Interim decontamination

Control Measure Knowledge

Although the health service has primacy for public decontamination, the fire and rescue service (FRS) is acknowledged as being the most capable emergency service due to its provision at an emergency incident. This is because of the equipment and personnel it can provide.

In the early stages of the incident and dependent on the symptoms and needs of contaminated people, the fire and rescue service (FRS) incident commander may decide (where possible in conjunction with the ambulance and police services) to establish interim decontamination.

Interim decontamination has the advantage of being a more structured and controlled method of decontamination than improvised decontamination.

The designation of an area to carry it out decontamination can greatly influence the effectiveness of the process and can reduce the impact of the process on the surrounding environment.  If a ‘wet’ decontamination process is chosen, the run-off must be contained and prevented from entering drainage until discussed with the relevant agency and water companies.

Liaise with the environmental agencies or hazardous materials adviser (HMA) regarding appropriate disposal.

See National Operational Guidance: Environmental protection

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions