The Albuquerque Fire Department's Hazardous Materials (Haz-Mat) Response Team consists of two Haz-Mat Task Force stations manned by 22 firefighters who have volunteered to receive specialized training in the prevention and mitigation of incidents involving hazardous materials.
In the course of their Haz-Mat duties, these individuals are responsible for the safe termination of such complex incidents as fires involving hazardous materials, airplane crashes, train derailments, wrecks involving trucks and semi-trailers carrying chemicals, and medical incidents involving chemical use (and misuse) in the work place as well as in homes.
To safely accomplish this goal, team members are required to maintain a working knowledge of the following:
-highly specialized chemical protective clothing
-field use of complex scientific monitoring equipment
-safe methods of containing chemical spills
-correct techniques for "off-loading" chemicals from damaged containers into intact containers
-various reference materials to determine hazards of chemicals
-proper methods and locations for disposal of hazardous wastes