The Dallas Fire-Rescue Department officially formed the HazMat Response Team, (HMRT), and placed it in service on January 1, 1988 and during 2008 celebrated 20 years of service. The HMRT responds to an average of 200 HazMat incidents a year, not including local Engine / Truck runs for hydrocarbon fuel spills and natural gas leaks. (Every DFR Engine and Truck company carries enough absorbent and mitigation supplies to treat up to 40 gallons of product... Anything larger is handled by the HMRT.) Major HazMat incidents in Dallas have typically involved hydrocarbon spills (50%), natural gas leaks (15%), with the remaining 35% being biologicals, explosives, chlorine, ammonia, radiation calls, and/or other "exotics".
The HMRT operates out of Station #3 in downtown Dallas and is supplemented by two decontamination stations located in the Northern and Southern areas of the City.
Initial training of DFR HazMat Technicians is to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Standards (TCFP). All members of the department are trained to the Operations level, but Technicians undergo an additional 120-hour course and then sit for the TCFP certification test. Members are required to undergo annual continuing education hours that are conducted in-house, by the DFR Special Operations Division, or off-site by public and private industries alike.
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