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ID
4-509-1477
Name
Chemical Operations Support Specialist
Status
Published
Version
1.0
Updated
3/15/2022 12:10:57 PM
Original Release
03/15/2022
Last Major Release
03/15/2022
NQS Position
Resource Category
Fire/Hazardous Materials
Primary Core Capability
Situational Assessment
Secondary Core Capability
 
Resource Kind
Personnnel
Overall Function
The Chemical Operations Support Specialist (COSS): 1. Provides subject matter expertise and guidance on questions pertaining to chemical incidents, the environment, modeling of the hazard(s), data and risk management, public protective actions and other scientific and technical issues to any level of all response organizations on these topics 2. Gathers, organizes, synthesizes, documents and distributes incident and resource information to improve situational awareness at all levels of incident management 3. Provides the expertise necessary to clearly explain the implications of modeling, measurement and analysis methods, as well as health risks and hazards existing during a chemical incident 4. Supports state and local authorities with jurisdiction for chemical emergency response and recovery 5. Assists with effective integration of state and local planning and actions with federal agencies 6. Integrates into the incident command structure and/or defers to a Federal On-Scene Coordinator's authorities, as appropriate, given the specifics of an incident
Single resource
In conjunction with a NIMS typed team
NIMS Typed Team
 
In conjunction with a NIMS typed unit
NIMS Typed Unit
 
Description Notes
Not Specified
Supporting Core Capabilities
None
Types
Type Description
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS 1. Works at both the Incident Command Post (ICP) and emergency operations center (EOC) levels 2. Advises and makes recommendations to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and chief elected officials 3. Activates and integrates federal chemical response assets and capabilities from across the federal government into the response 4. Coordinates chemical activities and technical data management with other COSS team members and federal response assets across the entire incident 5. Integrates into a state, local, tribal or territorial (SLTT) EOC and coordinates with the chemical incident management authority 6. Supports chemical response preparedness activities and exercises at the SLTT level 7. Manages multiple COSS Strike Team Leaders engaged in a variety of chemical response activities including: a. Human exposure response b. Ecological exposureresponse c. Environmental impact projection and assessment 8. Maintains consistent: a. Chemical situational awareness b. Management of geographically and temporally extensive environmental sampling c. Chemical analysis of samples d. Chemical safety advisement to emergency support functions engaged in lifesaving activities e. Input to the restoration of critical infrastructure f. Decontamination of people and places g. Waste management
Type 2Same as Type 3, PLUS 1. Performs exposure estimates for a variety of exposure routes and scenarios 2. Describes key state and federal chemical response capabilities, assets, and reporting structures, and how to integrate them into a response 3. Communicates complex chemical issues to large groups and/or senior managers and supports public message development 4. Assists in the building of Incident Action Plans (IAPs) that balance complex chemical safety concerns with mission priorities 5. Works closely with command staff and emergency management teams to accomplish incident objectives 6. Works effectively with other COSSs, within COSS Strike Teams or as a COSS Strike Team Leader to reduce large amounts of diverse chemical data from a wide variety of response and recovery resources to ensure a common chemical operating picture across all affected jurisdictions
Type 3The COSS Type 3: 1. Operates as a technical specialist and advises response personnel and AHJ on issues pertaining to chemical incident response 2. Provides chemical incident assessment and resource information through: a. Interpreting and communicating model and measurement results and data products b. Proficient use of the ChemResponder Mobile App and website to collect and share data c. Awareness of SLTT chemical management programs and other chemical emergency preparedness assets and key federal chemical response assets d. Exchange of technical information with other COSS members in the response and advisory organizations to ensure protection guidance is being properly communicated e. Ability to report to a COSS Strike Team Leader and work effectively within a COSS Strike Team at ICPs and other incident management centers to ensure a common chemical operating picture is used across the entire geographic and time range of response and recovery for compatible and effective decision-making f. Supporting the development of operational objectives for the implementation of protective actions and emergency worker protection on a unit-by-unit level 3. Guides chemical aspects of response during the event through: a. Working knowledge of chemical protection guidance and best practices, including, but not limited to: US Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guidebook, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Pocket Guide, Wireless Information System for Emergency Response (WISER), Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO), Chemical Companion software and other chemical emergency response and recovery guidance and how they may best be used b. Ability to obtain updated/additional chemical advice and recommendations from appropriate advisory organizations c. Assisting responding agencies and agency decision makers in use of ChemResponder website to maintain situational awareness of chemical aspects of the incident d. Communicating chemical issues to a non-technical audience and providing just-in-time training for first responders for the ChemResponder Mobile App and website, monitoring devices and safety protocols e. Effectively integrating into the Incident Command System (ICS) structure
Components
Component Notes  
