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Haz Mat "Specialist Course"
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Madonna's 75th Birthday Celebration

As you can see from the accompanying photographs (Pictures from the Field), The Fire Science, Emergency Management, and Occupational Safety and Health Department at Madonna University, Livonia Michigan, was responsible for a Haz-Mat Demonstration at the 2012 75th Birthday Celebration.

The scenario used was the OSH 4520 final scenario scaled down in size to accommodate the area size. Students were then familiar with the incident scene, regardless of which semester past they attended the course.

Our area worked well for this scaled down version as we had the advantage of three (3) primary trees that could be used as a triangulation for the perimeter of the hot zone. In this type of application, creating zones affords the visiting patrons to view the actual scenario, while also being kept out of the “Operations” portion of the demonstration. This also afforded the students participating, an isolated area to practice their procedures undisturbed.

Also on scene was Jim Hawkins of Hawkins Environmental, creator of the “Chem-Cat” analysis kit, providing instruction to the students in actual “on-scene” chemical analysis. Live, diluted, samples were used to simulate actual field conditions for the purpose of instruction in handling, and chemical analysis. The “Chem-Cat” kit is destined to become the chemical analysis kit of preference as it has already achieved this status amongst Industrial Chemical “accepted” practices for material identification in the United States. Hawkins Environmental can be reached at 

You may soon be able to join us at Madonna University, as we intend to offer the first online version of the “Hazardous Materials Specialist” course. This course exceeds EPA and OSHA competencies for both Federal Standards. Successful students will receive a “Certificate of Completion” which is the accepted form of “documentation proof” involving Professional Credentials. Pre-requisites for this course include submittal to the University, of “Hazardous Materials Technician Certificate of Completion.” The pilot course offering is tentatively scheduled for the “Spring 2013” semester. For additional information on this Inaugural Course Presentation, contact

Included is an explanation of the course standard.

  Hazardous Materials “Specialist”

Course proficiencies

The Hazardous Materials Specialist is an individual who responds with and provides support to hazardous materials “technicians.” Their duties parallel those of hazardous materials technicians, however their duties require a more “directed” or “specific” knowledge of the various substances they may be called upon to contain. The hazardous materials “specialist” would also act as the site liaison’ between Federal, State, Local, and other government authorities in regards to all site activities. This may be seen as an oversight person for operational integrity. Hazardous materials “Specialists” shall have received at least 24 hours of training equal to the technician (under (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.1200) level and in addition have received instructional competencies in the following areas and that the employer shall so certify:

1] The “Specialist” shall “know” and be able to implement his/her local emergency response plan.

2] Have a thorough understanding of classification, identification, and verification of known and unknown materials by using and understanding advanced survey instruments and all ancillary equipment for those instruments.

3] The “Specialist” shall “know” and be able to implement the State of Jurisdiction, emergency response plan.

4] Be able to select and use the proper specialized chemical personal protective equipment provided to the hazardous materials “Specialist.”

5] Understand, “know”, and be able to explain in-depth hazard and risk techniques and “risk assessment” techniques.

6] Be able to perform, set-up, and coordinate specialized control, containment, and confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective equipment available.

7] Be able to determine and implement “advanced” decontamination procedures.

8] Have the ability to develop and implement a site safety and control plan for any incident site.

9] Understand and be able to implement to the team, chemical, radiological, and toxicology terminology and behavior.

It is strongly recommended that the graduating Hazardous Materials “Specialist” occupies at least one role in the Command General Staff for continuity and oversight operational integrity.  “Specialists” are commonly seen in Command or as Liaison’ Officers within the ICS structure.

If you have any questions regarding this course or its function within your organization, contact us at

                                                  Haz Mat Mike


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