Hazardous Materials Team

Responding to spills or releases of dangerous chemicals or hazardous materials is also a function of the fire fighting division. State law places the primary responsibility for responding to this type of incident with the fire department, and tasks them to be the lead agency with command and planning responsibility (Public Act 207 of 1941, as amended).

Training

Each of the four engine companies responds to hazardous materials incidents in their primary response district. They are trained and equipped to take actions that confine the spilled material to the smallest possible area. Their actions at a hazardous materials incident would be considered defensive in nature. The most common hazardous materials incidents handled by the engine companies are fuel spills from vehicles.

All members of the fire fighting division are trained to meet the requirements of the State of Michigan's First Responder, Operations Training Program. When an incident is beyond the engine company members' level of training or if special equipment is needed the incident would be handled by members of the hazardous materials team.

Incidents of Activation
The Bay City Fire Division Hazardous Materials Team is activated for incidents that are beyond the control of the engine companies. The team is made up of ten fire fighters trained to the State of Michigan's Hazardous Materials Technician Level. These fire fighters are assigned to fire companies in the city, and called as a team when needed. Their level of training allows them to better evaluate the situation, and provide the commanding chief the information needed to make proper decisions. They may also take actions required to keep an escaping material in its container, which would be considered an offensive action. The team also works closely with the Bay City Department of Public Works when heavy equipment or materials such as sand are needed. Whenever the spiller can be identified they are billed for the services of the fire department and all other city departments as allowed under city ordinance. Members of the team also provide the department with pre-plans for hazardous materials response. The hazardous materials team also has a specialized mutual aid agreement with the hazardous materials teams of Midland and Saginaw.