DAOD 4007-5, Initial Response by Firefighters to Hazardous Material Incidents or Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Incidents

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Overview
  5. Operating Principles
  6. Response to Hazardous Material or Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Incidents
  7. Responsibilities
  8. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2006-07-28

Application: This is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Approval Authority: This DAOD is issued under the authority of the Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) (ADM(IE)).

Enquiries: Canadian Forces Fire Marshal (CFFM)

2. Definitions

chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident (incident chimique, biologique, radiologique ou nucléaire)

A chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident means any criminal act in which weaponized or non-weaponized chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear material causes, or has the potential to cause, significant harm.

hazardous material (matière dangereuse)

Hazardous material means any poison, corrosive agent, flammable substance, ammunition, explosive or other material that, if handled improperly, may endanger human health, harm the environment or cause damage to property.

hazardous material incident (incident mettant en cause des matières dangereuses)

A hazardous material incident means a spill, accidental release, leak or loss of a hazardous material due to human error or natural or technological causes.

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3. Abbreviations

Table of Abbreviations

3.1 This document contains the following abbreviations:

Abbreviation Complete Word or Phrase


Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources - Civilian)


Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment)


Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel)


Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs)


Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting

Canada COM

Canada Command


Canadian Special Operations Forces Command


Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear


Canadian Expeditionary Force Command


Canadian Forces Fire Marshal

CF H Svcs Gp

Canadian Forces Health Services Group


Canadian Forces Integrated Command Centre


Canadian Forces Joint Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence


Chief of Military Personnel


commanding officer


Disaster Assistance Response Team


DCDS Direction for Domestic Operations


Environmental Chiefs of Staff


Environmental Directive


Explosive Ordnance Disposal


Emergency Response Plans


Emergency Response Planning Team


Hazardous Material


incident commander


International Fire Service Accreditation Congress


Joint Staff 3 (Operations and Training)


Joint Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defence


Mutual Aid Agreement


Major Air Disaster


Military Police


Nuclear, Biological and Chemical


Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence


Nuclear Emergency Response Team


National Fire Protection Association


National Investigation Service


On Job Experience


office of primary interest


personal protective equipment


qualification level


Radiation and Nuclear


Significant Incident Reports

4. Overview


4.1 Responding to a CBRN incident is a worst-case scenario for any firefighter, particularly a first responder, because such incidents are created with the specific intent to cause harm and the true nature of the emergency may be deliberately concealed.

4.2 While a HAZMAT incident is not caused intentionally, it has the potential to be just as harmful as a CBRN incident and pose equal risk to first responders, as the HAZMATs involved can be equally dangerous.

4.3 Ensuring an effective first response by DND and CAF fire departments to HAZMAT or CBRN incidents requires planning, training and appropriate equipment, and qualified personnel.


4.4 This DAOD sets the minimum standards and the required capabilities for DND and CAF fire departments at the base, wing and unit level to provide initial emergency response to HAZMAT and CBRN incidents.

4.5 Pursuant to DAOD 4007-0, Fire Protection Services, the CFFM is authorized to issue orders, directives and instructions to implement the fire protection services policy for the DND and the CAF. The CFFM has designated NFPA Standards 471, Standard on Recommended Practice for Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents and 472, Standard on Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents as mandatory standards for all DND and CAF fire departments and firefighters. The application of Standards 471 and 472 to HAZMAT and CBRN incidents is further specified in this DAOD.

4.6 The Canada Labour Code, Part II, is the primary occupational health and safety law that governs federal workplaces. The Code and its regulations apply to DND employees. The Code and the regulations only apply to CAF members who have direct management or supervisory responsibilities over DND employees.

4.7 It is DND and CAF policy for CAF members to comply with General Safety Policy and standards set out in A-GG-040-001/AG-001, DND General Safety Program and its related publications. The general safety standards provided for in that program are largely based upon the Canada Labour Code and its occupational health and safety regulations. Accordingly, commanders and COs should apply the standards of the General Safety Program and the provisions of this DAOD for the protection of any CAF members, other than firefighters, who could be involved in the initial emergency response to a HAZMAT or CBRN incident.

