These group of officers provide immediate response as Hazardous Materials Advisors, providing guidance and support to Incident Commanders at a full range of operational incidents. This can be pre determined or on request, direct from the incident ground / location.
The group respond to any hazardous material incident, defined as:
"Any substance or occurrence which has the potential to cause injury, sickness, death or environmental pollution from exposure, inhalation, ingestion or absorption."
The officers attending have at their disposal during an incident, a nationally recognised chemical information and actions database (Chemdata), supported by the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC), the poisons unit of the Health Protection Agency. They also have other book based information.
Additionally, the group have close links with the Environment Agency, and is further strengthened by the use of Scientific specialists contracted to the Service for specific Chemical, Radiation and Asbestos support. The group also provides advice and support to the organisation away from the safety critical phase