Although emergency response is not an official program element within the UPAs, for many local agencies, it is a critical responsibility. The primary role of UPA staff in dealing with a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance is to ensure protection of public health and safety and the environment. In more populated urban jurisdictions, staff are assigned either as a part of their UPA responsibilities or as a separate section/unit to deal with spills and releases on a full-time basis.
The CFB has established an ER TAG with local representatives throughout the State that meets at least twice a year, once at the annual conference and a conference call in between. The ER TAG has assisted in reviewing CERS information for first responders, the preparation and finalization of the Field Instrumentation Manual and in coordinating and sharing information on specific responses. Current activities involve review of the second level of CERS information for technical responders to include toxicological information, more detailed inventory information, plume modeling, and mapping/plotting capabilities and the development of a Statewide reporting tool to share emergency response information for major incidents.
The ER issue coordinators are Bill Jones (primary) with LA County Fire Department and Vince Mendez with Fresno County Environmental Health.