Many of the luxuries that we enjoy in this modern world are produced with the use of hazardous chemicals. It is probable that the clothes you are wearing and the chair you are sitting in have chemicals in them or were made with the benefit of the chemicals. In fact, there are over one million known hazardous chemicals, 70,000 regulated and transported daily in the United States, and 6,000 more being devised each year. Although accidents are infrequent, hazmats pose such a risk to life, property, and the environment that The City of Oxnard and Oxnard Fire Department began developing a mitigation team a decade ago.
The Hazardous Materials Team Members are Oxnard Firefighters that have undergone at least 270 hours of initial training to receive their "technician" classification, as certified by the State of California. Yet this is only the beginning, as the hazmat "specialists" attend 320 hours of education. Furthermore, with training classes, mock spills and quarterly training scenarios they are always sharpening and honing their skills for the next hazmat emergency.
The Hazmat Unit is a 1979 Van Pelt Fire Engine that was refurbished and complimented with the following:
- Onboard computers
- Portable weather station
- Electronic monitoring equipment
- Hazardous materials library
- Full compliment of Level "A" response suits and equipment
- Exterior compartments for rescue and decontamination tools
The hazmat team is assigned to Fire Station 7 and is cross staffed with the three personnel on Engine 67. Both units respond together on all hazardous materials emergencies. In compliance with a mutual aid agreement, the Oxnard, Federal, Ventura City, and the Ventura County Hazmat Teams provide mutual aid response to all the cities of Ventura County.
Oxnard Fire Department