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Chemistry for Emergency Response N0233

Curriculum: Hazardous Materials
Training Specialist

Dave Donohue

Delivery type
10-day off-campus
Continuing education units
ACE recommendation
In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, three semester hours in fire science, chemistry, general science, hazardous materials, or physical science.

This 10-day course is designed to prepare the responder to function safely at the scene of a hazardous materials incident by understanding the potential hazards. This is accomplished by gaining recognition of chemical nomenclature and basic principles of chemistry in order to assess risks to responders and the public.

The course seeks to convey to first responders or prevention personnel a sound understanding of the basic chemistry of hazardous materials to permit them to correctly assess the threat posed by hazardous materials incidents that may occur accidentally or intentionally.

Problem-solving sessions and interactive discussion cover topics such as salts and inorganic nonsalts, hydrocarbons, hydrocarbon derivatives and hydrocarbon radicals. Applying the science of chemistry to thermodynamics, volatility and combustion provides real-world opportunities.

An understanding of basic chemistry is helpful to receive maximum benefit from the course.

Student pre-course materials and course syllabus:

Selection criteria

Emergency response personnel who have responsibility for analysis, management and/or tactical response to hazardous materials incidents.

Fire prevention inspectors, hazardous materials inspectors, regulators and planners where knowledge of the chemical behavior of hazardous materials is essential.


Incident Command System (ICS)-100-level and ICS-200-level training. Preferred courses are Q0462 and Q0463, available through NFA Online.  Chief’s signature attests that the applicant has completed this required training.

Post-course requirements


Student comments

Chemical identification and techniques will be of use with haz mat and WMD...It will help me better understand the "enemy" at a haz mat/WMD incident and keep my team safe...Recognition of dangerous chemical storage arrangements. Firefighter safety through better prevention inspections. My FEMA task force will benefit.