Chemical threats are one of the most deadly faced by first responders. Your fire department should know the chemicals used by industries in your jurisdiction, the dangers they pose, and the layout of the facilities. You should also run regular drills and exercises to prepare for accidents, fires, spills or man-made threats. There are a number of resources available to assist you with these tasks.
The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce risks. First responders can utilize some of these resources.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards: The Role of Emergency Responders PDF 371 KB to provide CFATS information and resource recommendations to first responders. Departments should check out:
- The Infrastructure Protection Gateway, an interface for all levels of government and private sector partners to identify, analyze and manage risk.
- CFATS Knowledge Center, an online repository of CFATS information.
- Free training available to the sector, such as the monthly Virtual Table Top Exercise (VTTX) program through the Emergency Management Institute.
- The Emergency Services Sector-Sector Specific Agency (email@example.com) and the Emergency Management and Response – Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which push important information to the sector.
In addition, there are chemical security inspectors available regionally to help you identify CFATS facilities and plan for incidents involving chemicals used there. To contact your regional inspector, call 1-866-323-2957 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.