Fresno Fire Department
Hazardous Materials Team
The Fresno City Fire Department recognizes the potential for a large chemical release to occur which could expose thousands of people to hazardous or toxic vapors. A variety of chemicals are transported utilizing one of the two railroad lines or one of the four freeways which transect the City.
The Fresno City Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) has embraced an all-hazards approach to emergency response to ensure that our community receives a robust, competent level of service to all hazardous materials events.
The Fire Department HMRT is comprised of sixty personnel trained to the Hazardous Materials Technician and/or Specialist requirements. Fourteen personnel are on duty each day with a minimum of nine of those persons, trained to the Technician/Specialist level. The HMRT utilizes 2 OES Type 1 Hazmat response rigs, and a Mass Decontamination trailer. The HMRT is deployed from two strategically located fire stations. The HMRT OES Type 1 response rig is assigned to a fire station with a fire engine and a fire truck. The second Type 1 response rig is assigned to a station staffed with HMRT personnel assigned to a fire engine. The second station is also the location of the Mass Decontamination trailer. The deployment plan requires the dispatch of the closest FRO response company in conjunction with the HMRT to hazardous materials emergencies.
The Fresno City Hazardous Materials Response Teams have partnered with the State Office of Emergency Services (OES) to deploy regionally or statewide to support any jurisdiction through the State Master Mutual Aid System.
The department acquired three hazardous materials response vehicles utilizing grant funding. The primary response OES Type 1 and OES Type 3 vehicles were purchased in 2005. The department recently purchased a second Type 1 vehicle which will be in service August 2008.
The local fire agencies have scheduled cross-training of all hazardous materials response technicians/specialists to maintain familiarity and competency with each agency’s personnel, equipment, and response capabilities.
The HMRT developed a Hospital Decontamination Program and have instructed the local hospitals. The hospitals are trained to decontaminate large groups of persons that would seek medical attention should a chemical release occur in our jurisdiction.