Each year, almost 20,000 incidents involving hazardous materials occur in the United States, causing fatalities, injuries, and expensive property damage (US Department of Transportation). Preplanning is a vital step toward incident preparedness and prevention, but an often-overlooked aspect of planning is testing the plan.
40+ Crisis Leaders from Private and Public Sectors Participate in Leadership and Decision Making Course
VA Hazmat Conference, Norfolk, VA (Sep 2019).
In 2016, Alliance Solutions Group (ASG) identified the need for more effective crisis leadership training among responders to hazmat incidents based on a series of Chemical Safety Board investigative reports.
After natural disasters strike, communities are often left reeling with what to do next. When recovery and cleanup efforts begin it is important to maintain safety as a priority. Floods specifically create many safety hazards. Personnel should be aware of hazards, such as electrocution, gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and mold growth.
ASG delivered two courses at the Oregon Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) conference: FEMA-certified MGT-458, Building Whole Community Engagement for LEPCs, and Klamath County Rail Incident Response Planning and Exercise Development. MGT-458 is an 8-hour course that supports the establishment and strengthening of LEPCs with best practices.
Lessons learned from recent incidents such as the West Fertilizer Company (WFC) explosion and the Tianjin China port explosion reveal the need for more comprehensive pre-incident planning. While the 2015 NFPA 1620 Standard on Pre-incident Planning was updated after the WFC incident, it comes up short on details for how communities gather relevant data on hazards, conduct a risk analysis and inform the local community of the hazards pre-incident, as well as engage in crisis communications.
Lessons learned from recent incidents such as the explosion at the Tianjin port in China port, the Daesh attacks on critical infrastructure such as the Zaventem Airport in Brussels, and the Hajj stampede in Mina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reveal the need for continued professional development among emergency management officials and the need to implement best practices before, during and after incidents.
The Chemical Safety Board has identified through 14 investigations that community’s, facility’s or emergency responder’s response to chemical incidents have been deficient. They have issued 46 recommendations that cross-sect multiple areas of emergency planning, preparedness and response.
Each year there are approximately 20,000-30,000 Hazmat incidents from stationary and mobile sources (source: National Response Center database). Many of these incidents involve multi-agency response in collaboration with private industry.
Shipping commodities by rail is an extremely cost-effective means of transportation compared with trucking. Additionally, shipping commodities by rail has proven to be safer than shipping by truck. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) states that there were 15,289 highway incidents in 2017. Despite the safety and security systems in place, there were still 471 derailments resulting in releases of Hazardous Materials (HazMat) in 2017, according to the BTS.
Hospitals in the Abu Dhabi Emirate are taking bold steps forward in preparing their staff members for all types of crises through a new, comprehensive training program. Alliance Solutions Group (ASG) was invited to design, develop and deliver several courses around the Emirate to enhance medical capacity and capability to respond to a crisis.