Ministry of the
Solicitor General

OFM - 04-24b-12

Liaison With Other Agencies at Haz-Mat/CBRNE Incidents

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 04-24b-12


Emergency Response


September 2004


Liaison With Other Agencies at Haz-Mat/CBRNE Incidents


Under Review


To identify the fire department role with other agencies and persons at the scene of hazardous materials (Haz-Mat) or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosion (CBRNE) emergencies.


To identify the fire department role with other agencies and persons at the scene of hazardous materials (Haz-Mat) or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosion (CBRNE) emergencies.

On-Site Coordination:

No one should be permitted to enter a potentially dangerous area without having received the proper training and must be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment to address the level of hazard which may be expected in that area.
During major incidents, there may be a requirement for senior
emergency services management to meet as a single group and implement a unified command system in order to provide effective management of the emergency. This group will provide the municipal council and its emergency management team with advice concerning the declaration of an emergency and implementation of the emergency plan.
In the case of any one of the emergency services not being at the scene, those in attendance may be required to assume some of the responsibilities of the other services. In all cases, the priority would be the safety and well being of public safety personnel and members of the public who may be at immediate risk.
Consideration should be given to contact other agencies as required such as Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Health.

Relationship With Other Government Agencies and Individuals:

Areas of Responsibility

Listed below are the suggested areas of responsibility when the primary emergency services are present at the scene. It is recognized and understood that the emergency services are required
to work in a cooperative manner in order to successfully mitigate a CBRNE incident and that the agency taking the lead may change depending on the situation. (ex. emergency becomes a crime scene as a result of terrorism).
Response agencies are to act in accordance with any guidelines disseminated by their respective ministries and/or local governments. Actions should include but may not be limited to the following:

Fire Service

  • To recognize the nature of the incident, provide initial isolation and protection of the site, pending the arrival of the Police Service. (Note: not to be confused with the Police Service responsibility to secure the scene, protect/collect evidence and investigate)
  • Implement a comprehensive incident management system and typically assume the lead agency role
  • To establish on-site emergency decontamination and conduct decontamination of personnel/victims as required
  • To make accessible and readily removable any trapped patients
  • To assist with removal and patient care as necessary
  • To request additional fire service resources or a Provincial Fire Service CBRNE Emergency Response Team through the fire coordinator
  • To ensure the safety of all public safety personnel operating at the incident site

Police Service

  • To investigate the incident to determine the cause and if there are any violations of the law
  • To secure an appropriate perimeter, protect the scene from unauthorized entry and to search for and remove dangerous persons from the scene
  • To identify and render safe suspected or actual CBRNE devices
  • To search the scene and surrounding area for secondary devices and evidence. Evidence preservation, collection and safe removal from the scene to the appropriate authority to further the investigation
  • To make necessary arrangements for any additional police resources that may be required
  • To manage and/or conduct evacuations pursuant to local procedures, where appropriate

Emergency Medical Service

  • To ensure adequate ambulance resources as may be required by the specific event
  • To evaluate victims and public safety personnel, and administer patient care as necessary
  • To establish an on-site first aid centre to manage minor injuries and ailments for public safety personnel in consultation with other public safety agencies
  • To package and transport decontaminated victims and injured/ill public safety personnel to appropriate medical care
  • To alert hospitals as required

Local Health Unit

  • To assess the possibility of exposure to a CBRNE agent with the assistance of other agencies on the scene
  • To assess the exposure risk to neighbourhoods surrounding the scene
  • To advise on/order any necessary evacuation, isolation or quarantine measures which must be taken, in consultation with other agencies
  • To institute surveillance measures for health effects in exposed populations
  • To assess potential for contamination of food and water supplies
  • To take appropriate measures to control any health hazards that may be present
  • To request additional health assistance from and through the Public Health Branch, MOHLTC

Site Decontamination:

  • It shall be the responsibility of a private sector company to provide and perform site decontamination and final site clean-up operations once approval is given by authority having jurisdiction to do so
  • It is not the responsibility of local emergency responders to provide site decontamination services

Codes, Standards and Best Practices:

Codes, Standards and Best Practices resources available to assist in establishing local policy on this assessment are listed below. All are available at . Please feel free to copy and distribute this document. We ask that the document not be altered in any way, that the Office of the Fire Marshal be credited and that the documents be used for non-commercial purposes only.

See also:
04-82-01.asp Selecting a Hazardous Materials Response Capability
NFPA 471, 472 and 473
Ministry of Labour Section 21 Guidance Note # 6-9 (26)

Community Emergency Response Plans
OFM Communiqué 2004-03 Access to Provincial Resources for CBRN Response and HUSAR