Wisconsin’s hazardous materials (hazmat) courses are comprehensive and exceed national training standards in the field of hazmat response training. Standards for the Hazmat training program are found both in the Federal Code CFR 29 and the National Fire Protection Association Standard #472. As of October of 2014 all classes will be based on the NFPA 472 and tied directly to Job Performance Requirements (JPRs). JPRs are vital to the successful qualifying of an individual to a particular Professional Qualifications project standard. JPRs must be specific to indicate the attributes of successful performance on the job.

Core courses include training in First Responder Awareness, First Responder Operations, Hazmat Technician, Specialist, Incident Commander, Hospital Medical Response Training, Safety Officer, WMD and Terrorism. Specialized courses include, Rail Car Safety, WI Sampling Class, Radiation for First Responders, and Mass Decontamination.

The Wisconsin Emergency Management training program offers and extensive array of training opportunities for emergency managers, law enforcement, fire, EMS, public health, local officials, and volunteer organizations.

Hazardous Materials Response

To provide a high level of hazardous materials response capabilities to local communities, Wisconsin Emergency Management contracts and manages twenty-two Regional Hazardous Materials Response Teams. The teams are divided into Task Forces: Northeast Task Force, Northwest Task Force, Southeast Task Force, and the Southwest Task Force. These Task Forces are then divided into Type I, Type II, and Type III teams, all with complimentary capabilities and training requirements.

The Wisconsin Hazardous Materials Response System may be activated for an incident involving a hazardous materials spill, leak, explosion, injury or the potential of immediate threat to life, the environment, or property. The Wisconsin Hazardous Materials Response system responds to the most serious of spills and releases requiring the highest level of skin and respiratory protective gear. This includes all chemical, biological, or radiological emergencies.

Local (County) Hazardous Materials Response Teams respond to chemical incidents which require a lower level of protective gear but still exceed the capabilities of standard fire departments. Forty counties currently have level 4 Hazardous Materials Response Teams. Those teams may provide assistance to surrounding counties and are approved by the Local Emergency Planning Committees.