Hazardous Materials Program

The Santa Monica Fire Department Hazardous Materials (Haz Mat) Team  is charged with the responsibility of responding to hazardous materials incidents within the City of Santa Monica, to mitigate any potential threat to humans, property or the environment.
A majority of the Hazardous Materials (Haz Mat) Team  incident responses involve releases or potential releases of hazardous materials that present a chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive or health hazard to the community.  The Haz Mat Team is available for response 24 hours a day anywhere in Los Angeles County due in part to a funding agreement with the Department of Homeland Security.  The Santa Monica Fire Department Haz Mat Team is currently stationed at Fire Station 3, 1302 19th Street.

The Santa Monica Fire Department Hazardous Material (Haz Mat) Team is comprised of approximately  40 members who have received specialized training. Each member of the Haz Mat Team receives an initial 240 hours of classroom and manipulative training. This qualifies them as a California State Certified Haz Mat Technician/Specialist. The curriculum includes chemistry, air sampling, collecting and analyzing of unknown materials, radioactive materials, and technical knowledge of the equipment necessary to mitigate chemical related emergencies. After certification, additional specialized training begins.  Members are sent to Anniston, Alabama for Advanced Terrorism Training, Mercury, Nevada for Radiation Training and Socorro, New Mexico for Bomb Awareness Training.

When a hazardous materials incident occurs, the Santa Monica Fire Department Hazardous Material (Haz Mat) Team responds to the incident on a specially designed Hazardous Materials Response Unit (Haz Mat Unit) . The Haz Mat Unit is a multi-functioning piece of apparatus, which has specialized equipment, including communications and information gathering electronics, air monitoring devices, unknown-chemical analysis materials, and a full complement of tools necessary to affect an entry into a hazardous atmosphere. The Haz Mat Unit is dispatched to incidents, such as fires, aircraft incidents and responses where a command post will be established/required.  The Haz Mat Team is frequently assisted by other City Departments to handle and abate incidents.  Assisting Departments include; Waste Water, Water Resources and Code Enforcement.  Hazardous materials incidents vary in complexity and hazard; from small spills of vehicle fluids, paint products, or other household consumer products, to large releases of industrial chemicals that pose a major hazard to life, environment and property. The Team also responds to unknown materials that are abandoned, illegally dumped or spilled, as well as intentional acts using hazardous materials meant to terrorize the general public or individuals.

The citizens of Santa Monica should feel secure in the knowledge that the Santa Monica Fire Departments Haz Mat Team is ready, willing and able to handle almost any chemical related problem which occurs in the City.  Haz Mat Team questions can be directed to: Chief Michael McElvaney  

Hazmat Photo Gallery


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City of Santa Monica © 2017
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626