Hazardous Materials Incident Response in France

BY SAMUEL GESRETIn France, 150,000 firefighters (38,000 full time, 12,000 military for Paris and Marseilles, and 204,000 volunteer firefighters) protect 65 million inhabitants. Fire department calls are broken down as follows: fire (9%), car accident rescues (8%), medical emergencies (65%), and other operations (18%). In 2006, the Defence and Civil Safety Inspection Department counted 3.8 million operations that included 25,000 for gas leaks; 19,500 for unknown smells or leaks; and 6,700 for various types of pollution or other hazmat contaminations.Hazardous goods are transported by road (76%), railways (16%), and rivers and pipelines. For the chemical accidents, most of the 100 French fi...

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