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Hazardous Materials Team
Hazardous Materials is a crucial specialty component to the Elgin Fire Department. The Elgin Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team is responsible for the control and mitigation of hazardous materials releases along with the rescue of civilians and safety personnel involved in such events. With the use of specialized equipment and training the team responds to all hazardous materials requests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Responsibility & Methodology
The Hazardous Materials Response Team is responsible for life safety and mitigation at hazardous materials incidents in the City of Elgin. The team’s jurisdiction is the corporate limits of the City of Elgin and properties included in service protection agreements.
The team consists of certified hazardous materials technicians who are led by the team leader and overseen by the Special Operations Captain and Assistant Chief of Operations. Technicians are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to hazardous materials incidents. Team response time is under one hour from call out to the arrival on scene regardless of the time of day, the day of the week, or the weather.
The Hazardous Materials Team is organized to provide rescue services at hazardous materials incidents and to contain and stabilize hazardous material(s) to ensure public safety until such time it is deemed that a hazardous emergency no longer exists. At this time it will be determined if clean up is required and if so the responsible parties will/may be identified to conduct proper clean up and disposal of the materials in a safe and legal manner.
The Hazardous Materials Team routinely works with other organizations to ensure the most efficient and thorough response to an incident. These organizations including local fire department and police agencies, MABAS Division II Hazardous Materials Response Team, state and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and others.
Qualifications & Continuing Education
Each member of the team must meet the minimum physical and medical standards for conducting hazardous materials operations, the medical program shall be compliant with the regulatory standards of NFPA 29 CFR 1910.120, 40CFR 311 and the joint OSHA/EPA/NIOSH/US Coast Guard Guidelines, Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines manual for Hazardous Waste Site Activities.
All of the Hazardous Materials Team members are trained to M.A.B.A.S. Division II standards in the following areas:
- Hazardous Materials Technician A
- Hazardous Materials Technician B
- Hazardous Materials Incident Command System
- NIMS 300 and 400
Members are also required to maintain certification as a Technician. This requires six operational drills per year. There are many specialized certifications and classes that are offered all over the U.S. in which active members of the team are encouraged to attend.