Hazardous Materials Team

The Evansville Fire Department Hazmat Team consists of 55 firefighters trained as Hazardous Materials Technicians.

The majority of the team members are assigned to fire Station 1 and 10. Team members respond with our well equipped Hazmat vehicle and 35’ Hazmat trailer that is designed with command space. In the event that a mass decontamination would be required, firefighters from fire Station 14 will respond and deploy our TVI decon tent. The decon tent allows firefighters to decontaminate patients involved in a chemical spill modestly and efficiently. Our Hazardous Materials Team represents Southwest Indiana as the District 10 Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Team. WMD’s are said to be a “hazmat incident with an attitude”. Currently Evansville has the only municipal hazmat “technician” team in Southern Indiana. In cases where a large hazardous materials incident occurs within District 10, our Department is utilized.

 Firefighters must undergo rigorous training to remain proficient and competent as hazardous materials technicians. Participating in training, such as identifying unknown substances with a wide variety of instruments or the ability to don a “Level A” suit to stop a Chlorine leak, are the types of training firefighters must practice regularly to keep their skills and knowledge proficient. In 2010, the Princeton Fire District, in conjunction with the International Association of Firefighters, hosted a Hazardous Materials Technician class. The 80 hour class was conducted in a classroom setting and also offered numerous hands on opportunities. During the hands on portion of the class, firefighters were able to work with the tools and equipment and practice the procedures used to stabilize chemical spills during emergencies. Seven (7) members of the Evansville Fire Department participated in the class and achieved a Hazardous Materials Technician certification. Four (4) additional firefighters from the Department attended the Security & Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado where they earned the “Highway Emergency Response Specialist” certification.

 According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all business located in the City that store reportable quantities of chemicals are required to submit a Tier II Hazardous Chemical Report to the Evansville Fire Department. The department stores this information utilizing Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) software. CAMEO allows us to identify facilities, hazardous chemical amounts and maintain current contact information for businesses located in Vanderburgh County. In 2010, 79 facilities reported 285 chemicals of reportable quantities. In 2010, Central Dispatch reports indicate the Department responded to four (4) hazmat incidents, 29 drug labs, and 117 carbon monoxide incidents.