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CHAPTER 2 Assessing Emergency Response Capability Three types of emergency response teams deal with hazmat: the traditional hazmat response from the public safety community, occupational/industrial manufacturing response, and environmental oil and hazardous substance response. This Guide uses a single framework to assess the capability for all response team types, allowing all resources to be considered equally in your planning process. The information provided in this chapter will enable you, as an emergency response planner, to assign a tier to each team. Team Definition/Organization The most commonly used term when referring to emergency responders is "team." A team can mean different things to different jurisdictions, and a common, consistent framework is needed to measure capability. This Guide provides flexibility in how you define your response teams, allowing you to measure response for individual fire stations, entire departments, industry partners, multijurisdictional agreements, and so on. As an example, jurisdictions and providers may choose to share the financial and management burden of establishing, maintaining, and employing complex emergency response capabilities by integrating specific elements resident in multiple jurisdictions or providers into a strike team or task force, which can be task-organized, reinforced, and/or sustained depending upon the particular situation. In other words, you will measure the emergency response capability for the "teams" in your jurisdiction as you see fit. If you choose to use smaller units, such as individual fire stations, you may find that you need to combine the resources of several of these units to form a "team" with the response capability needed to respond to certain types of incidents. Terminology to Represent Emergency Response Capability To avoid confusion with other terms, such as "levels" or "ratings," specific capabilities are defined in Response Capability Tiers beginning with a standard baseline of operations capabilities. NFPA Standard 472 (2008 Edition) defines Operations Level Responders as those "who respond to hazmat incidents for the purpose of implementing or supporting actions to protect nearby persons, the environment, or property from the effects of the release." Operations Level Respon- ders are the core components of an effective response. Beyond the baseline capability, four Response Capability Tiers are defined that advance from Tier 1, the lowest capability, to Tier 4, the highest capability. The combination of technician- level responders determines whether a hazmat response team meets the requirements of a spe- cific tier as defined in the next section of this Guide. 11