Operations Division - BFD Hazardous Material Team
Personnel assigned to the Hazardous Materials Team are certified by the State of California as Hazardous Materials Technicians or Specialists. The Team responds to hazardous material emergencies in a 1989 International Hazardous Materials Van. This van contains suits for entry into hazardous environments, reference books and computer reference materials, sophisticated monitors and chemicals to categorize hazards of materials, tools for stopping materials from flowing into areas where they might endanger citizens or the environment, and other tools for hazardous materials personnel communications, safety, and efficiency.
Typically, when a hazardous materials incident occurs, the first arriving engine company will isolate the area to avoid anyone from getting into the material. They will then request the Hazardous Materials Team to respond to their location. Upon arrival, the Team will take the necessary steps to identify the material and mitigate the emergency to minimize the danger. Then, in coordination with the Bakersfield Fire Department Environmental Services Division and/or the Kern County Environmental Health Services Department, arrangements will be made to have the material cleaned up in an appropriate manner.
The Hazardous Materials Response Team is a very integral part of the Fire Department in its effort to protect the citizens of the City of Bakersfield.