed against the
possibility that you could become part of the
problem. Hazmat teams should enter the area only
when wearing appropriate protective gear.
Respond in an appropriate manner. Establish a
command post and lines of communication.
Rescue casualties if possible and evacuate if
necessary. Maintain control of the site.
Continually reassess the situation and modify your
plans accordingly. Your first duty is to consider
the safety of the people in the immediate area,
including your own.
Above all- do not walk into or touch any
spilled material. Avoid inhalation of fumes,
smoke and vapors. Do not assume that
gases or vapors are harmless because of a
lack of smell. Odorless gases or vapors may
be extremely hazardous.

Remember that the Newstead Fire Company is
only at a Hazardous Materials First Responder
We can use our ERG manuals to determine what
initial actions are to be taken at an incident, but we
are not trained to enter any hot zones. We can
simply secure the area and ensure that all of the
appropriate resources are on the way.
Like at any emergency situation, accountability
and firefighter safety are our top priorities. If
we take all of the necessary precautions then we
will ensure that we all go home at the end of the
Chemical Suicides
A new technique for committing suicide is
mixing together certain combinations of
house hold chemicals and then breathing in
the fumes. This is a quick and painless
death, but creates a hazmat situation for first
responders, as they too can die from
breathing in these fumes.
Chemical Suicides
Click the link below to watch a safety video presented by the
Sarasota County Emergency Services. While some of the
info in the video is particular to Sarasota County, keep in
mind that there have been documented cases of chemical
suicides in New York State, and that all first responders
should follow the safety guidelines noted in the video.
Click on the link below to access the test
questions. You must complete this test to
receive credit for the drill.