The Anaheim Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team (Haz Mat) is designed to provide specialized emergency response of both personnel and equipment to protect the public, the environment and property. This would include incidents involving a release, or potential release of hazardous materials that present a physical, biological, radiological or health hazard to the community. The Anaheim Haz Mat Team is one of four Haz Mat Teams in Orange County that provides 24 hours-a-day staffing for emergency responses.
The Anaheim Haz Mat Team's response area includes the City of Anaheim, as well as all of north Orange County. The Anaheim Haz Mat Team is comprised of 21 members (seven per shift) who are assigned roles as dual-functioning personnel. Team members are stationed at Anaheim’s Riverdale Fire Station and primarily respond as firefighters on an Engine or Truck Company.
When a hazardous materials incident occurs the Haz Mat Team Members respond to the incident on a specially designed Hazardous Materials Response Unit. The Haz Mat Unit is a multi-functioning piece of apparatus, which has specialized equipment, including communications and information gathering electronics, air monitoring devices, unknown-chemical analysis materials, and a full compliment of tools necessary to affect an entry into a hazardous atmosphere. The Haz Mat Unit is also dispatched to incidents, such as fires, as a light tower and air bottle filling station.
Specialized equipment and responsibilities require specialized training. Each member of the Haz Mat Team receives an initial 160 hours of classroom and manipulative training. This qualifies them as a California State Certified Haz Mat Technician. The curriculum includes chemistry, air sampling, collecting and analyzing of unknown materials, radioactive materials, and technical knowledge of the hardware necessary to mitigate an emergency. After Certification additional specialized training begins for incidents such as, clandestine drug labs, NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) terrorism incidents, and confined space rescues.
The Anaheim Haz Mat Team has responded to a wide range of emergency situations: tanker rollovers, train derailments, hydrogen cyanide, tetraethyl lead, methyl chloride, pesticide releases, drug labs, and illegal dumping just to name a few. The Anaheim Haz Mat has been protecting and serving the community of Anaheim and Orange County for over 20 years.