HazMat Team Spotlight: Honolulu Fire Department

Slideshow Images: Honolulu, Hawaii, Hazmat Team Honolulu is a beautiful city on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) provides fire protection for the entire Island of Oahu, except for the military installations and Honolulu...


Hazmat 1 & 2 are dedicated hazardous materials response teams. Station 32 houses Engine 32 as well as Hazmat 1. Station 40 houses Engine 40, Tower 40 and Brush 40 as well as Hazmat 2 and is Battalion 4 Headquarters. Engine 32 is staffed by five technicians and Tower 40 also has five technicians. Hazmat 1 and Hazmat 2 each have five technicians. All HFD engine and truck company personnel are trained to provide decontamination. There are an additional 300 trained hazmat technicians stationed through out the island.

Training Requirements

All Honolulu firefighters are trained to HazMat Operations level. Captains assigned to the hazmat units assist the department's Training and Research Bureau in providing hazmat training for all other department members. Hazmat technicians initially attend a two-week Chemistry of Hazardous Materials class and two weeks of hands-on training involving PPE, decontamination, monitors, strategy and tactics, and other equipment. Team members also attend National Fire Academy terrorism response training and are sent to the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, for other hazardous materials classes.

Monitoring Instruments & Identification Equipment

Monitoring capabilities include:

  • BW multi-gas monitors (three four-gas units and and three three-gas units)
  • Draeger Tubes (18 gases or vapors)
  • Draeger CMS
  • Hazcat
  • Guardian-Biocapture (Guardian Reader)
  • Ludlums Micro Rem
  • Ammonia & Chlorine detectors
  • Pocket Dosimeters
  • Canberra Ultra Radiacs
  • Rae PID
  • IR analyzer
  • Hazmat CAM

Terrorist Agent ID:

  • APD 2000
  • M-8 paper
  • Hazmat CAM

Personnel Protective Equipment

Level A

  • Kapler Responder WMD Type

Level B

  • PSC-Beta, Kapler Blue, Tyvec Saranex Yellow and Tyvec White

Respiratory Protection

  • Breathing apparatus is manufactured by MSA and one-hour bottles are used for hazmat and 45-minute bottles for quick entry on apparatus for firefighting. Communication in suits is accomplished with bone mikes.

Research Resources

Computer Software Programs

  • X PUB

Hard Copy Reference Books

  • Chris Manual
  • Mereck Index
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide
  • Emergency Response Guide
  • HM Response Guide Book
  • Crop Protection Handbook

Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines

Check with Honolulu Fire Department Hazmat for specific SOP/SOG's

Hazardous Materials Exposures

Because Oahu is an island, there are no interstate highways or railroads. Everything, including hazardous materials shipments, brought onto the island arrives by either air or water. Trucks transport hazardous materials to locations of storage and use on the island. Honolulu has a large port facility with intermodal containers of hazardous materials (see Intermodal Containers: What's Inside Those Big Boxes? in the December 2004 issue of Firehouse). Hazardous materials exposures include two refineries (with their own fire departments), sulfuric acid, propane, anhydrous ammonia used in cold storage facilities, pipelines, petroleum storage and pesticides. Hawaii has the largest synthetic natural gas plant in the United States and a 12 million-gallon petroleum storage facility, built into a mountain during World War II.

Contact Information

For additional information or questions, contact:
Battalion Chief Jeff Farris, Special Operations
Phone (808) 723-7182, Fax (808) 723-7121
E-Mail: jfarris@honolulu.gov

Slideshow Images: