All Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District employees are trained to a minimum of Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations (FRO) level. Several employees have completed training and hold the position of Hazardous Materials Technician/Specialist.
Tahoe Douglas participates as part of a regional hazmat response team known as the Quad-County response team. Carson City, Douglas County, Lyon County, and Storey County work together to share resources to aid in the mitigation of hazardous material incidents. The goal of the hazmat team is to perform any and all needed tasks safely in a hazardous materials situation.
Members of the hazardous materials team work together in the following ways to accomplish common goals.
Analyze a hazardous materials incident to determine the magnitude of the problem in terms of outcomes by completing the following tasks:
- Survey the hazardous materials incident to identify special containers involved, identify or classify unknown materials, and verify the presence and concentrations of hazardous materials through the use of monitoring equipment;
- Collect and interpret hazard and response information from printed resources, technical resources, computer databases, and monitoring equipment;
- Determine the extent of damage to containers;
- Predict the likely behavior of released materials and their containers when multiple materials are involved; and
- Estimate the size of an endangered area using computer modeling, monitoring equipment, or specialists in this field.
Plan a response within the capabilities of available personnel, personal protective equipment, and control equipment by completing the following tasks:
- Identify the response objectives for a hazardous materials incident;
- Identify the potential action options available by response objective;
- Select the personal protective equipment required for a given action option; and
- Develop a plan of action, including safety considerations, consistent with the local emergency response plan and the organization's standard operation procedures and within the capability of the available personnel, personel protective equipment, and control equipment.
Implement the planned response to favorably change the outcome consistent with the organization's standard operating guidelines and safety considerations by completing the following tasks:
- Perfom the duties of an assigned hazardous materials branch position within the local incident management system (IMS);
- Don, work in, and doff appropriate personal protective clothing, including, but not limited to, both liquid splash and vapor-protective clothing with appropriate respiratory protection; and
- Perform the conrol functions identified in the plan of action.
Evaluate the progress of the planned response by evaluating the effectiveness of the control functions.
Terminate the incident by completing the following tasks:
- Assist in the incident debriefing;
- Assist in the incident critique; and
- Provide any reports and documentation of the incident.
The hazardous materials team also works with the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad to stay current on the threat of weapons of mass destruction and how to coordinate recognition and response to them.