The Farmington Fire Department (FFD) established a Hazardous Material (HazMat) Team in September 1987. On December 21st, 1995 the FFD signed an agreement with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety to respond as a Regional Response Team to major haz mat incidents within the NM State Police District 10, which encompasses San Juan County, parts of Rio Arriba and Sandoval County, and parts of the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations. It is the only official Regional Response Team in New Mexico.
The team consists of 21 HazMat Technician level trained firefighters, who all have a minimum of 160 hours of training. The team qualifies as a FEMA level 1 HazMat Team and has the following capacities:
- Hazard identification:
- Gas monitoring
- Liquid and solid identification
- Biological agent Identification
- Radiation detection ad identification
- Hazard Analysis with the use of an extensive HazMat reference library, and computer programs such as CAMEO, ALOHA, MARPLOT and WISER.
- Hazard Mitigation.
- Decontamination, including all weather capacity with a heated decon tent and a decon trailer
The following equipment for the team can be found at Farmington Fire Station 4, 790 S Hutton Road;
- “SR4”, Special Response Unit 4. A 1993 LDV truck, the front part is setup as a command post /research center with several computers and printers, while the back part stores haz mat equipment, including four 75 minute SCBAs. It is equipped with a 7.7 kW diesel generator, a satellite disk for the internet connectivity and a 6.000 psi breathing air cascade system.
- “HM Trlr”, HazMat Trailer. A 1995 21 feet All-Dorado trailer with most of the spill response equipment, an assortment of hazmat suits, a 5 kW gasoline generator and the other four 75 minute SCBAs.
- “Decon Trlr”, Decontamination Trailer. A 2004 16 feet Wells Cargo trailer carrying a mass decon tent with two ambulatory decon lanes with build in showers and a middle non-ambulatory decon lane. It includes a water heater and two air heaters for all-weather operations and a 16 kW gasoline generator to power it all.
- “Mass Decon”, Mass Decontamination Trailer. A 2007 28 feet AACS, self-contained decontamination trailer. This trailer has two heated or cooled inside ambulatory decon lanes for all-weather decon operations with two supplementary outside decon lanes. It is powered by an on board 12 kW diesel generator and has two diesel fire water heaters.
- “UT4”, Utility 4. A 2008 M2 Freightliner truck, which is designated to pull the mass decon trailer.
- A BOBCAT UTV with a CAFS pump skid unit in the back for large area decontamination.
- “SWOSER trailer”, Swift Water Oil Spill Emergency Response Trailer. A 2010 24 feet Hallmark trailer, with 1,500 feet of oil spill retaining boom and related equipment to recover spilled oil from our rivers and lakes. This trailer is owned by a consortium of several local oil field companies and the Farmington Fire Dept. It is a good example of how the industry and emergency services work together to protect the community.
Due to lack of space at Station 4, the following haz mat equipment is stored at station 6;
- “Fire UTV”, a Polaris Ranger all-terrain vehicle.
It is a very progressive team; many of its members have attended special haz mat training, such as radiation response training at the “Nuclear Test Center” in Nevada, and chemical warfare agent response training in Anniston, Alabama. To keep up with the latest developments in haz mat response, members have attended haz mat conferences in Houston, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland. The team has competed in the Los Alamos Haz Mat Challenge many years, were they placed first several times.