Operations & Special Operations Division
The goal of the Operations division is to contribute to the safety of the citizens of EF&R by safely providing emergency response and incident management for fires, rescues, medical emergencies, hazardous materials incidents, and disasters.
The Special Operations teams represent personnel with additional training normally not required of a firefighter. With the diverse area the Agency serves, these teams were established to meet the challenges and dangers of specific rescue environments.
Hazardous Materials Team
The Hazardous Materials Team is part of the Eastside Hazardous Materials Consortium. The Consortium consists of hazardous materials technicians from EF&R, Bellevue, Redmond, Woodinville, Kirkland, Duvall, and Bothell fire departments and maintains equipment and personnel to staff two hazardous materials units in King County Zone 1.
The Agency now supports a mass decontamination shelter system, Decon77, located at the Headquarters Station in downtown Issaquah. The dedication of personnel to the Hazardous Materials Team has allowed for Decon77 to be deployed a number of times to various outside training events with scenarios involving multi-jurisdictions.
The training and expertise acquired by members of the Hazardous Materials Team Technicians provides expertise in several hazmat areas such as hazard pre-planning, chemistry, event mitigation, hazard analysis, and decontamination. The technicians train to the National Fire Protection Agency 472 Standard and are proficient in recognizing chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, and explosives events, in addition to a variety of fixed-use facility and transportation hazards.
Technical Rescue Team (TRT)
The Technical Rescue Team (TRT) is directed to provide rescue response capabilities for the following:
- Confined Space
- Structural Collapse
- Trench Collapse
The TRT continues to develop the team equipped with skills in urban rescue (trench and structural collapse) in order to support our community's growing needs, as well as those neighbor communities that respond to our incidents in times of need. EF&R continues to respond to rescues out in the rivers and in wilderness areas of our community.
As the rivers turn from a recreation source during the summer to a powerful flooding source when the winter storms approach, the calls for assistance continue. In an effort to support the multiple locations floods can impact, the Agency places trained TRT Technicians in the affected areas to help in rescue and evacuation needs. Because of the constant challenges faced in our area of service, EF&R has developed an "all-hazard" approach to dealing with emergencies.
Wildland Firefighting Team
More people are building their homes in woodland settings, in or near forests, in rural areas, or on remote mountain sties. Homeowners enjoy the beauty of the environment, but face the very real danger of an urban brush fire. Wind and dry weather conditions, dead fuels, and vegetation in the surrounding areas are sources of these potentially dangerous fuels.
The Wildland Firefighting team was formed in 1991 with the purpose of providing an increased level of skill and safety to the overall wildland fire and/or structure protection within our area. In addition, we can provide mutual aid to our neighboring jurisdictions.
Members of the team are trained to meet or exceed standards set by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and the National Fire Protection Association for wildland firefighters. Local training, Washington State courses, and knowledge gained during field assignments are all part of the training and experience members receive.
Typically, structural firefighting crews are first to arrive on scene to a brush or wildland fire. Depending upon the location, size, and duration of the fire, the Wildland Firefighting Team is called to assist with specialized equipment and additional personnel. EF&R in cooperation with the Washington Department of Natural Resources maintain a brush truck that is fully equipped with specialized tools and hoses. In addition, the Agency has a dual multi-purpose four-wheel drive specialized engine that can be used in remote areas where a regular engine is unable to access.
Wildland and urban brush fires can exist wherever residential, industrial, and agricultural structures are located adjacent to trees and other combustible vegetation. EF&R's Wildland Firefighting Team is committed to providing the highest level of wildfire protection and safety to the citizens we serve. For more information on how you can help reduce your risk of urban wildfires go to the Firewise online resource.