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How CHEMTREC Assists Emergency Responders

CHEMTREC is committed to providing emergency response personnel, law enforcement agencies and other interested persons with information and advice necessary to better mitigate emergencies associated with hazardous materials. CHEMTREC can provide a wealth of information using its network of company contacts, its extensive reference library, several product-specific mutual-aid networks, and other resources.

What Happens When A Call Comes Into CHEMTREC?

When CHEMTREC's Operations Center receives a call, a CHEMTREC Emergency Service Specialists (ESS):

  1. Gathers information about the incident, including the caller’s name, organization, callback phone number, fax number, location and nature of the incident, the type and amount of product(s) involved, shipper, consignee, carrier, type of container, and other details.
  2. Provides the caller with immediate technical emergency response information concerning the product(s) involved. Information is obtained from several sources, including the manufacturer’s product-specific Safety Data Sheet (SDS), a product specialist from the manufacturer or shipper, and/or other technical sources and computer databases. 
  3. Quickly relays details of the incident to the shipper or manufacturer of the product. The carrier (railroad, trucking company, etc.) may also be notified, as appropriate. The shipper is put in contact with the incident scene to provide further technical advice and assistance, which may include sending personnel to the scene. CHEMTREC also provides important support to medical professionals treating victims of exposure.
  4. Sends a written report of the incident via fax and/or email to the shipper or shipper-designated compliance organization (in cases where the shipper is registered with CHEMTREC).
Note: CHEMTREC can provide valuable information to emergency responders even when limited information is available about the product or incident. However, faster and improved information may be offered to responders when details are provided to the ESS. For instance, identification of the shipper and the specific product/trade name helps CHEMTREC expedite contact with a product expert. Shipping papers, which normally accompany hazmat in transportation, are the primary source of this information. If, however, shipping papers are unavailable or destroyed during an incident, information may be obtained from the railcar, truck or container markings, and/or carrier names.