Fire Department

Hazardous Materials Response

The Duluth-based Haz-Mat Team began ongoing training in the late 1980's. The team's mission is to respond to hazardous material emergencies, analyze the threat, and recommend appropriate action. Team members are taught monitoring, chemical research, decontamination procedures, and mitigation protocols. The four levels of training for hazardous material responders are awareness, operation, technician, and specialist. Duluth's Haz-Mat team members are trained as technicians and specialist. 

Awareness level is for all emergency personnel. This level is trained how to recognize a dangerous situation and report it. 

Operations level is the minimum requirement for most rural and suburban fire departments. It teaches personnel how to assist in the "cold zone," or outside the danger area.

Technician level is for people who put on chemical-protective suits and enter the "hot-zone" to mitigate the incident.

Specialist level requires the most training and is in-depth breakdown and study of hazardous materials and mitigation skills.

Since the hazardous materials team's beginning, our firefighters have responded to many emergencies. A few examples include a hydrogen chloride gas release, an anhydrous ammonia release and an ammonia gas release. With chemicals being so ubiquitous, a well trained response team is an asset to our citizens, port, industry, and transportation hub. 

The team continues to train monthly and works closely with regional industry, hospitals, transportation, and emergency management agencies. 

City of Duluth, 411 West First Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802
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