The State of Vermont HAZMAT Team was created in 1994 to assist all fire departments in Vermont with managing hazardous materials incidents. The Team’s authorizing legislation as well as the creation of the HAZMAT Team Chief can be found in Vermont Statutes, 20 V.S.A. § 33.
The purpose for the Team’s creation was and remains to work with the fire chiefs before, during and after hazardous materials events in their municipalities. By having HAZMAT Technicians located across the entire State supported with three HAZMAT response vehicles, the Vermont HAZMAT Response Team (VHMRT) endeavors to have highly trained and equipped personnel on scene quickly when requested by the Incident Commander.
In addition to the HAZMAT trucks the Team can call upon any of the 18 HAZMAT trailers positioned in local fire departments around the State. These trailers contain equipment which may be used for operations level HAZMAT response as well as to perform “gross” and “technical” decontamination.
The Team is housed in the Division of Fire Safety in the Department of Public Safety.
Hazardous Materials Response can eat up large amounts of time, equipment and personnel resources. In fact, the response to a large HAZMAT incident could cost a department their entire year’s budget. Vermont Statutes allow for the fire department to recover costs directly associated with the response to a HAZMAT incident.