Friday, June 11, 2010

Chemical Security Workshop

I just ran across an interesting announcement on the DHS Fire Service web site about an interesting work shop that is going to be held in New York this fall. Three agencies (DHS, New York State Office of Homeland Security, and the New York State Chemical Alliance) are sponsoring this one-day workshop that will look at active-shooter and hostage-taking incidents at chemical facilities. The brochure provides a schedule of events that includes a briefing on the CFATS program and background information (psychological and historical) on active-shooter incidents. The workshop will include an active-shooter exercise and post-exercise review. According to the piece on the Fire Service web site explains that:
“The one-day facilitated program will be aimed at fostering effective communication between facilities and their local emergency response teams during active-shooter or hostage-taking incidents. It will also focus on first responder and chemical facility coordination, interoperability, communications protocols, best practices, and integration of local assets. Familiarization and accountability between chemical facilities and their local Emergency Services Sector departments and agencies will be emphasized.”
I don’t see anything specifically addressing the two major concerns about shooters on chemical facilities, the problems associated with storage tank penetration by stray rounds or the issue of discharge of a firearm in a flammable environment. I’m sure that if these are not actually addressed in the presentations, that any workshop participants from actual chemical facilities will ask about these issues. The brochure includes a registration form that can be mailed or faxed to the New York Office of Homeland Security, or one can register on line. Additional information can be obtained via email from DHS, the NY State Office of Homeland Security, or the NY State Chemical Alliance.

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