Hazardous Materials

The primary mission of the Technological Hazards Division is to provide assistance to local jurisdictions in emergency situations involving hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. This assistance can take several forms depending upon the incident severity and the capability of local responders.

Assistance can include an on-scene response by a HMO and a state-contracted regional HAZMAT response team if needed. Once on scene, these officers can provide technical assistance and response advice and serve as liaison to other agencies or groups. These officers are prepared to conduct offensive-control actions to include hot-zone entry for reconnaissance, stabilization, and product confinement.

Each hazardous materials officer is trained and equipped to assist with the identification of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials. Technical assistance or on-scene response is available on a 24/7 basis from one or more of the HMOs. These officers will work with other state resources, industry representatives, and technical consultants to provide vital information to emergency responders on scene.

THD maintains specialized detection and monitoring equipment, specialized protective clothing, and product-control devices. On-scene responses can be made by ground or air transportation and are available on a 24-hour basis throughout the Commonwealth by request through the Virginia Emergency Operations Center at 800-468-8892.

Hazardous Materials / CBRNE training programs are those courses that address the needs of state and local officials assigned to duties related to preparedness for, response to, containment and mitigation of the accidental or intentional release of hazardous chemicals and related substances. (“Hazardous Material” means a substance or material in a form or quantity which may pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety or property when transported, and which the Secretary of Transportation of the United States has so designated by regulation or order.)

 

H0001 Hazardous Materials First Responder – Awareness/8 Hours
Available through: VDEM, VDFP, VAVRS

This course is designed for anyone who may discover the unplanned release of a hazardous material.  The program teaches the use of the USDOT Emergency Response Guidebook, Material Safety Data Sheets, and DOT placards and labels, as well as safety and planning information.

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competency annually at this level or complete the Hazardous Materials First Responder – Operations course.

 

H0002 Hazardous Materials First Responder – Operations

This course is designed for individuals who must respond to a release of hazardous materials and perform defensive operations.  The program includes information taught in the HMFR Awareness course.  The course is designed to meet the recommendations of NFPA 472 and OSHA 1910.120 (q)(6)(ii).  The course teaches first responders incident stabilization techniques such as incident profiling, hazardous materials behavior modeling, incident planning and the Incident Command System.  In addition to incident stabilization techniques, first responders learn defensive tactical control skills including damming, diking, diversion and retention of products, and decontamination of personnel.

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competencies at this level annually or complete the Hazardous Materials Incident Management or Hazardous Materials Technician course.

 

H0003 Hazardous Materials First Responder – Operations for the EMS Provider

This course is designed for all EMS providers likely to respond to hazardous materials incidents.  The purpose of the course is to meet the minimum requirements and competency levels of NFPA 473 (Level I) and to enhance the safety and protection of response personnel in the Emergency Medical Services system.

Prerequisite: Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-B) and Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competencies at this level annually or complete the Hazardous Materials Incident Management or Hazardous Materials Technician course.

 

H0004 Hazardous Materials Technician/80 Hours
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 80 hours (10 days)

This course is designed as a 10-day program of intense instruction and practice.  The focus of this course is directed towards chemistry, hazardous materials detection and monitoring, personal protective equipment, decontamination, offensive leak control techniques, risk assessment, incident management and safety.  The program is designed in accordance with NFPA 472 and OSHA – 29 CFR part 1910.120 (q) and includes intensive classroom sessions followed by practical application exercises.  This course is physically demanding, and it requires students to work in Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, Chemical Protective Clothing and confined spaces.

Prerequisite: Applicant must be certified to the Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations level for one year prior to enrolling in course.

Recertification: Students must recertify at this level yearly.  This is accomplished by participation in continuing education and in an approved annual training exercise.

 

H0005 Chemistry of Hazardous Materials
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 80 hours (10 days)

The course provides a sound understanding of the basic chemistry of hazardous materials in a two-week, off-site format.  Directed at the underlying reasons for chemical behavior of hazardous materials, the course is designed to improve decision-making, safety during operations and handling of these materials, and in predicting how materials will behave under incident conditions.  The class is heavily chemistry-oriented.  The format of the course will be a two-week, in-residence program.

Prerequisite: Documentation of certification at the Hazardous Materials Technician Level for one year prior to the start of class is required.

Recertification: Same as Hazardous Materials Technician.

 

H0006 Hazardous Materials Advanced Tactical Control
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 80 hours (10 days)

This module of Specialist-level training covers advanced hazardous materials control techniques.  The course is divided into five areas: risk assessment, rail, highway, industrial and marine.  The risk assessment section details incident and container size-up and strengthens incident management techniques.  The rail section focuses on railroad terminology, valving arrangements, damage assessment and leak control techniques.  The highway section is centered on cargo tank design and construction, containers used in transportation, damage assessment and leak control techniques.  The industrial section focuses on industrial chemical hazards, hazardous materials releases in industry and includes information on industrial processes, safety management, leak control and integration with the on-site emergency response team.  The marine section provides basic information on ship design and characteristics, marine terminology, leak control and working with the port authorities.  The course culminates in practical scenarios dealing with release of hazardous materials from various settings.

Prerequisite: Certification at Hazardous Materials Technician level and successful completion of the Chemistry of Hazardous Materials course.

Recertification: Same as Hazardous Materials Technician.

 

H0007 Hazardous Materials Incident Planning and Management
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 24 hours (3 days)
This course is designed for managers and command-level officers who will be emergency incident managers.  The course includes training in the model Incident Management Command System (ICS); working with local, state, and federal agencies and private industry; data collection and hazard analysis; and basic concepts of control and mitigation.  Students will apply these skills in simulated incidents.

Prerequisite: Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competencies annually at the levels of HMFR Operations, Hazardous Materials Technician or Hazardous Materials Specialist to maintain certification.
H0008 Hazardous Materials Tactical Command and Safety
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 16 hours (2 days)

This course is designed for hazardous materials team leaders and hazardous materials specialists who would function as the HAZMAT Branch Officer or Safety Officer.  This scenario-based course addresses the roles and responsibilities of the HAZMAT Branch Officer and Safety Officer working within the scope of the model Incident Command System.  The course includes information on incident analysis, tactical control operations, safety, resource management, tactical command and ICS HAZMAT branch organization.

Prerequisite: HAZMAT Technicians or Specialists who would function as the Hazardous Materials Team Leader, HAZMAT Branch Officer or Safety Officer are encouraged to attend.

Recertification: Same as Hazardous Materials Technician.

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund