Emergency Operations

The Harris County Hazardous Materials Response Team (HCHMRT) was created following the events of September 11, 2001. The overall HazMat response capabilities of the Harris County Metropolitan area were evaluated and a decision was made to create the HCHMRT as a division of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Specialized Training

Each HCHMRT technician must complete more than 120 hours of training, prior to joining the team. Annually, each HCHMRT technician completes numerous hours of continuing education and professional competency through formalized training courses such as:

  • Oil Spill Response Training
  • HazMat Chemistry Training
  • Sampling & Evidence Preservation
  • National Incident Management Systems
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Live Agent Training
  • Advanced Radiation Training
  • Emergency Response to Terrorist Bombings
  • Illegal/Criminal Use of Hazardous Materials Training
HazMat Response

HM-1 is used as the primary response vehicle to incidents involving hazardous materials and suspected incidents of homeland security, including chemical, biological, radiological, and other emergencies.

The vehicle, including built-in equipment, was manufactured by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI, at a cost of almost $1.2 million. Funding was provided through a federal UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative) grant.

The truck, put in service early 2015, has a tremendous amount of capabilities. It has more storage, analytical capabilities, and the ability to link ‘live’ with Transtar and the Harris County EOC.

HM-1 Capabilities
  • Two cameras – one video & one thermal – on a 65 ft. mast
  • Truck-mounted radiation detector and on-board robot controller for stand-off detection
  • Truck-mounted weather station
  • Three work stations, complete with computer monitors, satellite TV receivers, HD TV monitors & NVR, digital phone system, and ceiling-mounted HD data projector
  • Multiple slide-out compartments and tool storage areas
  • Hard-wired antennas rails for future communications expansion
  • Five roof-mounted a/c units, electrical awning, a 100-gallon fuel tank, perimeter security cameras, wireless headsets, and a diesel-powered 30 KV generator for climate control, crew safety, and self-sustainability
HM-2 Capabilities
  • A 1500 GPM pump and a balanced-system foam delivery unit, allowing foam delivery at varying concentrations from multiple outlets simultaneously
  • Carries 500 gallons of Alcohol Resistant AFFF firefighting foam, 40 gallons of hydrocarbon dispersant, and 300 gallons of water
  • Carries an assortment of foam delivery hoses and a variety of adapters and fittings
  • Atmospheric air monitoring instruments and spill control/leak stop equipment
Enhanced Response

In May 2008, Harris County HCHMRT added HM-2 and HazMat Marine-1 to the fleet. HM-2, a specially constructed FEMA, Type 1 Foam Tender, is designed to respond to large flammable and combustible liquid incidents in order to protect critical infrastructure and our environment.

In 2010 a Talon Hazardous Materials Robot was purchased with grant funds from the Department of Homeland Security. The robot leverages technology with a 7-instrument detection platform and provides a means for non-human entry into extremely hazardous environments.

To reach the HazMat Team, please contact:
HazMat (24 hrs): (800) 590-0005
Office: (713) 274-1750
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