Frequently asked questions

  • Team members are located throughout each of the PHMSA regions.


  • At the Federal level:
    • PHMSA, FRA and FMCSA will use the information to improve risk analysis of hazmat transportation incidents. This will improve PHMSA's and FRA's ability to better focus outreach, training and resources to the response community and to improve the safety of hazardous materials transportation.
    • PHMSA will also use the information to aid in the creation of a research and development program which will focus on improved safety for emergency responders, communities and the environment.
    • NFA will be able to use the information to determine training needs and develop new training programs. The information will also assist the NFA in reviewing the effectiveness of the different types of training available.
  • At the State and Local level:
    • Hazmat response leadership will be able to request data that can be used to assist in the assessment and development of hazmat capabilities within their jurisdictions.
    • State fusion centers will be able to request information to assist with assessments.
  • At the IAFC:
    • IAFC will use the information to better ensure responder safety to Hazmat incidents. The information will be analyzed to determine emerging trends and patterns. Information with an immediate impact on responder safety will be disseminated quickly to the Hazmat response community. The information will be used to develop after-action reports, lessons learned, guidance for smart practices, realistic training programs/packages, and information to industry on improving shipping and process safety.


  • Team leaders are part time employees of the IAFC. Team members are individually contracted with the IAFC.


  • No. The information collected by RIST is not a critique of scene operations, will not be used to affix any blame or make any accusations. The information will be collected and turned over to the National Hazmat Fusion Center for review. Staff will analyze the information and extract items that may be used for lessons learned or smart practices. This will then be disseminated to the hazmat community, but will not include any identifiers.


  • Report information will only be used in a constructive manner and will not be used to make accusations or affix blame to the responding jurisdiction. RIST personnel will collaborate with the local authorities during their process; so they will have the opportunity to offer input, but will not have a final say regarding content of the report to be submitted.


  • RIST's authority is limited to being present and collecting information as outlined by the National Hazmat Fusion Center's Scope of Work.


  • This depends on type and scale of incident. The time parameters of an incident could be anywhere from 8 hours to 3 days. RIST is tasked with ensuring information is collected from each responding agency. RIST may request a 'site visit' to get a better understanding of the incident area and collect topographical information.


  • No. RIST members are prohibited from acting in any command, operational, planning or logistical capacity.


  • Yes. A copy of the final report submitted to the IAFC will be made available to the participating agencies.


  • No. RIST response is funded through the Cooperative Agreement between IAFC and DOT/PHMSA.


  • Submit data and lessons learned from responses, and let others know about the Hazmat Fusion Center. Please contact our staff for more information.


  • All concerns or comments regarding RIST personnel should be directed to John Woulfe, Asst. Director, 703-273-9701


Get in touch

  • Fusion Center Operates from IAFC at 4025 Fair Ridge Dr Fairfax VA 22033

  • Phone: 703-273-0911

  • Email: HazmatFC@iafc.org

About Our Company

The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. Its mission is to support current and future career, volunteer, fire-rescue and EMS chiefs, chief fire officers, company officers and managers of emergency service organizations throughout the international community through vision, information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.