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Specialist Response - Civil Resilience
The DIM vehicle and equipment have been provided through the Mass Decontamination capability of the New Dimension programme to enable:
The vehicle is a 5.2 tonne Iveco Daily which carries a suite of specialist equipment for use by HFRS DIM trained officers. The equipment includes:
All this equipment is field portable and can be taken into the hot zone at an incident and operated by DIM trained officers wearing suitable personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Service has 12 DIM Advisors who are experienced Hazardous Material and Environmental Protection Officers (HMEPO’s) who have received specialist training in the operation of the DIM suite of equipment at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh.
Hampshire’s DIM capability is directed by the Group Manager Civil Resilience and led by the Service Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) officer.
As well as the DIM analytical equipment the vehicle also carries chemical protective clothing, breathing apparatus, MD4s decontamination structure, lighting and on board generator which enables the DIM team to be totally self sufficient at an incident requiring nothing more than a water supply for decontamination once on scene. The vehicle is driven to the incident by members of the Incident Command Team and acts as a communications point and analytical area for the DIM advisors. The DIM vehicle is also supported by specially trained firefighting crews.
The DIM vehicle has internet capability via the Toughbook and among other things can be used at an incident to e-mail the results from a Hazmat ID sample run to a facility in the USA which provides expert analysis of the results.
Numerous briefings have been held with other agencies explaining and demonstrating the DIM capability. A Memorandum of Understanding has been established between the Police and Ambulance service for the use of the equipment at incidents involving suspect packages. This has already been put into practice on a number of occasions.
As a national resource the capability is available to be mobilised to other counties that do not have DIM equipment and has been done successfully on several occasions.
Regular exercises and training events are carried out with neighbouring Fire and Rescue Services and Police Forces.