Hazardous Materials Response
The Calgary Fire Department responds to thousands of hazardous materials (Hazmat) calls each year including: environmental spills, accidents and the aftermath of fires and other disasters. While all firefighters are trained to clean up typical post-incident fluids and other materials using shovels, brooms and absorbent materials, the Department's Hazardous Materials team handles a variety of dangerous spills from spilled fluids at motor vehicle collisions to hazardous releases from storage tanks or rail cars. With an excellent array of apparatus, equipment and specially trained firefighters, the Hazardous Materials Response team is capable of dealing with any hazardous situation; and they are dedicated to protecting life, property and the environment 24 hours a day.
Specially trained firefighters
All Calgary Fire Department firefighters are trained to clean up typical post-incident fluids and other materials using shovels, brooms and absorbent materials. However, those firefighters on the Hazardous Materials Response Team are specially trained as hazardous materials technicians so they have the ability to assess a situation for hazardous materials dangers and take the appropriate actions to protect themselves, the public, property and the environment.
Hazardous materials trucks
The Calgary Fire Department has two hazardous materials trucks located in strategic areas of the city. Both of these trucks have a wireless internet capability so they can access the most current and valuable hazardous material information; and they carry a wide range of equipment and tools to help the hazardous materials team successfully respond to any situation.
Air monitoring capability
Every Calgary Fire Department engine in the city carries a portable instrument to monitor air quality and detect gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. The City's hazardous materials trucks have an even greater array of air monitoring instruments which can be used to deal with potential hazardous materials situations. In addition, the Alberta Environment owns and operates an air Monitoring vehicle that has sophisticated modelling software and instruments that can identify and quantify potentially hazardous samples. This information provides the Hazardous Materials Response Team with invaluable data at hazmat incidents, and allows them to protect populations at larger incidents.
During an emergency response, the Hazardous Materials Response team (HazMat) works in partnership with other government departments and agencies, including Alberta Environment, the Calgary Health Region and various City of Calgary departments.