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Chemical Operations Support Specialist

COSS MGT-95539.5 Contact Hours
Short Description

The COSS course is designed to train personnel to inform actionable decision-making at the lowest level possible in response to chemical emergencies. Doing so will expedite the transition from response to recovery, build partner capacity at the grassroots level, and minimize the likelihood of FSLTT resources becoming overwhelmed.
At the end of the training, a COSS will have the skills, knowledge, abilities and resources to address the capability priorities listed above. The COSS will be able to assist in bridging the intelligence-gaps between SLTT first responders and the operational/strategic decision-makers within the ICS structure

Target Audience/Disciplines

Target Audience. HazMat Technicians, Certified Industrial Hygienists, Environmental Health Specialists, Toxicologists, Epidemiologists, Quantitative Risk Assessors (QRA), transportation safety specialist, certified hazmat shipper, and chemical specialists to become candidates for the Type 3 Chemical Operations Support Specialist (COSS) position.  It is expected that candidates should already be a chemical subject matter expert or hazmat officer with at least 5 years’ experience and training that goes beyond standard HAZMAT technician training. A typical candidate could be a chemical safety officer with emergency response experience who has worked with Federal or State chemical response assets. 



Course Purpose. During chemical emergencies, routine decisions and operations for Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal (FSLTT) response agencies become increasingly complex. These actions require chemical experts to safeguard the public and workers/responders. The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Office of Response and Recovery, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Office will manage the Chemical Operations Support Specialist (COSS) program in order train, equip, and qualify specialists to integrate within the Incident Command System (ICS) and Emergency Operations/Coordination Centers (EOC/ECC) during responses to chemical incidents. The COSS position will directly support the Incident Commander (IC), agency decision makers, and elected officials at the Incident Command Post (ICP) or at the Emergency Operations Center/Emergency Coordination Centers (EOC/ECC).


Course Offerings

No in-person offerings are currently scheduled.

Prerequisites and Requirements

Course Prerequisites. To be eligible to attend the course, a student must complete the following:

FEMA ICS 300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents
FEMA IS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
FEMA IS-800: An Introduction to the National Response Framework
HazMat Technician level training following the NFPA 472 and 1072 standards
Must have a working knowledge and basic competency in WISER and CAMEO

The following is highly recommended:
FEMA ICS 400: Advanced ICS Command and General Staff for Complex Incidents
TEEX MGT 314, Enhanced All Hazards Incident Management/Unified Command
NFA RO233, Chemistry for Emergency Response
SERTC PER 292, Advanced Life Support: Leadership and Management of Surface Transportation Incidents (LMSTI)
HazMat Officer or Certified Industrial Hygienist

Students should also have access to the following account (although, this may be attained during the first day of training):
Exceptions to any of the above prerequisites may be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the CDP Registrar in collaboration with the FEMA CBRN office.


Continuing Education Credits

Continuing Education Units or Academic Equivalency. As an International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) Authorized Provider, the Center for Domestic Preparedness awards 4.0 continuing education units for this program under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/IACET Standard.