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CBRN and Hazmat Incidents at Major Public Events: Planning and Response by Dan Kaszeta

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CHAPTER 10

Preparedness for the Fire and HAZMAT Sector

In most locations, it is the firefighting services that bear the brunt of CBRN/HAZMAT response in the civil sector. If a tanker full of chemicals overturns, the fire department responds. It may need to call for help, but it is the fire department that turns up and stares the problem in the face. Generally, fire departments are further along in the process of preparedness for CBRN/HAZMAT incidents. However, there is still plenty of work to do to get ready for major events.

There are some areas where HAZMAT and CBRN response is not within the role of fire departments; I do acknowledge that this may be the case. The recommendations in this chapter are really for whoever has to put on the suit and go into the “hot zone” to deal with the problem.

ADAPTING THE RESPONSE TO THE MAJOR EVENT ENVIRONMENT

Often, fire/HAZMAT preparedness is not a matter of knowing what to do or how to do it. In my experience, many fire departments have a good handle on the “what” and “how” of HAZMAT and CBRN. Rather, the problem is one of scale. Fire departments may have training, procedures, and equipment for adequately addressing typical commercial and industrial HAZMAT incidents found within their area. However, the size and scope of such incidents are normally much less than the potential size of CBRN/HAZMAT incidents at major events. Principally, the number of potential victims is far higher at major events. Provisions for decontamination and rescue ...

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