"Engine 2, respond to a reported MVA involving hazardous materials." How would you handle this incident?

This example illustrates what an unsecured paint load can look like in a routine traffic incident.

While this particular incident appears to be both humorous and harmless, one need only substitute the paint for a “common household” corrosive, caustic chemical or other poisonous product.

Have you ever discussed this in training or actually respond to an incident involving spilled hazardous materials inside a passenger vehicle?


So... put yourself as first on scene. How would you handle this incident? 


CBz






A couple of five-gallon buckets of paint on the rear seat and a small accident... It was only a fender-bender, but betcha next time they will put the paint in the trunk... 
When the ambulance arrived the male driver wouldn't let the female paramedic 
get out because she was laughing so hard -- He didn't think it was "professional."

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Upon arrival I'd equip my SCBA and full PPE gear and go on air.
After establishing that no one was hurt, I'd check the labels on containers to see if they are truly hazardous. If it was unmarked or deemed dangerous I'd call HazMat.
Next I'd pull a booster line to help wash off the paint-covered individuals and tell EMS to check them out.

As stated before in the original post - this easily could have been another substance. One in which could have been lethal and pose a threat not only to the individuals in the vehicle, but also to emergency responders.
That's why the Incident Commander (usually a fire officer) should deny entry to EMS personnel until decontamination is performed.

Field decon for these people can be performed by getting them completely disrobed. This can be done in a temporary enclosure made from tarps.

Our hazmat rig carries a couple of 2-gallon pails of minteal oil for decon for oil-based paint, oil-based glues and other sticky products, etc.
The mineral oil dilutes the oil in the paint enough that large amounts of a gentle degreaser soap like Dawn dish soap along with sponges can get the rest of the paint off. Abrasive cleaners - no matter how dilute - should be a last resort, as they can abrade the patient's skin and make it more permeable to the toxins in the product.
If it's not hazardous and water soluble, just wash it off with a hoseline. No need to set up formal decon.

What about containment of run off? Is this an issue even if it is non hazardous?
Dilution is the solution to pollution. lol
In the U.S. you do not have to contain decon runoff for emergency decontamination. Since all patient decontamination is emergency decon, then no, you don't have to contain the runoff, even if the product is Tri-Notro Killyatwice.

This is a straighforward life safety trumps environmental protection issue with OSHA/EPA and military official positions to back it up. "Saving lives takes priority over runoff containment in emergencies."
Interesting.

Here, if you can seriously justify the life safety issue (which would be a struggle with this one, depending on the paint), then it too is a non issue. However, as a rule of thumb, it should be contained.
Actually, you can always justify the life safety issue in this kind of situation since even a water-based paint can still cause harm to the patient, especially if it gets into the eyes or mucous membranes, or if any of it is aspirated.

Time spent containing runoff from patient decon is time wasted.

It goes back to the basic priorities of firefighting:

1. Human life and health
2. Incident stabilization
3. Property/environmental protection

In this case, the decon is the first priority.
Remember, traditional hazmat decon and runoff containment is based on decontaminating hazmat personnel wearing SCBA and chemical protective clothing. It takes a lot of time to establish a decon system that contains the runoff. In this case, the truck with the runoff containment systems (A Hazmat rig) probably isn't even on scene. By the time it gets there, the paint will be drying and much more difficult to decon.

The engine company is already on the scene, and it's essentially a big, mobile emergency decon unit. I recommend using it without the wait on a specialized vehicle with runoff containment capabilities.
Our hazmat rig carries a couple of 2-gallon pails of mineral oil for decon for oil-based paint, oil-based glues and other sticky products, etc.

This is outstanding information for ALL hazmat teams to consider carrying on their rigs. I have also heard that corn oil has been used by the 3M Company very successfully for decontaminating patients / victims covered with specific chemicals. As time goes by, we should start to hear more and more about chelating agents.

CBz
with water based paints, the term "solution to pollution is dilution" would apply. people should always come first.
How long does it take to throw a pig or two in front of the storm drain? With enough personnel on scene to do a emergency decon, why can't one person throw down a pig to block the storm drain?
Greenman
The engine company is already on the scene, and it's essentially a big, mobile emergency decon unit. I recommend using it without the wait on a specialized vehicle with runoff containment capabilities.
The engine doesn't carry a shovel for digging dirt and making a temporary containment?

We (collectively) need to take a moment and consider other issues and the big picture in everything we do. This includes looking at our actions and the impact it has on the greater community- in this case, potentially contaminated waterways, harm to wildlife, etc. All for the sake of a few minutes work while other tasks are being performed...
Field decon for these people can be performed by getting them completely disrobed. This can be done in a temporary enclosure made from tarps.
So we have the time to construct a temporary enclosure but not contain the run off- it's either a life threatening emergency which means we decon the quickest possible way or it's not and we take the time to do things properly in terms of enclosures, runoff containment, etc.

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