After an eight-year lapse in the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) roundtable of hazardous materials (hazmat) response, they reconvened the roundtable process this year with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Download the meeting report PDF 2.2 MB.
Hazmat response spans several different fields within the emergency services, and often incorporates private sector partners. Because of this and other factors, there are complex incidents requiring proper prior planning and well-executed response, management, mitigation and recovery.
During the roundtable, several themes emerged:
- Information sharing efforts have improved over the last decade; however, the hazmat preparedness community lacks a system to gather, analyze, package and distribute critical information in a timely manner.
- There's a continuing need for improved community hazard awareness and more education for the public on their expected role and responsibilities.
- It's still challenging to provide effective training content, availability and delivery.
- Good leadership at the local and state level is critical to develop and maintain effective response.
Participants strongly recommended roundtable meetings continue on an annual basis.