Whats the issue with the Toxic Twins

Carbon Monoxide attacks the bloods ability to carry oxygen to the organs, Hydrogen Cyanide impacts on the organs and cells abilities to use oxygen. This is why they are considered toxic twins, because together they are widely regarded as acutely toxic. Levels of 50ppm are general regarded as immediately dangerous to life and health. Workplace exposure levels are set as low 0.5ppm for HCN. Gas Monitoring is the only way to detect these.

Both exist at ALL fires, but the concentrations are worse during the initial development stage and the decay stage of a fire.

Treat Fire Like Hazmats!

Fire 🔥 is Hazmats ☠️ so you should treat it with the same basic operational principles.

Consider using the same systems of work such as:

Hot Zone: Area of gross contamination, for example the building

Warm Zone: Area that will become contaminated, but also where you will decontaminate before moving into the…

Cold Zone: Clean area where the Incident Commander and Entry Control Operative are located.


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Carboxyhaemoglobin COHb (CO Levels in Blood)

Ian reminded me of the importance of basic health monitoring of responders, you could argue that employers have a legal duty to monitor exposure levels of its employees when it is foreseeable that WEL will be exceeded. Monitoring CO levels in the blood of Firefighters is routinely done in areas of the US and Canada.

COHb levels can be obtained on scene using equipment carried by HART using a Masimo Rad-57, if levels are high then oxygen can be given to significantly reduce the half life in the blood.

We monitor for blood O2 levels for the public, why don't we do the same for CO with the public and responders?

Just a thought….



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Garden Sprayer for Decon?

When considering decontamination following a Hazmats or BA Wear in Smoke, it may be appropriate to consider damping or rinsing your PPE and RPE down to help manage particulate contamination and to cool the kit down before removal. Conventional methods include 19-22mm hose reel, but these are not always practical, and will likley create large unnecessary water run off.

The solution? A 5 Litre sprayer, this will also allow additives such as a 2% natural soap solution to be added to assist, if required, in the decontamination process.

Ridiculous ? No, entirely proportionate to the risk.


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Fire is Hazmats!

Last week, myself and Ian L from WMAS HART team presented at the NCEC Hazardous Materials Conference held in Stratford Upon Avon. Thank you for all the questions and support. We hope to share as much information as possible through this website. "Fire is Hazmats"


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