PER-291 Highway Emergency Response Specialist (HERS) – DHS/FEMA-Funded

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Note: Courses taught in Spanish currently unavailable.

Recommended Prerequisites:

Course Objectives – The HERS course focuses on specific fundamentals and skills associated with emergency response to a highway incident potentially involving flammable/combustible liquids, toxic or industrial hazardous materials, or WMD/IEDs. Participants are provided with detailed technical information on all types of cargo tanks, intermodal and portable tanks, freight vans, their design and construction, as well as non-bulk packaging and compressed gas cylinders. Participants are trained to a proficiency in technical mitigation techniques, transfer procedures, grounding and bonding, and safety techniques for highway transportation incidents.

The course includes extensive hands-on practice of actions and responses to simulated WMD hazardous material incidents, including secondary explosive devices, and other CBRNE incidents that could be used on or against highway transportation. HERS participants will learn to conduct site assessment of the scene, assess damage to containers, perform confinement and containment actions on leaking hazardous material packaging, and perform product removal and transfer techniques on the various Department of Transportation (DOT) containers.

Participants will also learn to assist in identifying vulnerabilities within their own local highway systems while learning to recognize and prioritize the importance of facility and conveyance hardening. Participants will learn the importance of proper management and preplanning to minimize threats on U.S. highway systems including the current trends concerning flammable/combustible liquid transportation incidents, hazardous materials, IEDs, their impact on a jurisdiction, and the necessary components of NIMS and the NRF to prioritize organizational immediate actions and response operations. At the conclusion of this course, participants will have the knowledge to bring a highway incident, whether deliberately, accidentally, or naturally caused, to a safe and successful conclusion.

Target AudienceThe HERS course is specifically designed as intensive hazardous materials emergency response training for the specialist level and will bring the hazardous materials technician trained to the highest recognized level of training identified OSHA, NFPA, and the EPA with a focus on highway incidents potentially involving WMDs, flammable and combustible liquids. The participant community for this course represents fire service, law enforcement, emergency planning, public health, and private industry personnel that deal with highway and intermodal transportation, including hazardous materials response contractors.