Municipal Considerations

4.8 If the DND and the CAF have entered into arrangements with municipal fire departments to provide fire protection services to persons and property on defence establishments, the commanders or COs who have made such arrangements shall ensure that the level of response provided by the municipality is the same as is required under this DAOD.

4.9 Authorized national CBRN units are designated to provide assistance to municipalities in managing the consequences of a HAZMAT or CBRN incident. Accordingly, unless an MAA exists, base or wing commanders and unit COs responsible for DND and CAF fire departments shall not provide or develop a HAZMAT or CBRN capability for potential response assistance to local municipalities. For any HAZMAT or CBRN incidents that occur outside the provisions of an existing MAA, the DDDO sets out the procedures to be followed for the DND and the CAF to provide assistance to a local municipality or any other external agency.

5. Operating Principles

Minimum Required Resources

5.1 For HAZMAT and CBRN incident purposes, DND and CAF fire departments shall have the following minimum number of firefighters on-duty and equipment available on a 24-hour, 7-days per week basis:

  1. HAZMAT and CBRN-qualified firefighters in accordance with the Fire Crew Minimum Qualification Table;
  2. one triple combination pumper; and
  3. one self-powered HAZMAT and rescue vehicle, with the required response equipment as specified in their ERP.

Fire Crew Minimum Qualification Table

5.2 This table identifies the minimum firefighter numbers and qualifications for initial response to HAZMAT and CBRN incidents in accordance with NFPA 472:

Position Minimum Firefighter Qualifications Required Minimum Number Required Minimum HAZMAT Qualification (NFPA 472)


  • QL6; or
    • NFPA 1021 Fire Officer II; and
    • NFPA 1041 Fire Service Instructor II; and
    • NFPA 1003 ARFF
      (as required).




  • QL5; or
    • NFPA 1001 Firefighter Level II; and
    • NFPA 1002 Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator; and
    • NFPA 1003 ARFF
      (as required).


HAZMAT technician


  • QL3; or
    • NFPA 1001 Firefighter Level I; and
    • DND and CAF OJE program completed (Qualified Apprentice); and
    • NFPA 1003 ARFF
      (as required).


operational level

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HAZMAT and CBRN Training

5.3 DND and CAF firefighters shall be qualified and trained for initial emergency response to HAZMAT and CBRN incidents in accordance with NFPA 472. The training institution shall be accredited by the IFSAC or recognized by the CFFM.


5.4 All base or wing commanders and unit COs responsible for DND and CAF fire departments shall form an ERPT. ERPTs shall develop ERPs detailing specific actions and roles to be performed by all personnel responding to HAZMAT or CBRN incidents.

5.5 ERPs dealing with HAZMAT or CBRN incidents constituting an environmental emergency shall:

5.6 In accordance with NFPA 471, base or wing and unit ERPTs shall review and update their ERPs annually to determine:

  1. potential risks of HAZMAT and CBRN incidents; and
  2. the corresponding response and resources necessary to:
    1. accomplish rescue; and
    2. carry out mitigation and recovery actions, including containment, decontamination and clean up as required.

5.7 In addition to developing ERPs, base or wing commanders and unit COs responsible for DND and CAF fire departments shall ensure:

  1. annual risk assessments are undertaken;
  2. regular training and exercises are conducted;
  3. emergency response equipment is suitable, properly maintained and regularly inspected;
  4. personnel responding to emergencies are effectively directed and coordinated; and
  5. an effective means is in place for the expedient recall of additional personnel.

HAZMAT and CBRN Control Zones

5.8 When a HAZMAT or CBRN incident occurs, the site is divided into three control zones based on the level of hazard.

5.9 The "hot zone", also referred to as the "exclusion zone" or "contamination area", is the immediate area surrounding the site of a HAZMAT or CBRN incident and where the hazard level is high. The boundary of the hot zone - the "hot line", shall be clearly marked with banner tape or by other means to indicate the high risk to responders. Such marking shall extend far enough to prevent adverse effects from the release of the HAZMAT to any persons outside the hot zone.

