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Incident information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Approach hazardous material incidents at slow speed from upwind and higher-level ground where possible 

  • Control measure - Guidance

    When approaching the incident use visual and other incident indicators to inform situational awareness

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use weather information systems to identify impact of wind, rain and temperature on the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Gather incident information from a suitable safe distance based on hazard assessment

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify clear avoidance routes to the scene of operations and confirm them to all personnel

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Observe individuals for signs of exposure or contamination and check for consistency against identification

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Adopt 'STEP 1-2-3+: Safety Triggers for Emergency Personnel'

  • Assess the impact on the environment. see National Operational Guidance: Environmental protection
  • Further incident information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access any operational or site specific risk information (SSRI) and confirm accuracy

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access any available emergency response plan and implement appropriate predetermined actions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and contact the responsible person to understand incident factors and history

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Adopt a cautious approach to situational awareness where there are no immediate threats to life

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Set up improvised wind monitoring devices to indicate current and changing conditions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider deliberate reconnaissance based on a joint understanding of risk

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Use waterproof chemical/substance information boards to retrieve information from the scene

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the location of motorway pollution control devices (PCD) and operate as necessary

Resource information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting the attendance of hazardous materials adviser (HMA)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Request appropriate specialist resources and equipment for hazardous material incidents

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting the attendance of a competent person, subject matter expert or tactical adviser

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the availability of pollution control equipment and/or pollution containment facilities on site

  • Further resource information

    • Ensure that an area safety check is carried out whenever attending an RVP or marshalling area

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting a drone to assist with informing accurate situational awareness

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting the attendance of a competent person, subject matter expert or tactical adviser

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting the attendance of hazardous materials adviser (HMA)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request DIM resources from the NRFC if required, using agreed protocols

Risk information

  • Release or spill of hazardous material

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings, container types and detection equipment to identify substance

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the construction, condition and stressors acting on the ineffective containment systems

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the presence and effectiveness of secondary and tertiary containment (e.g. bund)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use incident indicators and container volume to estimate the quantity of material involved

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify additives that may treat or neutralise chemical hazards in liaison with a hazardous materials adviser (HMA)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure all personnel wear PPE according to service risk assessment and procedures for HazMat incidents

  • Fire water run off

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider a controlled burn strategy and communicate this to personnel and relevant authorities
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider carrying out an environmental risk assessment to identify:

      • Site drainage
      • local surface waters and/or groundwater and vulnerability
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the availability of pollution control equipment and/or pollution containment facilities on site

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider identifying areas of operation where a reduced use water strategy can be initiated without significantly increasing the risk of fire spread or compromising safety
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Attempt to control pollution using a Source – Pathway - Receptor model

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify potential drainage routes for fire water run-off and released vehicle content

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider future disposal options. See section Disposal

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the possible recirculation of fire water run-off, to reduce water used

  • Foam and other firefighting agents

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Make every effort to prevent firefighting foam entering surface and groundwater during an incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Where foam has been applied and there is a significant risk to the environment, evaluate:

      • Alternative types of foam (if available)
      • Using a different extinguishing media
      • High-pressure water fogging systems (if available)
      • Adopting a controlled burn strategy. See Controlled burn
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the location of motorway pollution control devices (PCD) and operate as necessary

  • Smoke plumes and vapour clouds

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Balance the risks between extinguishing and allowing a controlled burn

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the impact of smoke plume on downwind life risk, road users and other transport networks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting an air quality cell

  • Polluting materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the availability of pollution control equipment and/or pollution containment facilities on site

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider the appropriate type of absorbent to be used for the pollutants
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that if detergents or other chemicals are added to spillages to assist with clean up or treatment the resulting mixture is not to be flushed down drains

    • Control measure - Guidance Liaise with the local environment agency and, where appropriate, specialist advisers when aeration is to be used to reduce environmental damage.
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Minimise the impact of the incident and fire service actions on any identified environmental risk

  • Leaks from high pressure pipelines

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider pollution prevention information contained within site specific risk plans

    • Control measure - Guidance Identify sacrificial areas where products can be diverted
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access any available emergency response plan and implement appropriate predetermined actions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Inform, or request the attendance of, the relevant environment agency and any other appropriate agencies:

