Harford County Hazmat Response Team consists of 31 authorized technicians on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Men and women who make up the response team are required to maintain their certification as hazardous materials technicians through a combination of regular in-house training, contract classes, exercises and drills. The team responds to approximately 300 calls per year, ranging from investigations to full-scale industrial or transportation accidents. Less than 50% of these incidents involve full-team responses.
Hazmat fleetThe Hazmat Team maintains a fleet of five primary response vehicles and four trailers with specific response capabilities. Operating off a tiered response system, our team has modified response patterns to send only the personnel and equipment needed for a specific type of response. Our tailored capability includes mass decontamination, harbor boom and off-road (ATV).
A modified 2004 International school bus is outfitted as a command post with an extensive research library. This unit also serves as the dress-out area for Level A and B incidents. This vehicle carries Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), communications equipment, reference materials and basic training and metering equipment. Incident research and planning is normally carried out from this location. The enclosed climate controlled environment of the bus provides team members with a place to prepare for entry protected from outside elements such as rain, snow, heat, and cold.
A modified 2002 International School Bus, the unit is outfitted with spill and leak control equipment, supplies for damming/diking/diverting, basic decontamination supplies, chlorine A/B/C Kits, dry land and HOW absorbent materials and a large contingent of hand tools. This unit is capable of handling leaks from a pinhole in a 5-gallon bucket all the way up to a railcar. The unit is self sufficient on spills up to 250 gallons of most hydrocarbon or solvent type products.
Hazmat 3 is a 1999 Ford F 350 Extended Cab 4x4 with a walk in utility body. It is designed to be equipped with a snow plow for bad weather conditions. This unit is set up for primary duty in responding to biological hazards and has an array of detection equipment for conducting investigations. It has equipment and supplies to handle small chemical or hydrocarbon spills and on major incidents will be used to transport additional equipment to the scene as a last out unit. Hazmat 3 is also 1 of 2 unites designated to transport our trailers on specific types of incidents.
Hazmat 4 is a 2002 Ford F 450 Crew Cab 4x4 with a walk-in utility body. This unit is designed to handle product transfer situations and is specifically designed to be part of a bonding and grounding system on scene. Equipped with engine driven on board compressor, Hazmat can support 2 simultaneous pump off processes at the scene of an incident. This unit is equipped to handle transfer of flammables, combustibles and corrosives through a variety of pumps and equipment. The unit carries spill and leak control materials sufficient to handle moderate quantity spills. It can supply its own lighting and electrical power for an on-scene operations. Hazmat 4 carries a wide variety of hand tools and a selection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Hazmat 5 is a 2005 custom Pierce Enforcer Mass Decontamination Unit. The purchase of this 42-foot long unit was made possible through a Homeland Security Grant by way of the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative. It is equipped with a 4-man cab, 5 SCBAs, 4 Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR), a large assortment of decontamination supplies and detection equipment for chemical and radiological agents. It is designed to decontaminate both ambulatory and non-ambulatory citizens along with emergency personnel during a Hazmat incident or incident involving a release of a chemical, biological or radiological agent. It also is a regional response unit and will respond anywhere in the Baltimore Metropolitan area in the event of a large scale incident.
Harford County Hazmat is actively involved in the Local Emergency Planning Committee and its efforts on behalf of the citizens of our county. We work cooperatively with local fire and EMS providing in-station training in entry decontamination, mass decontamination and weapons of mass destruction equipment. We also are one of the seven regional jurisdictions in the Hazmat Urban Area Work Group under the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative. The team manages the Maryland Department of Environment Agency, unique to any other county in Maryland.
Hazardous Materials Planning and Regulations
Harford County Hazardous Materials Law Article 1, Section 146Any release of a hazardous material into the environment or a release that has the potential to enter the environment must be reported immediately by using 911. The dispatchers at the Emergency Operations Center are trained to determine what level of response is needed. Reporting the incident will not automatically trigger a full response by the Fire Department and Hazmat Team. On small incidents, the only response may be from one of our crew chiefs who assure that proper clean-up and all required notifications are completed. On major leaks and spills, the Hazmat Team is dispatched at the same time as Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
More InformationFull Hazardous Material Law
Hazardous Materials Planning and Regulations