As the third largest state in the nation and with iconic critical infrastructure, California is at risk from a myriad of threats and hazards including the release of hazardous materials, acts of terrorism and natural disasters.
The Regional Hazardous Materials Response Program was implemented in 2018. Cal OES embarked on an effort to increase local emergency response capability in identified "gap" areas by assigning 12 newly purchased Cal OES Type II Hazardous Materials response vehicles to be strategically located in rural and metropolitan fire departments. Cal OES completed the distribution of the 12 fully equipped Type II hazardous materials response vehicles to local government fire agencies. The assignee agencies entered into a contractual agreement with Cal OES to staff the hazardous materials response vehicles and respond to hazardous materials emergencies within the state upon request. Cal OES provided funds to train 25 personnel from each agency in hazardous materials and terrorism response and create a sustainment plan to ensure that the agencies would maintain the staffing for response to hazardous materials and terrorism emergencies.
The hazardous materials response teams have responded to numerous emergency calls protecting lives and property. The following examples are a few of the positive impacts and types of emergency responses where the Cal OES hazardous materials response teams have been deployed.
The early response to hazardous materials releases in waterways have reduced the environmental impact to the public and wildlife. The Cal OES Susanville hazardous materials response team (HM32) prevented gasoline from entering the Feather River.
The prompt responses to refinery fixed facilities have protected communities. Cal OES Contra Costa hazardous materials response team (HM21) responded to the NuStar Ethanol Energy Storage Facility explosions in Crockett, California.
The responses to overturned tractor trailer accidents on roadways have reduced the threat to motorists and expedited the reopening of freeways which directly improves our economy. The Cal OES L.A. County (HM11), Yuba City (HM31), South Co FPD (HM42) and Contra Costa (HM21) hazardous materials response teams have successfully mitigated hazmat emergencies on our freeways which protected the public and communities.
The Cal OES L.A. County hazardous materials team (HM11) responded to the Ridgecrest Earthquake to support emergency operations for the potential of hazardous materials releases.
The Cal OES Fire and Rescue Special Operations Regional Hazardous Materials Response (RHMR) Program has partnered with the Roseville Fire Department and Union Pacific Railroad to fund and build a new Rail Car Derailment Training Site at the Roseville Fire Department Training Facility.This is a monumental task that will enhance hazardous materials response to rail car emergencies. Following a train derailment in Goshen, CA., Union Pacific Railroad acquired, purged, and donated the damaged rail cars to Roseville Fire Department. Cal OES funded the transport of the donated rail cars and the heavy cranes needed to move and place the rail cars into realistic positions at the new training site. The rail cars are situated to be challenging for emergency response personnel and provide for multiple training scenarios. The collaborative effort of multiple agencies with a common vision will ensure that emergency responders from throughout California have a state of the art training facility for hazardous materials response involving rail cars.The goal is to have the Rail Car Derailment Training Site open within the next few months.
Larry Collins, Deputy ChiefSpecial Operations & Hazardous Materials SectionPhone: (916) 845-8751Fax: (916) firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Tobias, Assistant ChiefSpecial Operations & Hazardous Materials SectionPhone: (916) 845-8830Fax: (916) email@example.com Jack Fry, Assistant ChiefSpecial Operations & Hazardous Materials SectionPhone: (916) 628-7015Fax: (916) firstname.lastname@example.org Rod Tateishi, Emergency Services CoordinatorHazardous Materials SectionOffice: (916) 845-8719Mobile: (916) email@example.com General questions regarding the RHMR program should be emailed to:RHMR@caloes.ca.gov
RHMR Reimbursement Program