As a result of recent events, public concerns have increased over the possibility of terrorist threats in our community. While there has been no terrorist activity or credible threats reported in Fresno, the City has developed a comprehensive plan to respond to emergency issues that might arise.
The City’s Police and Fire Departments are the lead agencies for all local emergency response efforts. Both departments have received specialized training to deal with terrorist threats and activities. In addition, the City’s full-time Emergency Preparedness Officer (EPO) is responsible for ensuring that Fresno’s emergency response plans are up-to-date and implemented properly . The EPO also facilitates cooperation between City departments and other local, state and federal agencies that would be involved in emergency response operations.
In the event of any emergency, the public will be notified via local TV and radio stations and other means (including personal contact, if necessary). Information will be provided as quickly as possible as to the nature of the emergency and any actions the public may need to take. The goal of the City is to respond in an effective and orderly manner to ensure the safety and the well-being of our entire community.
The initial hours of any emergency are the most critical. Take steps to make sure you, your family and your home are prepared to meet immediate needs. Depending on the scope of the emergency, police, fire and other public safety personnel may be attending to urgent needs and unavailable to respond to individual concerns. That’s why its essential that you have enough emergency supplies on hand to take care of you and your family for at least 72 hours. The American Red Cross has developed updated information on emergency preparedness, including preparing for possible terrorist threats.
Prepare yourself and your home for emergencies
The American Red Cross has developed extensive information on how to prepare yourself and your home for emergencies. They have updated this information to address public concerns about the possibility of terrorist threats.
Following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer formed a full-time Anti-Terrorist Unit to investigate and respond to any threat of terrorism within the City. The mission of the Anti-Terrorist Unit is to:
- Gather information and intelligence regarding potential terrorists activities
- Investigate terrorist threats
- Coordinate with other law enforcement agencies on the local, statewide, federal and international level
In addition, the Anti-Terrorist Unit will respond to and investigate incidents involving bombs and bomb threats within the City of Fresno. Each of the officers assigned to the Anti-Terrorist Unit has been trained in the identification and the disposal of explosive devices.
Fresno Police Department Terrorism Tip Line (559) 621-2999
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.