FUSION CENTER FAQS
What is the National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center and its purpose?
- The Hazmat Fusion Center is a one-stop shop for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information about hazmat emergency response.
- The Hazmat Fusion Center ties together the hazmat training network, analysis of significant hazmat incidents, exploration of hazmat technologies, and continued development of hazmat tools and resources.
- The Hazmat Fusion Center offers a national communications network for hazmat responders to share information in the areas of responder safety, training, and lessons learned.
- The focus of the Hazmat Fusion Center is on the safety of the emergency responder at hazmat incidents.
- The Hazmat Fusion Center has been built from the bottom-up to reflect the needs of hazmat responders.
What are the benefits and what does the Hazmat Fusion Center have to offer me?
- A database that incorporates hazmat teams nationwide so they may communicate with each other more effectively.
- Knowledge about hazmat incidents nationally.
- Lessons learned shared nationally without criticism or condemnation.
- Smart and effective practices for Hazardous Materials response.
- A basis for realistic approaches to training.
- Regional Incident Survey Teams (RIST).
- Effective and responsive communications tool(s) for the hazmat community.
- Critical information that could one day save your life and the lives of your team members.
Where is the National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center located?
- International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) headquarters, 4025 Fair Ridge Drive, Fairfax, VA 22033.
Who has been involved with establishing the Hazmat Fusion Center?
- Regional focus groups and Hazmat Fusion Center work groups.
- Attendees from the National Hazmat Fusion Center Symposiums.
- The National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center Executive Work Group is comprised of representatives from:
- International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
- International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
- National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/National Fire Academy (NFA)
- U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- EPA and National Response Team
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
- Hazmat teams from many areas
Who is managing the daily operation of the Hazmat Fusion Center and the information collected?
- The Hazmat Fusion Center reflects the partnership between the PHMSA and the IAFC with the IAFC Hazmat Fusion Center staff managing the day-to-day operations.
Will I be able to get hazmat training information through the Hazmat Fusion Center?
- Yes. The training recommendations are based on analysis of the incidents that are reported to the Hazmat Fusion Center. This will lead to the development of response specific training packages which should provide a more realistic approach to training.
- The Hazmat Fusion Center has a list of resources which allows access to training packages and programs produced by the Hazmat Fusion Center and other entities.
My state already has a fusion center. Will the National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center be linked to or through the one we already established?
- The Hazmat Fusion Center is working to develop linkages with fusion centers throughout the nation.
What is the difference between my state fusion center and the National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center?
- The Hazmat Fusion Center is focused on the safety of hazardous materials emergency responders no matter what their primary discipline and improving the safety of hazardous materials transportation. The Hazmat Fusion Center is also addressing the day-to-day type of hazmat accidents that occur across the country.
- Most state fusion centers are primarily funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Department of Justice with a primary mission of supporting law enforcement and homeland security.
How are you collecting information on hazmat incidents?
- A secure internet portal and a phone number for voluntary, but strongly encouraged, reporting.
Will the data and information collected be secure?
- Yes. The portal has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under IAFC’s control.
Who will have access to the raw data submitted through the Incident Reporting System?
- Local jurisdictions have full access to their own incident data and user-generated content that they post on the site. The National Hazmat Fusion Center staff has access to the aggregate higher-level data that does not identify a particular incident by location, date, or time and does not identify by name any organization or individual that submit the reports, unless the organization voluntarily provides such information and wants to be contacted by Hazmat Fusion Center staff or RIST member for a follow up.
Who will use the information and for what purposes?
- 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 lessons learned, guidance for smart and effective practices, realistic training programs/packages, and information to industry on improving shipping and, potentially, process safety.
How can I find out more information?
How can I get involved to assist with the process?
- Submit data and any lessons learned from responses.
- Invite a RIST to conduct a survey in your jurisdiction.
- Let others know about the National Hazmat Fusion Center.
What are the next steps?
- Continue conducting RIST surveys nationwide.
- Improving and adding new content and features to the portal.
- Continue building the Hazmat Fusion Center from the bottom-up with input from hazmat responders like you.