Responder Training and Resources

The SERC supports training of first responders and emergency managers across the state. Training is coordinated regionally through the 16 county-based LEPCs.

  • First Responder Awareness Level
  • Hazardous Materials Operations Level
  • Hazardous Materials Technician Level
  • Hazardous Materials Training for Hospitals

To receive SERC funding for training, departments and agencies are required to be NIMS compliant.

For more information about SERC-sponsored training in your area, contact your County Emergency Management Director. Also, visit the MEMA training website to learn about emergency management training opportunities.

First Responder Awareness

First responders at the awareness level are individuals who are likely to witness or discover a hazardous substance release and who have been trained to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release. They would take no further action beyond notifying the authorities of the release. First responders at this level shall have sufficient training or experience to objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas.

  1. An understanding of what hazardous materials are, and the risks associated with them in an incident.
  2. An understanding of the potential outcomes associated with an emergency created when hazardous materials are present.
  3. The ability to recognize the presence of hazardous materials in an emergency.
  4. The ability to identify the hazardous materials, if possible.
  5. An understanding of the role of the first responder awareness individual in the employer's emergency response plan including site security and control and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Emergency Response Guidebook.
  6. The ability to realize the need for additional resources and to make appropriate notifications to the communication center.

First Responder Operations

First responders at the operations level respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release.

They are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to stop the release. They should be able to demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  1. Know basic hazard and risk assessment techniques.
  2. Know how to select and use proper personal protective equipment provided to the first responder operational level.
  3. An understanding of basic hazardous materials terms.
  4. Know how to perform basic control, containment, or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective equipment available within their organization.
  5. Know how to implement basic decontamination procedures.
  6. Have an understanding of the relevant standard operating procedures and termination procedures.