This standard shall identify the minimum levels of competence
required by responders to emergencies involving hazardous
materials/weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The key to achieving a given level of competence required in
1.1.1 is training and testing. NFPA 472 is a performance-based
standard, and therefore training hour requirements are not given.
Instead, NFPA 472 deals with the objectives and abilities that a
responder must attain in order to be considered competent. The
performance-based approach was chosen by committee members because
hazardous materials emergency response is a constantly changing
field of knowledge, skills, and control methods, based on
continually developing technology, chemicals, and needs.
Competencies can identify the skills, knowledge, and abilities
expected for the specific hazardous materials responder levels.
NFPA 472 can be used for designing training and evaluation
programs, certifying responders, measuring and critiquing
on-the-job performance, defining hiring practices, and setting
organizational policies, procedures, and goals.
Competencies for the technician with a specialty designation
have been included since the 1997 edition of NFPA 472 and now
include the following four specialty areas of expertise:
1. Tank cars (Chapter 12)
2. Cargo tanks (Chapter 13)
3. Intermodal tanks (Chapter 14)
4. Marine tank vessels (Chapter 15)
Three areas of specialty designation competencies are new to the
2013 edition of NFPA 472:
1. Technician with a Flammable Liquids Bulk Storage Specialty
2. Technician with a Flammable Gases Bulk Storage Specialty
3. Technician with a Radioactive Material Specialty (Chapter
The inclusion of these specialty levels does not limit the
technician level in the performance of those tasks that have always
been assigned at that level. Instead, the Technical Committee on
Hazardous Materials Response Personnel has added specific language
to explain that the capabilities and operations performed by the
technician level can still be performed by technicians in hazardous
materials incidents involving tank cars, cargo tanks, intermodal
tanks, and marine tank vessels.
Since the 1997 edition, NFPA 472 has also included two other
levels of competencies:
1. Hazardous materials officer (Chapter 10)
2. Hazardous materials safety officer (Chapter 11) The hazardous
materials officer could be the "officer-in-charge" of the hazardous
materials team, the hazardous materials group supervisor, or a
hazardous materials technical specialist.
The hazardous materials officer can be a part of the entry team
or can closely supervise the operation from the warm zone. At some
larger incidents, more than one hazardous materials officer could
be needed for each separate team working at the incident.
A response team can be composed of members at several different
levels. For example, a team might have personnel at the operations
level and at the technician level, or it might be made up of
personnel at specialist employee A and B levels. The levels of
competencies in NFPA 472 apply to individuals rather than to
Outside the United States, hazardous materials might be called
dangerous goods (see Annex E). Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
are known by many different abbreviations and acronyms, including
CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive),
B-NICE (biological, nuclear, incendiary, chemical, explosive),
COBRA (chemical, ordinance, biological, radiological agents), and
NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical).
This standard shall apply to any individual or member of any
organization who responds to hazardous materials/WMD incidents.
This standard shall cover the competencies for awareness level
personnel, operations level responders, hazardous materials
technicians, incident commanders, hazardous materials officers,
hazardous materials safety officers, and other specialist