Homeland Security Technical & Reference Information


This section of the website is currently under reconstruction following on technical problems that resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of technical and reference content in late 2014.  We apologise if the information you are searching for is not currently available. Please revisit this page to see newly added content as reconstruction progresses.

The aim of this page is to provide our members with a comprehensive facility for accessing oil spill response tools, manuals, guidelines, case histories and other information from a wide range of sources. Users are invited to recommend inclusion of additional information that will be useful to other members. Please send your suggestions to info@spillcontrol.org 

The intended focus of this page is to provide reference information for members who may be required to respond to CBRN type incidents. Whereas there is a lot of information available in regard to security and preventative measures, data to assist members in carrying out decontamination and other post-incident clean-up procedures is harder to find. Your help in alerting ISCO to availabilities of suitable information for inclusion on this page will be particularly appreciated. 

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Members looking at developing THEIR Hazmat Response may be interested in the following information from the San Diego Fire Department HazMat Team

Station 44 is the home to the San Diego Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team and is located at 10011 Black Mountain Road in northeast San Diego. It operates two independent hazmat units designated as Hazmat 1 and Hazmat 2 along with an Environmental Response Team unit. The oldest unit is a 1996 Saulsbury and the newest is a 2004 KME placed in service in February 2005. Both vehicles have analytical labs located in the rear and the KME also has an air cascade system. Station 44 is not a dedicated hazmat station; Engine 44, Truck 44 and Medic 44 also reside there. There are no law enforcement bomb squads in the area.

Hazmat Equipment
Most of the equipment carried on the hazmat vehicles is typical for hazmat and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) response situations. Each has a portable decontamination tent and they use Sandia National Laboratories decontamination foam for WMD incidents. (“Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories have created a type of foam that begins neutralizing both chemical and biological agents in minutes. Because it is not harmful to people, it can be dispensed on the incident scene immediately, even before casualties are evacuated. The foam, comprised of a cocktail of ordinary substances found in common household products, neutralizes chemical agents in much the same way a detergent lifts away an oily spot from a stained shirt. Its surfactants (like those in hair conditioner) and mild oxidizing substances (like those found in toothpaste) begin to chemically digest the chemical agent, seeking out the phosphate or sulfide bonds holding the molecules together and chopping the molecules into nontoxic pieces. How the foam kills spores (bacteria in a rugged, dormant state) still is not well understood. The researchers suspect the surfactants poke holes in the spore’s protein armor, allowing the oxidizing agents to attack the genetic material inside.” – Sandia National Laboratories, 1999)
Thermal imaging cameras are used for hazmat responses, as are video cameras that allow video to be transmitted from the “hot zone” back to the command post or other location for review. Cameras for still photographs are also carried on the units. Inside the crew cab is a command center with laptop computers, fax machine, broadband Internet access, two telephones, a satellite phone, radios, computer resources such as TOMES, CAMEO and ORIS, and hard-copy reference materials that include Emergency Response Guidebook and The Merck Index. Each unit also has a weather station for monitoring conditions during an incident.

When a hazmat call is received, personnel from Engine 44 and Truck 44 operate the hazmat units (each hazmat unit responds with four members). In addition, the county Department of Environmental Health responds with two to four personnel during the day (they are on call at night). Twenty additional technician-level personnel are assigned to other companies throughout the city. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department provides a bomb squad that works with the arson team throughout the city and county.

Training Requirements
All hazmat technicians in San Diego must complete the 160-hour state training course prior to being assigned to the hazmat station.
Monitoring Instruments & Identification Equipment

Monitoring capabilities include:

·    BTA biological test kits 
·    APD2000 chemical agent monitors 
·    Multichannel analyzer for radiation 
·    Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) for 12 WMD materials (military technology) 
·    MultiRAE and MiniRAE detectors 
·    Draeger CDS civil defense set 
·    Hazard Categorization (Haz-Cat) kit 
·    M-8 and M-9 chemical agent detection papers 
·    M-256A chemical agent detector kit 
·    pH Paper 
·    pH meter 
·    BioCapture air sampler and detection systems 

All companies also carry auto injectors containing 2-PAM chloride and atropine as antidotes for nerve agent exposure (a stockpile for civilian casualties is kept at Balboa Naval Hospital). 

Radiation Monitors: 

·    Ludlum radiological detector 

Personnel Protective Equipment
Level A 
·    Tyborg for Level A 
Level B 
·    Tychem 1000 for Level B 
Respiratory Protection 
·    Interspiro with one-hour bottles 
·    For WMD, positive-pressure air purifying respirators (PAPRs) and MSA Millennium canister masks are used. 

·    In-suit communications also is provided by Interspiro.

To read the complete article can click here












The following has been compiled by 


Gregory T. Banner, M.S., C.E.M.
Regional Emergency Coordinator
Region I – New England
US Dpt of Health and Human Services
JFK Federal Bldg, Room 2111
Boston, MA 02203

who writes …… 


 “Over the years, as I have found web resources of use, I have tried to
pass those on to others. I have also tried to record all of these
resources in one document. That document is now available through a
web link (below). This site will be updated periodically.”

Compendium of web references – medical and emergency management

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