- Slideshow Images: Cheyenne, Wyoming, Hazmat Team
Cheyenne is the Capital of Wyoming and the most populous city in the state. Cheyenne is located in Laramie County which is in the Southeast corner of Wyoming just north of the Colorado border in the Mountain Time zone. The population of Cheyenne, which includes all of Laramie County, as of September 2005 was 55,362. Cheyenne covers an area of 21.2 square miles. The city of Cheyenne is named after the Cheyenne Indian Tribe which was located in the area when the location of the city was established on July 4, 1867.
Previously the area was known at Crow Creek Crossing in the Dakota Territory later the Wyoming Territory before becoming the 44th State in 1890. Cheyenne began as because to the Union Pacific Railroad presence in the area and is still today a major rail center for the Union Pacific Railroad. The F.E. Warren Air Force Base is located on the West side of Cheyenne and is the oldest continuously operating military installation within the United States Air Force. Starting as U.S. Calvary Fort D. A. Russell in 1867 to protect railroad workers from the Indians the military installation has evolved over the years into today's modern Air Force facility. Warren is home to the 90th Space Wing and Headquarters, 20th Air Force, of Air Force Space Command. They were the first ICBM wing in the United States and today are responsible for Minuteman III missiles located over 12,600 miles on sites in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.
The Cheyenne Fire Department was formed just after the turn of the century by the consolidation of existing volunteer fire companies which until that time had provided an unorganized protection service. The consolidation was looked upon as a method to muster, organize and administer all of the local available fire protection assets as opposed to the fractured effort of the past.
Today's modern Cheyenne Fire Department operates with 86 firefighters under the direction of newly appointed Chief Guy Cameron. Cheyenne firefighters operate five paramedic engine companies (one squirt), 1 aerial platform, a hazmat unit and a command light rescue unit from 6 fire stations strategically located throughout the city. They do not provide EMS transport; that service is provided by a private company. Cheyenne Fire Department responds to an average of 5,500 alarms per year. Fire protection for Cheyenne airport is provided by the Wyoming Air National Guard Fire Department.
Cheyenne Fire Department officials formed their hazardous materials team and placed it in service during 1994. The team was formed due to an increase in requests for hazmat response and the availability of a grant from the State of Wyoming. Originally 15 members were trained to the technician level to staff the team when needed using the IAFF "Hazardous Materials Training for Team Members" curriculum. When a regional hazmat team response program was developed by the State of Wyoming the Cheyenne Team became RERT Region #7. In addition to the City of Cheyenne the regional team covers Laramie, Platte and Goshen counties. Additionally they provide hazmat response to all state offices and facilities in Cheyenne including the governor's office and residence. They currently respond to an average of 350 hazardous materials calls each year including hydrocarbon fuel spills and gas leaks. Engine companies carry absorbent materials for small spills.
Cheyenne's hazardous materials unit is a Pierce 2004 and housed at Station 1 located at 2101 O'Neil Avenue. Located on the hazmat unit are an air cascade system and a freezer for cooling vests. Compartments go all the way through from one side to the other, which allows more room for equipment and supplies. The unit is also equipped with pull out trays for easy access to equipment. They have a 15 passenger van and a 16' trailer with equipment to respond to an incident with the main hazmat unit.