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OSHA's HAZWOPER Operational Training for Fire Department

Posted on Wed, Jun 16, 2010


HAZWOPER operational training sessions and response exercises provide fire department personnel with useful, practical information designed to improve response capabilities when dealing with hazardous materials.

According to OSHA, 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. The purpose of the first responder at the operational level is to protect life, property, or the environment from the effects of the release.

Operation mode firefighters are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to stop the release. Their function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent exposures.

First responders at the operational level shall have received at least eight hours of training, or have had sufficient experience to objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas:
  • Knowledge of the basic hazard and risk assessment techniques.
  • Know how to select and use proper personal protective equipment provided to the first responder operational level.
  • An understanding of basic hazardous materials terms.
  • Know how to perform basic control, containment and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective equipment available with their unit.
  • Know how to implement basic decontamination procedures
  • An understanding of the relevant standard operating procedures and termination procedures.


For more tips and best practices on HAZWOPER Training, download our HAZWOPER training guide



Tags: Fire Department Training, OSHA HAZWOPER