Hazardous materials apparatus

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The Santa Barbara Fire Department HazMat vehicle staged at an incident.
HazMat Response unit with the ACT Fire & Rescue Service in Canberra.

A Hazardous Material Apparatus is a specialized piece of firefighting equipment used by firefighters responding to calls involving potentially hazardous materials.[1] Due to the ever evolving nature of dangerous goods, these vehicles are highly customized to fit the needs of the fire department responsible for the apparatus.[1] The needs of a relatively small town such as Santa Barbara will not be the same as that of a big city such as Los Angeles.

Specifications[edit]

In the United States NFPA regulation 471 details the Recommended Practice For Responding To Hazardous Materials Incidents.[2] While no specifications are given for the HazMat vehicle, the document does outline some of the equipment required including a radiation detector, pH meter and other air sampling devices.[2]

A typical HazMat vehicle will have a portion dedicated to a command and communications center. Often fitted with computers, televisions, two-way radios and other equipment.[1] This command center is usually located in a portion of the vehicle that slides out or expands much like is found on a typical recreational vehicle.[3]

HazMat vehicles also often come with a portable lab complete with sinks and fume hoods that allow for the analization of samples collected at the scene.[1] Essentially a mobile laboratory, this allows early on-site scientific analysis and monitoring will to speed up the detection process and allow firefighters and other emergency services to provide the correct response for the particular incident.

Equipment[edit]

Some equipment found on HazMat vehicles include:[4]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Petrillo, Alan (1 August 2012). "Hazmat Vehicle Designs Reflect Unique Requirements". Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment 17 (8). Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Recommended Practice For Responding To Hazardous Materials Incidents" (2002 ed.). National Fire Protection Association. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Bob, Vacarro (1 January 2011). "Speccing a Hazmat Truck". FireRescue (January 2011). Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Jakubowski, Greg (21 November 2012). "Engine Company Equipment for Hazmat Response". FireRescue. Retrieved 17 March 2015.