Hazardous Materials Response Team
The Hazardous Materials Response Team is one of several specially trained groups that are part of the Colorado Springs Fire Department. While hazardous materials have been in existence for years, the focus on the dangers they pose to life safety, health, and the environment has become a priority in communities throughout the world in recent times. The focus on these dangers has been generated by a rapidly growing number of emergencies including chemical releases from fixed facilities, transportation accidents, terrorist activities, and methamphetamine drug producing labs.
The Hazardous Materials Response Team was formed in 1981 as a result of federal legislation ( 29CFR1910.120 ), state legislation ( Colorado Senate Bills 55 and 172 ), and local legislation (City Ordinance Chapter 20, Article 6 ). Both state and local legislation delegate response to and mitigation of incidents involving hazardous materials to the Colorado Springs Fire Department as the "D.E.R.A." or Designated Emergency Response Authority. The Hazardous Materials Response Team (Hazmat) is comprised of thirty four (34) firefighters who are trained and certified to the "Technician Level" as defined in 29CFR1910.120. This level of staffing equates to eleven (11) team members per shift and a program coordinator which provides twenty four hours per day, seven days per week response capability.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team works in a cooperative effort with city, county, state, and federal governments on environmental regulations and code compliance issues as well as response to and mitigation of hazardous materials spills and releases. The hazmat team responds to spills and releases of all types of hazardous materials to include radioactive shipments such as transuranic waste traveling along the I-25 corridor as part of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Program. The Colorado Springs Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team is well known throughout the State of Colorado and is also nationally recognized.