Hazmat Team History
Anne Arundel County formed their hazardous materials team in 1987 at Station 23 taking advantage of federal grant money that was available for hazmat team training, development, and equipment. Their first unit was a 1984 Pern Fab/E-One pumper and a 1985 Chevrolet Suburban (Special Unit 23). The first hazmat unit was a 1989 Pern Fab/American Eagle (Figure 5.8), 1,250 gpm pumper with a "squad type" body. The unit was a rear engine design which allowed for a fully functional command cab. This unit responded as an engine company on all types of calls and to hazardous materials incidents as needed. This unit was replaced by Squad 23 (Figure 5.9) which was replaced in 2018 by Squad 4 (Figure 5.10).
AA Counties Hazmat Team has experienced growth and reorganization since 2006. Trench rescue was moved from Crofton to the Hazmat fire house in Severna Park, Station 23. During this time period the Hazmat Team made a transition from totally hazmat to a Special Operations format. Six Special Operations (SO) Technicians operated the Special Operations Squad and Quint 23. They respond to Hazmat, Collapse, Trench, Rope, Confined Space, and Swift Water incidents as required. A POD unit was added for Trench Rescue (TR23) which carried the bulk of hazmat equipment. A second POD was added later. During 2016 the
Figure 5.8 The first hazmat unit was a 1989 Pern Fab/American Eagle.
Figure 5.9 Pem Fab Unit was replaced by Squad 23.
Figure 5.10 Squad 23 was replaced in 2018 by Squad 4. (Courtesy: Battalion Chief Christopher Schaetzly Anne Arundel County Fire Department.)
Special Operations Team was split and assigned to separate stations with the addition of Severn Station 4. The squad was moved to Station 4.
During 2018, A A County Hazmat responded to approximately 125 calls. Hazmat responses do not include gas odors or leaks and only includes fuel spills over 100 gallons. Suppression companies carry absorbent materials and monitors for O2, CO, and LEL. Hazmat calls included investigations, spill clean-up of ammonium phosphate; phenol; chlorine tabs; pesticides; sodium hypochlorite; and capsaicin. AA County Special Operations Teams in addition to hazmat responded to 78 Marine; 69 Collapse; 55 Swift Water; 3 Rope; and one Confined Space incidents.
AA County today operates out of two Special Operations stations. Station 23, is located at 960 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, Maryland. Housed at Station 23 are Quint 23 and TR23. Station 4 is located at 7870 Telegraph Road, Severn, Maryland. Housed at Station 4 is Squad 4, which is a 2018 E One walk in rescue body. Squad 4 carries a variety of duplicated hazardous materials gear which enables them to start operations if Station 23 happens to be on another call. Each Station is staffed with four SO Technicians for a total of eight on duty between the two stations. Both stations respond on hazardous materials calls and operate as one team with eight members. All other firefighting personnel are trained to a minimum of operations level.