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Hazardous Materials Response Unit

Among the many services that the Opelika Fire Department provides each year, those provided by the Hazardous Material Unit response team is some of the most challenging. Many chemicals pass through Opelika each day along major routes. Industries depend on these chemicals for the manufactured goods they produce. These chemicals in a controlled environment provide many benefits to mankind. In an uncontrolled situation, they can be deadly and do paramount damage to the environment. This is where the Opelika Fire Department steps in with personnel, training and equipment.

The HazMat response team has 17 specialists, 5 technicians, and 34 first responders. The State of Alabama certifies all. These personnel have received many hours in training and field experience. From handling leaks, spills and escaping gasses, to understanding the law of hazardous materials themselves (S.A.R.A. Title III) the response team is committed to protecting the citizens of Opelika. The response truck carries state-of-the-art equipment such as Level A suits for working in dangerous environments, high pressure air bottles, a portable power plant, air compressor, decontamination equipment, leak plugging equipment, ditch and damming equipment, non-sparking lighting, chemical absorbent pads and storage containers, just to name a few.

We have on board a computer with the latest available hazmat software. This Cameo software provides an upper hand to the people involved in making quick decisions. Also, we have Chemtox and the American Railroad Association software to support the Response Team. We have a cellular phone on board so we can contact the different manufacturers if necessary.

Another piece of equipment that we have is a complete portable weather station.