EducationType 3 may substitute training and AHJ-approved experience for a degree.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: Graduate degree in chemical, industrial hygiene, or toxicological sciences-related field, passing the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) certification exam or equivalent experience as determined by AHJ
Type 2Bachelor's degree in chemistry, industrial hygiene, or toxicological sciences-related field, or Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) certification or equivalent experience as determined by AHJ
Type 3Associate degree in a chemical, industrial hygiene or toxicological sciences-related field, or five years’ experience as a National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA) 472 Hazardous Materials Specialist employee, technician or equivalent as AHJ determines
TrainingMGT-955: Initial course still in development. Estimated release in Calendar Year 2022.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: 1. ICS-400 Advanced ICS 2. Crisis Emergency Risk Communications Online Training or equivalent as determined by AHJ
Type 2Same as Type 3, PLUS 1. ICS-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents 2. R0655: Advanced Science of Hazardous Materials/WMD Response 3. PER373: Hazardous Materials Officer Course 4. R0247: Advanced Life Support Response to Hazardous Materials Incidents or equivalent experience 5. PER-292: Leadership and Management of Surface Transportation Incidents 6. MGT-346: EOC Operations and Planning for All-Hazards
Type 31. IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System 2. IS-200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents 3. IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction 4. IS-800.D: An Introduction to the National Response Framework 5. PER-XXX-W: ChemResponder Mobile App 6. MGT-955—Chemical Operation Support Specialist (COSS) Training (still in development) 7. Chemical protection/emergency response training in accordance with at least one of the following: a. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1910.120 HAZMAT Technician Training b. Hazardous Materials Specialist Employee A as defined in NFPA 472, or c. Hazardous Materials Technician as defined by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or d. Associate or higher degree in a chemical, industrial hygiene or toxicological sciences-related field 8. G-191—Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface or equivalent 9. R0233—Chemistry for Emergency Response or equivalent as AHJ determines
ExperienceNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: 1. Successful completion of the National Qualification System (NQS) Position Task Book (PTB) for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Chemical Operations Support Specialist (COSS) Type 1, or equivalent AHJ documentation 2. Three additional years’ experience as an operational industrial hygienist or environmental health and safety officer or similar military or first responder experience with emergency response experience and training 3. Working knowledge of plume projection/dose assessment modeling and software, like ALOHA, MARPLOT, Industrial Source Complex Long-Term model (ISCLT), as demonstrated in training or exercises 4. The development and implementation of at least three additional separate chemical and emergency training sessions for first responders or other emergency management personnel, to include conduct of the training sessions themselves
Type 2Same as Type 3, PLUS: 1. Successful completion of the NQS PTB for the NIMS COSS Type 2, or equivalent AHJ documentation 2. Experience in a chemical response and advisory role in national, regional or state-level exercises 3. Three years’ experience as an operational industrial hygienist or environmental health and safety officer, or similar military experience, or first responder experience with emergency response experience and training 4. Implementation of at least three separate chemical emergency training sessions for first responders or other emergency management personnel to include conduct of the training sessions themselves
Type 31. Successful completion of the NQS PTB for the NIMS COSS Type 3 or equivalent AHJ documentation 2. Experience in a chemical response and advisory role in chemical emergency preparedness exercises for chemical fixed facilities or other chemical incidents, such as transportation-related or weapons of mass destruction (WMD) attacks and terrorist attacks 3. At least two tabletop or other exercises demonstrating the chemical response and advisory role 4. Practical experience working with, identifying, classifying and quantifying chemicals
PHYSICAL / MEDICAL FITNESSThe NIMS Guideline for the NQS defines Physical/Medical Fitness levels for NQS positions.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Arduous
Type 3Moderate
CurrencyNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 31. Functions in this position during a qualifying incident, planned event, exercise, drill or simulation at least once every two years 2. Maintains currency in all ICS/NIMS and HAZMAT, industrial hygiene, or toxicological training as determined by the AHJ 3. Attend at least eight hours of COSS refresher training/continuing education every two years
Professional and Technical Licenses and CertificationsNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: ABIH certification, or equivalent experience
Type 2Same as Type 3, PLUS CSP, CHMM certification, or equivalent experience
Type 3NFPA 472 Hazardous Materials Specialist, Technician or equivalent as AHJ determines
Composition and Ordering Specifications
Specification
Discuss logistics for deploying this position, such as security, lodging, transportation, and meals, prior to deployment
The position typically works 12 hours per shift, is self-sustainable for 72 hours, and is deployable for up to 14 days
1479
Notes
References
Reference
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/training/learning/index.html
Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP): https://cdp.dhs.gov/training/courses
Counterterrorism Operations Support (CTOS) Center: http://www.ctosnnsa.org/pages/ctos_overview.htm
Emergency Management Institute (EMI): https://training.fema.gov/emicourses/