About the Division
Special Operations consists of both Technical Rescue and Hazardous Materials (Haz-Mat) operations along with Marine Operations and Wildland Fire Operations.
Responsibilities include, but not limited to the following rescue disciplines:
- vehicle extrication,
- machinery entrapments,
- elevator rescues,
- trench collapse,
- confined space rescue,
- rope rescue (high and low angle),
- and swift water rescue.
- Haz-Mat related functions such as:
- suspicious odors,
- gas leaks,
- hazardous materials spills and leaks
- boat rescue
- water rescues
- boat fire
- search and rescue
- brush and wildland fire extinguishment
Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT)
The Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team is currently assigned to Fire Station 7. In addition to emergency response to incidents, the HMRT responds to structure fires where there are known hazardous materials indicated by placarding. The HMRT is also a regional response team within the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) region.
A substantial amount of training is done on various monitoring and detection equipment used on incidents. Team members responding to incidents involving hazardous materials are trained to deal with chemical spills, gas leaks and other situations involving hazardous materials. The HMRT is the most technically demanding assignment in the Department. Equipped with on-board computers, cellular phones and fax machines, extensive resource library, various chemical suits, and support equipment; the HMRT's best resource is the continual training of its personnel.
Structural Collapse Technical Rescue Team
The Fire Department has prepared a select group of personnel to conduct special search and rescue operations. This includes training in various rescue situations such as low- and high-angle, swift-water, urban search and rescue, confined spaces and a variety of other special situations. The Structural Collapse Technical Rescue Team is currently assigned to Fire Station 5.
The Baytown Fire Department purchased a new 30' North River Fireboat with funding from the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), Houston Ship Channel Security District (HSCSD), and the Fire Control Prevention EMS District (FCPEMSD). Marine Operations' primary mission is to provide rapid water response to fire, rescue, and hazmat incidents occurring on or along the waterways of the City of Baytown.
The fireboat will coordinate closely with other public safety marine units during emergency operations, such as the Port of Houston Fire Department. The fireboat is staffed with well-trained firefighters who are qualified and approved to fill one or more of the following operational roles:
- Water-based rescue and medical incidents
- Fire suppression on watercrafts, marina, and on shore
- Search and Rescue
- Chemical/fuel spill response
- Support during natural disasters or other large-scale incidents
- Support for the Hazardous Materials Response Team and Technical Rescue response operations
- Support for law enforcement
- Dive team support
Wildland Urban Interface Firefighting Team
The Baytown Fire Department initiated its Wildland Team Program as a result of the State of Texas developing the Texas Interstate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS). TIFMAS provides the framework to mobilize personnel and equipment available in unaffected regions of the state for Mutual Aid in the event of natural disasters such as: wildfires, hurricanes, floods and winter storms. Notable deployments of team members were to two California wildfires in 2018 and Central Texas in 2020.
The Wildland Team follows nationally recognized standards, developed by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), for federal and state Wildland Firefighters for training and physical ability. The department was awarded a Type III engine from TIFMAS to assist with fighting wildfires that is currently housed at Fire Station 1. The department also has a Type VI brush truck that is housed at Fire Station 3 for use at smaller ground fires.