Hazardous materials can be found in every single city in America; Oxnard is no different. On any given day thousands of pounds of hazardous materials; haz-mat for short, will be transported in, out, and used in within the city limits. On most days these hazardous materials will remain in whatever containment they are in, and pose no threat to anyone or anything. However, when accidents happen whether that be a small spill or a large spill, Oxnard Fire is prepared and trained in the safe mitigation of that haz-mat incident. All Oxnard firefighters are trained to the level of Haz-mat FRO, Many will go on to become Haz-mat Technicians, and some will be trained to the level of Haz-mat specialist. Priority number one on a Haz mat incident is life safety.
A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical) which has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors. At fire station #7 in North Oxnard there is a dedicated haz-mat response team made up of a firefighter, engineer, and captain. In the event of an incident this crew will respond on Haz-Mat 67. This apparatus contains all the tools necessary to mitigate the incident. Some of the equipment includes: fully encapsulated suits, kits to stop various types of leaking containers, a large assortment of detectors and monitors, decontamination equipment, various chemicals to neutralize spills, a fully equipped laboratory for identifying unknown spills, computers, and so much more.
There exists a tiered response system in Ventura county for all Haz-mat incidents. This means that the bigger the issue; the more haz-mat teams and units that will be sent to mitigate the problem. As part of the Ventura County Computer Aided Dispatch system there is a potential for Ventura County or Ventura City Fire Departments to assist with the incident. This also means that Oxnard Fire Department can potentially assist other these other departments with their haz-mat incident.