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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Chemical Assessment Teams

Minnesota has 11 Chemical Assessment Teams (CATs) which are composed of a minimum of nine trained personnel. One hazardous materials specialist and two technicians must be available to respond at all times.

Support During an Emergency

CATs provide local incident commanders with:

  • Technical support and monitoring
  • Professional responders trained to exceed OSHA and NFPA competencies
  • Specialized equipment and reference materials
  • Additional support and/or follow-up by other state agencies as needed


The primary responsibilities of a CAT at an incident scene are:

  • Hazard assessment
  • Technical assistance
  • Simple mitigation
  • Basic decontamination

CATs are capable of sampling for unknown identification of substances and materials as well as:

  • Air monitoring
  • Plume projection
  • Evacuation/sheltering recommendations
  • Over pack/containment of a container
  • Sample collection (not evidence)


CATs are not allowed to assume overall command of a local incident; they cannot clean up or transport hazardous materials, mitigate explosive devices or clandestine drug labs, or respond to waste abandonment/abandoned barrel calls.

Emergency Response Guidebook

This guidebook is used by first responders during a transportation incident involving dangerous goods and/or hazardous materials.