Dont touch, walk, or drive through the spilled
materials, since these will increase the area of the
Dont eat, drink, or smoke at the site; dont touch
your face, nose, mouth, or eyes. (These are all
direct routes of entry into your body.)
Eliminate any possible source of ignition (e.g.,
flares, flames, sparks, smoking, flashes,
flashlights, engines, portable radios).
Notify your dispatcher and give your location.
Request the assistance of the HAZMAT
If possible, identify the hazardous material and
report it to the dispatcher.
Observe all safety precautions and directions
given by the on-site HAZMAT expert.
orders should be given and received face to
Stay clear of restricted areas until the on-site
HAZMAT expert declares them to be safe.
Rescue from Exclusion Zone (Hot Zone)
The most dangerous element of any HAZMAT
incidentboth to the exposed victims and the
rescuersis the rescue from the hot zone. Rescue
operations should always be performed using
appropriate protective equipment (PPE).
never enter the area unless you have been
appropriately trained to do so.
Let the experts
handle this aspect of the rescue, but be prepared to
provide supportive care once the victim is clear of the
As soon as the patient has been removed to safety,
you should follow normal primary and secondary
survey procedures, including interviews of the patient
and bystanders. Observe the patient and provide basic
life support. Give the patient supplemental oxygen,
and monitor vital signs closely.
Patient Decontamination Procedures
Decontamination is the process of removing or
neutralizing and properly disposing of contaminants
that have accumulated on personnel and equipment.
Decontamination protects site personnel by
minimizing the transfer of contaminants, helps to
prevent the mixing of incompatible chemicals, and
protects the community by preventing uncontrolled
transportation of contaminants from the site.
personnel, clothing, and equipment that leave the
contamination area (exclusion zone) must be
decontaminated to remove any harmful chemicals that
may have adhered to them. Some decontamination
methods include those listed below.
Dilution: the flushing of the contaminated
person or equipment with water.
Absorption: the use of special filters and
chemicals to absorb the hazardous material.
Chemical washes: specific chemicals used to
neutralize the hazardous material.
Disposal and isolation: the proper disposal of
contaminated materials instead of attempting to
Dilution is the most frequently appropriate method of
Decontamination requires the use of PPE,
although the level of protection required may be less
once the victim is out of the hot zone. A victim who is
e x p o s e d t o a g a s m a y n o t r e q u i r e a c t u a l
decontamination after rescue and only require
cessation of exposure and an opportunity to breathe
fresh air. However, if a victim is soaked with a liquid,
the HAZMAT may pose an ongoing risk to the victim
and to the rescuers or medical personnel.
IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS ASSUME THAT THE
VICTIM HAS BEEN CONTAMINATED WITH
SOMETHING THAT COULD HARM YOU AND
OTHERS UNTIL DETERMINED OTHERWISE.
Do not be foolish or bold and presume that you or
others will not be exposed and harmed!
Once the victim is medically evaluated, carefully
remove any solid material that remains on the patients
clothing. Be alert not to get any on yourself. If the
material is dry, immediately remove the victims
clothing while avoiding or minimizing contact with the
HAZMAT or loss of the HAZMAT from the clothing.
Unless specifically contraindicated by the hazardous
nature of the HAZMAT and directed by the incident
commander or the supporting medical advisor, flush
the patients skin, clothing, and eyes with water. To the
maximum extent possible, control or retain the runoff
(which is contaminated) which will be containerized
for proper disposal.
Remove all of the victims
clothing, shoes, and jewelry. Place everything that
may have contacted the HAZMAT in a special
Mark the container as contaminated.
Continue flushing the skin with water for at least 20