Table 1

 Results of the questionnaire survey

Ambulance trust (n = 6)Emergency departments (n = 49)
COMAH, Control of Major Accident Hazards; CPPE, chemical personal protection equipment.
General information
    No of COMAH sites in areaRange 0–78, average 20Range 0–36, average 5
    No of chemical incidents dealt with in previous 12 monthsRange 0 – 371 average 74Range 0–4, average 1
Equipment and facilities
    Estimated time to set up shelter + make it operational (minutes)Mean 18.5, median 15, range 14–30 minutesMean 19.86, median 17.5, range 2–60 minutes
    CPPEAll 6 respondents (100%) had CPPE48/49 (98%) had CPPE
5/6 (83%) had trained staff in its use40/49 (82%) had trained staff in its use
Contaminated effects and water disposal
    Disposal of contaminated effects4 (67%) had arrangements to deal with contaminated clothing2 (4%) had arrangements to deal with contaminated clothing
    Water disposal4 (67%) had storage tanks35 (71%) had a storage tank for water run-off
3 (50%) would use the public sewer10 (20%) would use the public sewer
1 (2%) had a private drainage site
1 (2%) used storage barrels
    Exercising in the previous 12 months3 (50%) had conducted chemical exercises17 (34%) had conducted chemical exercises
5 (83%) had plans to exercise within the next 12 months35 (71%) had plans to exercise within the next 12 months