Interested in joining the Hazardous Material Response Team (HAZMAT)? Good news! You can apply for a spot on this team at any time during your career. Huntsville Fire & Rescue proudly boasts one of the top HAZMATs in Alabama. Huntsville’s team includes approximately 53 highly trained and certified technicians, two stations, three engines, one specialized response apparatus, one decontamination unit and a special response unit along with two command vehicles. Each technician initially undergoes 84 hours of training reinforced with a 24-hour annual training mandated by OSHA that is divided throughout the year. In addition, all members are certified in rope rescue, wilderness search and rescue, confined space rescue and trench rescue with several certified in surface water and structural collapse search and rescue. The assets available to monitor, detect and mitigate most known hazards are provided within this specialized division.
Joining the Heavy Rescue Team is similar to joining HAZMAT in that you can apply at any time during any position. The Heavy Rescue Team is a technical rescue special response group made up of 65 members. Established after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, the team responds to events typically outside the department’s daily calls for service, such as tornadoes, floods, manmade disasters and technical rescues. The team also responds to calls for mutual aid from other fire departments around our response area. Members are certified in rope rescue, wilderness search and rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, and surface water search/structural collapse search and rescue. Individuals maintain these skills through regular training and scenario-based exercises. The team’s mission is to save lives by expanding the department’s ability to respond to special emergencies while maintaining service levels the fire department provides throughout the City.
A highly visible component of Huntsville Fire & Rescue, the Honor Guard is responsible for bestowing honor to fallen firefighters. Often in the public eye, the Honor Guard represents the department at parades, funerals, ceremonies and other special events. While Honor Guard has long been a firefighting tradition, Huntsville Fire & Rescue’s Honor Guard was reestablished in 2007 through the work of District Chief David Robinson. Since that time, the Honor Guard has grown into a dedicated team ready to serve their community at a moment’s notice. Members are selected through a rigorous process and are held to a high standard. The Honor Guard drills routinely and maintains uniforms, equipment and a fire engine dedicated to their mission. The Honor Guard’s presence and performance at a funeral is similar to that of a military funeral in that our movements are precise and the unit moves as one. These traditions are the ultimate sign of respect for a fallen brother or sister, which brings comfort to the families and friends of the deceased firefighter. Huntsville Fire & Rescue’s Honor Guard aims to be professional and exemplary in every action honoring fallen firefighters, their families and department members, both past and present.