Brighton’s Haz-Mat (Hazardous Materials) division was officially formed in the fall of 1984 and is one of the oldest and largest Haz-Mat teams in Erie County. Brighton’s Haz-Mat Team consists of a specialized team of trained individuals dedicated to the emergency handling of unknown hazardous substances (chemical or biological). The team consists of 1 chemist/specialist, 27 Haz-Mat Technicians, and 36 trained to Operations level. The Haz-Mat Team primarily responds to incidents within the Tonawandas/Northern Erie county area. Mutual aid for HAZ-MAT incidents are provided for the city of Tonawanda, Grand Island and parts of the town of Amherst, including the U.B. campus. The HAZ-MAT team will respond to any area who requests assistance. The Haz-Mat team also provides Hazardous Materials Awareness Training to any Fire Department who requests the training to satisfy their OSHA requirements.
Incidents that are encountered range from small gasoline leaks that can last from a few minutes to full-fledged industrial chemical or biological situations that may last several hours or longer. Some examples Brighton Haz-Mat responds to:
- Basic Monitoring
- Industrial spills
- Hazardous (chemical) incidents related to truck or rail transports
- Accidental chemical releases into the atmosphere
- Biological/Chemical-terrorist incidents (WMD).
- Clandestine Drug Labs
- Unknown odors/liquids causing illness
In larger incidents Brighton’s Haz-Mat Team and Clarence Fire Department’s Haz-Mat Team will jointly respond via their Mutual Aid Agreement. These two teams regularly train together and create one cohesive Haz-Mat entity.
HAMER 7 (Hazard Materials Emergency Response) is Brighton’s mobile command post unit equipped with air/chemical & bio-terrorism detection instruments, a full weather station & CAMEO (Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations). HAMER 7 is ready to respond & mitigate Haz-Mat emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Annually, Brighton Haz-Mat mitigates dozens of incidents within the local area ensuring the safety, well-being of the community and preservation of the environment.