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The Sheboygan County Hazardous Materials Team was recognized for operation in 1990 through adoption of Sheboygan County Resolution Number 12 (1990/1991), since revised in 1994 as Resolution Number 24 (1994/1995). The team is a recognized level-B hazardous materials response team by the State of Wisconsin.

Membership is comprised of eighteen (18) volunteer and paid full-time firefighters from various fire departments in Sheboygan County. The entire team is trained to technician level through the EPA 165.15 Hazardous Materials Technician Course. The team's lead Commander is trained at a Hazardous Materials Specialist level. One additional team Commander is a chemist by profession. The team members renew their Technician level certification on an annual basis and regular training sessions are scheduled throughout the year to maintain a strong, capable membership.

The team's designated command post is a semi tractor/trailer that was purchased by Sheboygan County and remodeled to accommodate the team's response capabilities and needs. It is housed at a centralized location in Sheboygan County allowing the team to respond to virtually any location in Sheboygan County within 1 hour. If local response capabilities become depleted, the team maintains mutual aid contracts with Manitowoc County Hazardous Materials Team and the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team, out of Appleton for assistance. The team will respond to all emergencies involving hazardous materials in accordance with the Sheboygan County Emergency Operations Plan.

Responsibilities of the team at a hazardous materials incident include:

  • Serve as advisor to the incident commander Identify the hazardous material(s) and determine the source
  • Communicate with technical personnel and keep command appraised of recommendations
  • Monitor area for toxic and flammable vapors
  • Communicate with technical personnel and keep command appraised of recommendations
  • Determine proper level of protective clothing
  • Determine proper monitoring/detection equipment
  • Confine released material
  • Secure leaking containers
  • Barricade hazard zones defined by command staff
  • Provide decontamination area Special Services With the use of a Swedish-made kit, the team can re-condense vapors of Anhydrous Ammonia and Chlorine back into a liquid state. This is made possible with the use of level "A" response suits that remain pliable and intact at temperatures of -110 degrees farenheight.

While carrying out the above tasks, the safety of workers, responsible parties and the public is of primary concern.