Chemical Accidents

Working Together: How ICE Helps to Handle Chemical Accidents

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Under the ICE – Three Steps for Chemical Accidents

Meanwhile, the harbour master has lead the local fire brigade to the scene of the incident - but this case calls for specialists: A warning table on the side of the container tank informs the firemen that this substance is Ethylenediamine or EDA, a corrosive and inflammable basic amine.

When a chemical substance or other hazardous cargo is out of control, the ICE programme provides three steps of help for local authorities:


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  • Specialised Information and support via telephone
  • Support from a trained consultant at the site of accident
  • Support by one or several private company fire brigades with specialised equipment for chemical accidents

Often, company fire brigades are highly trained specialists that have access to specialised equipment for handling hazardous goods. Therefore, while the local fire brigade starts first protective containment measures like spraying a foam carpet, Dow's company fire brigade at the nearby Terneuzen chemical park send over a task force to assist...

Public fire brigades, police forces or paramedics in Germany and Austria now access the proven TUIS database for the handling of hazardous goods in case of accidents online. Local authorities can also contact the nearest company fire brigade trained for chemical accidents on the web.Online Help for Firefighters for Chemical Accidents

Coordination, Support and Help with Hazardous Goods

In the ICE programme, help is coordinated from local emergency coordinating centers mostly at the headquarters of big company fire brigades. From here, specialised fire fighting professionals offer first telephonic support and decide wether to dispatch a consultant or an emergency team to the site of accident.

"We would like to see fire brigades calling us more often," explains Macco Korteweg Maris of the Dutch chemical association VNCI. But sometimes curiosity about the unusual situation or over–ambition prevent that first aiders call for help...