The Special Operations Division of the El Paso Fire Department will support and manage the Department’s Specialized Rescue and Hazardous Materials teams in a logical, efficient, and professional manner that will allow for a complete and consistent utilization of the expertise, technology, training, and equipment needed and available to perform all specialized rescues that may arise throughout the City of El Paso and any neighboring communities in need of assistance. There are four teams: Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Combined Search and Rescue and Water Rescue.
The Task Force is the El Paso Fire Department answer to mitigating Technical Rescue incidents, involving high-angle, trench and confined space. Most Task Force Members hold the following certifications:
The Task Force is the El Paso Fire Department answer to mitigating Haz-Mat releases, and is capable to respond to Weapons of Mass Destruction events and other hazardous conditions. Task Force members hold certifications in the following:
The Combined Search and Rescue Team is comprised of 30 Fire Department members and 10 El Paso Police Officers. All members are required to have 40 hours of a combination class and fieldwork in Technical Rope Work and Search and Rescue.
The team can be activated by a partial or full call out by individual pagers. Notification of the Special Operations Chief, Assistant Chief, and the Team Coordinators are paged on all possible wilderness rescues.
The Water Rescue Team is comprised of 18 Fire Department members assigned across all three shifts and various stations. The Water Rescue Team has the capability of effecting simultaneous events in separate locations. Team responses vary as requested from Incident Commander from a single diver for technical expertise to full callout of 18 Water Rescue Team members and Special Operations Coordinator and Assistant Coordinators. All Team members are required to be certified to the following levels: