The local first responder, fire or police, will arrive on scene to size up the incident. If it is determined the incident is beyond their level of training and equipment, the incident commander will request a team through the Oregon Emergency Response System (OERS) at 1-800-452-0311.
OERS will notify the OSFM duty officer and other appropriate agencies. Many fire departments have close working relationships with their regional teams and may contact them directly to request a response.
Even if they contact the team directly, the local responder will contact OERS so other appropriate notifications are made. All teams are authorized to respond to incidents meeting state response criteria without authorization from the OSFM duty officer.
When a regional hazardous materials emergency response team arrives on scene, they provide technical resources to the incident commander. The local first responder retains incident command.
If the incident is large enough to require a unified command, the team leader becomes a part of that structure. The regional teams are responsible for mitigating and containing the incident. They are not involved in cleanup operations.
Once the situation is stable, the Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for working with the responsible party to assure cleanup of the incident is completed. A full team may not respond in every instance. The system provides a tiered response ranging from technical advice over the phone, to on-site recon, to a full team response.