5.10 The "warm zone" surrounds the hot zone and is the area that presents only a minimal hazard to personnel. The warm zone is where decontamination is conducted. The boundary of the warm zone - the "contamination control line", shall be marked by appropriate means to indicate the potential risk to anyone entering the zone.

5.11 The "cold zone" surrounds the warm zone and is the area that presents no imminent hazard to emergency services personnel and equipment. In this area, equipment needs of the responders can be supported, such as changing air bottles and replacing worn or damaged PPE.

Access to Control Zones Table

5.12 The following table identifies the three hazard zones and the authorised personnel who shall be permitted within each zone:

If the Zone is ... then the level of hazard is ... and the only personnel authorized to enter the zone are ...



  • HAZMAT technician-level trained personnel; and
  • individuals possessing particular CBRN knowledge of the problem or situation, under monitored conditions.



  • only those assigned by the IC.



  • HAZMAT operational-level trained personnel; and
  • emergency services personnel
    (i.e. command post, triage, agency liaison, news media, etc.).

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6. Response to Hazardous Material or Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Incidents

Initial Responders

6.1 The first responders to arrive on scene of a HAZMAT or CBRN incident are normally:

  1. firefighters;
  2. MP; and
  3. emergency medical services personnel.

Role of the IC

6.2 The on-scene fire department senior official, usually the platoon chief in charge of the fire crew, normally serves as IC. The IC shall determine the:

  1. extent of response required;
  2. need to initiate a recall, i.e. to call additional firefighters on-scene; and
  3. requirement for follow-on response.

6.3 The IC shall also:

  1. consider the direct advice and authority of other subject matter experts on scene; and
  2. retain control of the initial response until such time as command is relinquished to another qualified IC for follow-on response, if required.

Incident Management Procedures

6.4 DND and CAF fire departments must be able to perform the initial response to HAZMAT or CBRN incidents without jeopardizing their ability to accomplish their primarily roles, i.e. providing life rescue and firefighting for aircraft incidents and structural fires.

6.5 All emergency operations shall be conducted in accordance with NFPA 471.

Incident Management Procedures Table

6.6 The following table describes the steps firefighters shall perform, as a minimum, during recognized incident management procedures:

Step Action


Isolate the incident area and deny entry (normally an MP function, based on distances determined by the IC).


Detect the HAZMAT or CBRN agent.


If within expertise
assist in identifying the threat.

If not within expertise
continue with procedures below.


Evaluate immediate hazards and risks.


Determine and identify the three hazard zones.


Select protective clothing and equipment.


Conduct life, safety and rescue operations, if applicable, with awareness of the hazard and the minimum capability required.


Co-ordinate information and resources, including when a follow-on response capability is necessary.


Neutralize and contain the HAZMAT or CBRN agent, if possible.

Suspicion of a Criminal Act

6.7 If the IC suspects that the HAZMAT incident is the result of a criminal act, (thereby constituting a CBRN incident), the IC shall notify the MP immediately or the appropriate police services within the jurisdiction of the incident. In such instances, once firefighters have taken immediate action to contain the CBRN incident and the resulting threat to life or property, the police service shall then take the investigative lead.

6.8 In CBRN incidents, DND and CAF firefighters shall:

  1. identify and protect evidence as much as possible; and
  2. maintain their primary responsibility for the preservation of life and property.

6.9 MP and civilian police services may require the expertise of the firefighters to assist with the safe identification and preservation of evidence.

Follow-on Responders

6.10 Follow-on responders who may be required for a HAZMAT or CBRN incident include:

  1. immediate response units;
  2. an enhanced HAZMAT emergency response team;
  3. a NERT;
  4. health care providers;
  5. EOD and bomb technicians;
  6. Force Protection services;
  7. CAF NIS;
  8. Radiation Safety Officer;
  9. meteorological support;
  10. environmental officer;
  11. HAZMAT officer;
  12. safety officer; and
  13. other skilled support personnel or agencies.

6.11 In extreme scenarios, follow-on responders may include:

  1. other government agencies;
  2. CAF DART;
  3. CAF MAJAID Team;
  4. CAF JNBCD Company;
  5. reinforcement and sustainment response components;
  6. scientific and technical support;
  7. other close or general units; and
  8. private sector resources.