      • Pipeline operator
      • Nature conservation bodies
      • Public Health organisations
      • Local authority
      • Highway agencies
      • Other relevant parties including police, landowners and marine agencies
  • Physical damage to the environment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the least damaging routes to incidents and where possible, stay on marked paths and tracks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Seek advice from landowners and other bodies on susceptible areas of the environment

  • Biosecurity

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Follow specialist advice from appropriate agencies during exotic animal disease outbreaks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use appropriate methods to clean and decontaminate equipment, vehicles and PPE

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider liaising with environmental agencies for advice and support to decontaminate equipment and personnel

Powers, policies and procedures

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider the legal exemptions in relation to environmental protection i.e.
    • A discharge is made in an emergency to avoid danger to human health
    • All reasonably practicable steps were taken to minimise pollution
    • The relevant environment agency is informed of the incident as soon as possible
  • Restrict the access of persons to premises or a place if they reasonably believe an emergency to have occurred

  • Contact relevant environment agencies who may have specific powers relating to permitted waste sites

Why? Expectations? Benefit vs Risk?

Objectives

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Maintain the safety of all personnel, other responders and the public

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Save life and reduce harm

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Minimise the impact of the incident and fire service actions on any identified environmental risk

  • Further objectives

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Promote community recovery and restore normal operations
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Preserve the scene for future investigations

Tactical priorities

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Assess the need to conduct immediate life-saving actions at incidents involving hazardous materials

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Carry out an environmental risk assessment and monitor the impact of tactics on the identified risk

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use specialist advisers to carry out hazard specific assessments and interpret information and advice

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Assess the impact of hazardous materials on people, animals, infrastructure and the environment

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure all personnel wear PPE according to service risk assessment and procedures for HazMat incidents

  • Further tactical priorities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider firefighter decontamination arrangements prior to committing personnel to the hot zone 

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Obtain advice from the hazardous materials adviser (HMA) on the size of any downwind protection zone

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Predict the likely hazard area using observation or modelling in liaison with specialist advisors

Operational tactics

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Commit crews to perform rescues based on the hazard assessment and joint understanding of risk (JUR)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Attempt to contain the release or spill of a hazardous material using a Source – Pathway - Receptor model

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider dilution at incidents involving a release or spill of hazardous materials based on specialist advice

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider joint working in hazard areas based on joint understanding of risk

  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Attempt to contain all run-off from the decontamination process until disposal arrangements are agreed

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the least damaging routes to incidents and where possible, stay on marked paths and tracks

Communication

  • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

    Share situational awareness and establish a joint understanding of risk with other agencies

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that all appropriate environmental agencies are informed of the incident when required

  • Further communication

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use the most effective methods for communicating with people who are either directly or indirectly involved in the incident 

    • Control measure - Guidance Inform sewerage undertakers if discharge is to foul the water sewerage system
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure effective liaison and communication with off-site commanders and co-ordination centres

Control

  • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

    Consult specialist advisers to assist with modelling potential hazard areas

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that appropriate inner and outer cordons are established, identified and communicated following an assessment of risk to crews, other agencies and the public

  • Carry out an environmental risk assessment

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Predict any likely protection zone based on specialist advice observation or modelling

  • Further control information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Enforce hygiene measures and ensure personnel don't eat, drink or smoke except in appropriate areas 

    • Log decisions including the outcome of joint understanding, priorities and multi-agency response plan

Incident closure and handover

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that hazards and risk controls are identified when handing over safety to the responsible person

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement service procedures for dealing with hazardous waste post incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider decontamination of personnel, PPE and equipment prior to redeployment

  • Further incident closure and handover

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider decontamination of personnel, PPE and equipment prior to redeployment

    • Hand over responsibility for any waste produced at the incident to a responsible person or party 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that all records related to the exposure or potential exposure are completed as soon as possible

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Follow service protocols for post incident health surveillance and monitoring

    • Record incident details / pollution equipment used and communicate to relevant environmental agency

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify if the responsibility for disposal of waste produced at an incident can be delegated to a third party based on location, material and quantities involved. Namely:

      • Local authority - Playing fields, public open spaces, beaches and some roads
      • Landowner or owner / occupier - Private property
      • Highways agency - (Road Service in Northern Ireland) - Major roads

Additional information