Special Operations - HAZMAT Team

Vancouver Hazmat Team

The Vancouver Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Response Team  began service in April of 1986. This highly trained and skilled team is one of numerous local government hazmat teams located throughout Washington State.

What is a "hazardous material?"

A hazardous material, by definition, is "any element, compound or substance that poses an unreasonable risk to health or property and which, because of handling, storage, processing or packaging, may have detrimental effects on emergency personnel, the public, equipment and/or the environment."

The Hazmat team is deployed to hazardous materials emergencies throughout Clark County and when requested, to other neighboring jurisdictions.


The Hazmat team is staffed by career firefighters. Firefighters are assigned voluntarily to the team for a minimum of five years. While on-duty, team members are evenly dispersed among three shifts. Team members are on-call during off-duty hours.

Team members prepare pre-emergency contingency plans that are based upon hazard and risk assessments of known hazardous material bulk storage and use facilities within the Vancouver Fire Department’s response area. Team leaders also participate in regional and state contingency planning, which includes hazardous materials transported over Clark County railroads and highways.