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25 Questions

What are the two types of exposures to hazmat?

Chronic and Acute

Which of the following is not considered a potential ignition source at a hazmat scene?

Thermal blankets

What type of health effects may take years to appear after exposure to hazardous materials?

Chronic effects

Which of the following is NOT a category of health and physical hazards related to hazmat?

Chemical hazards

What are some potential ignition sources at a hazmat scene caused by human activity?

Cameras and cigarettes

Which factor influences the effects that hazardous materials have on containers, people, living organisms, and the environment?

Chemical reactivity and flammability

What type of hazards are related to temperature extremes?

Thermal hazards

What types of exposures do acute health effects typically result from?

Single occurrence of exposure to hazardous materials.

What is the greatest concern for firefighters in terms of radiological hazards?

Ionizing radiation

Which type of location is mentioned as a place where firefighters usually encounter radiological hazards?

Nuclear power plants

What is the primary characteristic of simple asphyxiants?

They dilute or displace oxygen

Which type of hazard may interfere with the oxygenation of the body and lead to suffocation if untreated?

Asphyxiation hazards

What is classified as a chemical hazard due to its ability to produce various effects based on certain factors?


Which factor determines the severity and likelihood of the effects produced by a chemical hazard?

Type of exposure route

What are biological hazards primarily caused by?


What type of hazard can result from direct contact with an object, usually through striking or friction?

Mechanical hazards

What is the primary responsibility of an awareness-level responder at a hazmat incident?

Recognizing the presence of hazmat and transmitting information to the appropriate authority

Which of the following is a potential ignition source at a hazmat scene?

Static electricity

What agency is responsible for regulating US commercial nuclear power plants and the civilian use of nuclear materials?

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Which of the following is an example of an asphyxiation hazard?

Anhydrous Ammonia

Which zone at a hazmat incident site is considered the area of greatest hazard?

Hot zone

What does NFPA 473 focus on regarding hazardous material incidents?

Emergency Medical Services

What is the primary objective of a hazmat hot zone at an incident site?

Ensure no unauthorized persons interfere with responders

Which of the following is an example of a thermal hazard in hazmat incidents?

$ ext{Explosives}$

What is the primary responsibility of a hazmat responder in the warm zone?

$ ext{Put on PPE and clean materials if needed}$

Study Notes

Categories of Health and Physical Hazards

  • Radiological hazards exist in various forms, with ionizing radiation being the greatest concern for firefighters.
  • Radiological hazards may exist during incidents at specific locations, such as medical centers, industrial operations, nuclear power plants, and research facilities.
  • Proper precautions, including wearing PPE, can minimize risks for firefighters.

Asphyxiation Hazards

  • Asphyxiants are substances that interfere with oxygenation of the body, causing suffocation if untreated.
  • There are two classes of asphyxiants: simple asphyxiants that dilute or displace oxygen needed for breathing, and chemical asphyxiants that prohibit the body from using oxygen.

Chemical Hazards

  • Chemical hazards can produce a wide range of effects, depending on factors such as the chemical's toxicity, route of exposure, nature and extent of exposure, and susceptibility of the exposed person.
  • Chemical hazards are classified as poisons/toxic chemicals, corrosives, irritants, convulsants, carcinogens, and sensitizers/allergens.

Etiological/Biological Hazards

  • Etiological/biological hazards are microorganisms that can cause severe disabling diseases or illnesses, including viral agents, bacterial agents, rickettsias, and biological toxins.

Mechanical Hazards

  • Mechanical hazards can cause trauma through direct contact with an object, resulting in mild, moderate, or severe injuries.
  • Mechanical hazards can result from a single event.

Routes of Entry for Human Exposure to Hazmat

  • Inhalation: breathing through the nose or mouth
  • Other routes of entry include skin absorption, ingestion, and injection.

Types of Exposures and Health Effects

  • Acute exposures: single occurrences with short-term effects that appear within hours or days (e.g., vomiting or diarrhea).
  • Chronic exposures: reoccurring exposures with long-term effects that may take years to appear (e.g., cancer).

Behaviors of Hazmat

  • Hazmat behavior depends on the material's physical state, flammability, boiling point, chemical reactivity, and other properties.
  • Hazmat behavior determines the type and amount of harm caused and influences the effects on containers, people, living organisms, and the environment.

Ignition Sources at a Hazmat Scene

  • Open flames
  • Static electricity
  • Pilot lights
  • Electrical sources
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Radiant heat
  • Cigarettes
  • Cameras
  • Road flares

Thermal Hazards

  • Thermal hazards are related to temperature extremes.
  • Examples of thermal hazards include hazmat, elevated-temperature materials, cryogenic liquids, and scene conditions.

HAZMAT Incidents

  • HAZMAT incidents involve substances that pose an unreasonable risk to people, the environment, and/or property.
  • HAZMAT incidents may involve a hazardous substance that has been or may be released from a container or is on fire.

Training Requirements for Awareness-Level (Hazardous Materials) First Responders

  • OSHA and EPA require responders to meet specific training requirements.
  • The US Department of Justice (DOJ) requires first responders to have training to prepare them for terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • NFPA Standards include NFPA 471, NFPA 472, and NFPA 473.

Primary Responsibilities of an Awareness-Level Responder at a Hazmat Incident

  • Recognize the presence or potential presence of hazmat.
  • Identify the container type and material, if possible.
  • Transmit information to the appropriate authority and call for assistance.
  • Identify actions to protect oneself and others from hazards.
  • Establish control of the scene by isolating the hazardous area and denying entry.

Primary Agencies that Regulate Hazmat

  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Department of Labor (DOL) including OSHA
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Test your knowledge on radiological hazards that firefighters may encounter, including ionizing radiation and locations where these hazards are commonly found. Learn about the precautions firefighters can take to minimize risks during incidents.

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