Follow-on Response Capability

6.12 Base or wing commanders and unit COs responsible for DND and CAF fire departments shall ensure that the initial response IC has the necessary resources available to initiate a follow-on incident response, as circumstances dictate.

6.13 Base or wing commanders and unit COs responsible for DND and CAF fire departments shall ensure, as a minimum, that contingency planning is in place for a follow-on HAZMAT and CBRN response capability to:

  1. react to an accidental, limited HAZMAT or CBRN incident;
  2. react to an EOD combined with a HAZMAT or CBRN incident;
  3. react to a spill clean-up or decontamination that is beyond initial response capability;
  4. if required, provide preliminary identification of the HAZMAT or CBRN agent, conduct sampling operations, and transport potentially hazardous chemical compounds and suspected biological products to an accredited facility so that further testing and analysis can take place;
  5. conduct detailed reconnaissance, survey and surveillance operations; and
  6. meet any other requirements identified in the base, wing or unit ERP.

Incident Reporting

6.14 Commanders and COs shall submit SIRs through their chain of command to the appropriate ECS, CFICC and ADM(PA), in addition to any other organization (e.g. operational headquarters), that may need such information. For more information on the form and content of SIRs, see DAOD 2008-3, Issue and Crisis Management.

6.15 All incidents responded to by DND and CAF firefighters, including contracted fire protection service, shall be reported using the Integrated Fire Service Management & Reporting application. Fire incidents shall be reported in accordance with DAOD 4007-1, Fire or Incident Reporting and Investigating. Non-fire incidents shall be reported in accordance with the Initial Reporting and Initial Report Format blocks of DAOD 4007-1.

6.16 As per DAOD 2008-3 and ED 4003 1/2003, Spill Reporting, spills or releases that meet reporting criteria shall be entered into SPILLNET, the departmental reporting software for HAZMAT spills.

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7. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

7.1 The following table identifies the primary responsibilities for this DAOD:

The ... is or are responsible for ...


  • establishing and maintaining qualification standards, training plans and training materials; and
  • providing access to courses required by DND and CAF firefighters for initial response to HAZMAT and CBRN incidents.

ECSs and other Level 1 Advisors (as set out in the Defence Plan On-Line)

  • providing to subordinate base or wing commanders and unit COs responsible for DND and CAF fire departments adequate resources, direction and periodic oversight to enable HAZMAT and CBRN incident responders to effectively fulfil their respective roles.


  • implementing CBRN response for contingency operations or incidents beyond local capability.

CF H Svcs Gp

  • developing and maintaining medical countermeasure policies and procedures for HAZMAT, and CBRN response operations.

J3 Engineer

  • providing engineer advice on CBRN-related matters.


  • establishing standards and capabilities required for DND and CAF fire departments to provide initial response to HAZMAT and CBRN incidents.

Base or Wing Commanders and COs responsible for DND and CAF Fire Departments

  • maintaining the minimum required resources for HAZMAT and limited CBRN responses, including initial and available follow-on responses;
  • promulgating direction covering the management of HAZMAT and CBRN incidents and the appointment of an ERPT, as required;
  • ensuring that ERPTs produce ERPs for DND employees and CAF members, as well as the facilities under the responsibility of the base or wing commander and unit CO; and
  • arranging an alternative response capability when a base, wing and unit cannot provide the minimum required resources utilizing on-site fire department assets or for locations that do not have a DND and CAF fire department.

Fire Chiefs

  • ensuring DND and CAF firefighters meet minimum required qualifications;
  • understanding the roles of firefighters as provided for in the base, wing and unit ERP;
  • maintaining and servicing resources and participating in joint wing, base and unit training exercises or drills with other emergency responders that are expected to participate in responding to HAZMAT or CBRN incidents;
  • identifying assets available from their fire department and from other local or regional emergency response agencies; and
  • following post-event rehabilitation practices and procedures for firefighters.


  • assuming the investigative lead for any CBRN incident occurring on a defence establishment or in CAF operations;
  • maintaining close liaison with other first responders to ensure the efficient identification, preservation, collection, transportation and security of evidence; and
  • providing additional support as required.

8. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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