FIR008 - Hazards in the Environment

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:32:18.908
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:32:25.485

Subject Title
Hazards in the Environment

Subject Description
This subject provides an overview of environmental hazards and rescue operations. The role and responsibilities of the firefighting team and co-operating agencies are highlighted, along with safety practices and risk assessment. Also emphasized are the importance of environmental protection and the impact of hazardous incidents on the community and the health and safety of firefighters. This subject is taught to the NFPA 472 Operations Level and upon successful completion of the Ontario Fire Marshal's Firefighter Curriculum Examination, candidates will qualify to apply for NFPA 1001 - Firefighter I & II. This subject is divided into three sections: A) Awareness, B) Operation and C) Terrorism.

Credit Status
One credit toward the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Ontario College Certificate

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

A. Hazardous Materials Awareness

1. Describe a firefighter's role in a hazardous materials incident according to awareness, operations, and technician levels
2. Describe how a firefighter can recognize various environmental hazards
3. Describe the safety factors and precautions a firefighter would take at a hazardous materials incident
4. Describe the actions a firefighter as a patient care responder would take at a hazardous materials incident at the awareness level
5. Describe the procedures for conducting a scene survey at a hazardous materials incident
6. Describe the procedures for size-up and securing a hazardous materials scene
7. Describe the procedures and methods of identifying the presence and types of dangerous goods and hazardous materials by utilizing appropriate resources
8. Describe and identify basic types of hazardous materials containers/packages
9. Describe methods of obtaining and utilizing information, such as emergency response reference materials, for hazardous materials
10. Describe factors that will indicate if specialized assistance is required
11. Describe the roles and responsibilities that supporting agencies play in a hazardous materials incident
12. Describe various methods for monitoring environmental hazards
13. Describe methods to communicate with victim(s) for self-rescue purposes
14. Describe the procedures for emergency decontamination
15. Describe the impact of environmental hazards on firefighters and the community

B. Terrorism Awareness

Specific Skill Learning Outcomes

A. Hazardous Materials Awareness

1. Survey, analyze and secure a hazardous material/environmental hazard incident, notifying the appropriate authorities according to departmental guidelines
2. Communicate with victim(s) for self-rescue purposes
3. Use the Emergency Response Guidebook distributed by Transport Canada
4. Demonstrate emergency decontamination procedures

The student is required to complete the self study, "Terrorism Awareness/Hazardous Materials Awareness for First Responders in Ontario".

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  • Hazardous Materials Awareness 

This section sets the stage for the following sections on rescue operations.  There is potential in any fire ground/rescue operation for environmental damage and an overall negative impact on the community and to the health and safety of firefighters and rescue teams. Content focuses on the role, responsibilities and actions taken by firefighters as firefighter patient care responders at an awareness level during a hazardous materials incident.  There is also a focus on recognition, interagency coordination and accessing of information from additional resources. 

  • Electrical Hazards 

This section provides an overview of electrical hazards firefighters encounter when responding to electrical emergencies occurring during fire suppression and rescue operations.  Included in this are safety precautions and actions a firefighter should take when dealing with possibly charged electrical equipment. 

  • Terrorism Awareness 

At the end of this section, the learner will gain a general knowledge of the basic concepts for first responder awareness at the scene of a potential terrorist incident. 

Mode of Instruction
Lectures and demonstrations 

Prescribed Texts
Emergecy Response Guidebook 2016, Latest Edition
By J.J Keller & Associates, ISBN# 9781680080735

Reference Material
Emergency Response Guidebook , Latest Edition
Hazardous Materials for First Responders IFSTA, Second Edition- Fire Protection Publications
OFM Communique re- Vehicle Extrication #2000-04 

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme: 

Term Work        65% 
Final Exam        35%

Pass mark for course is 70% overall
80% attendance is required by the Office of the Fire Marshal to receive a passing grade for this course. 

Approved by: Sandra Noble