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  • Identifing Haz-Mat Id Number

    Well guys I just want to get some ideas on how to identify the id numbers of the Materials. Like say if the hot zone of a spill was 300 feet and you could not see the id number. How would you go about identifing the id number? Please let me know!!

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    Chris Deyerle

  • #2
    We carry a good quality set of binoculars on every truck, and in our POV's.

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    Susan Bednar
    Captain - Forsyth Rescue
    North Carolina Strike Force 1

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    • #3
      I concur with Susan, a good set of binoculars is a must.
      If the UN number can't be seen, due to tanker on it's side or for what ever reason, it may become the job of the entry team to identify. You can also get some clues from the type of tanker. Tanker types like an DOT412 will get you in the general catagory of a corrosive shipment. If it's a box van, the entry team will more than likely have to retrieve the shipping papers.

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      • #4
        If all else fails, refer to guide page 111. It's the first guide page in the book. It should get you in the ballpark; at least until you can get further information.

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        Steve Gallagher
        Chillicothe (Ohio) Fire Department

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        • #5

          Chris, like the other posts eluded to, a good set of binoculars (50 power or better) is your first resource.

          As hazmater said, container shapes and any other markings will give you a start if you cannot see the tanker or truck placards. I have used a tower ladder truck a couple of times for an aerial view of the top/side of the tanker (from the cold zone of course). A helicopter can be useful if you have one available in your area, as long as there is no risk of plumes or explosion.

          Also any markings the truck will have can help you out. A truck marked Hess, Mobil, Exxon, Citgo, Shell etc. gives you a good idea.

          I've heard of people using video cameras with high powered zoom lenses to get a better look.

          Just remember the old "rule of thumb" before you attempt to identify the product. That is, make sure you are far enough away that you can cover the scene with your thumb.

          Stay safe.

          Engine/Rescue Lt. Kevin C. (Pokey)

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          • #6
            I concur with all of the other postings about binoculars and container shape; your recon team should be able to determine a more precise exclusion zone, but there is some deal of risk involved in relying solely on the recon. I assume that you respond to HM incidents as a member of a Haz Mat team; thus, you know all the protocols for your dept. On the same subject, the identification of the intermodal containers is quite a bit more complicated (ID's like 266 instead of colored placards with the UN hazard class identifieable by color). In most cases of intermodal containers, if you can determine the hazard class, you can also get the UNID # as well. Good luck, and stay safe.

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            • #7
              All the responses above are right on the mark.
              All I can add is-
              Know your containers and what might be in 'em.
              Know your chems, and how they react with the environment they're spilled in.
              Watch for clues-birds falling out of the sky, cops tipping over, materials near the spill changing color, deteriorating, or catching fire for no good reason, etc.
              Keep asking questions
              Stay on your toes
              Be safe

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              • #8
                How do you set a HOT zone of 300 ft. when you don't know what the product is? It might be a stainless steel tanker on its side with just a load of milk! The diesel fuel might be more of a problem!

                Lt.Chuck
                Truck-2 C

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