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Special Operations 31
Special Operations Battalion
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s Special Operations Battalion responds to a myriad of technical emergencies throughout Palm Beach County. The department currently operates two Special Operations Teams. One team is located in northern Palm Beach County Fire Station No. 19 and the other is located in central Palm Beach County Fire Station No. 31. Each team carries specialized technical rescue equipment that enables them to provide highly skilled complex rescue operations. Our teams combine an engine company, ALS Transport Paramedic Unit and a Heavy Rescue Truck to form a Special Operations Task Force. During daily operation, each unit operates independently within their primary response zones.
These specialized teams respond throughout Palm Beach County to incidents ranging from dive rescue, high-angle rope rescue, confined space rescue and technical/heavy extrication. In addition to these technical responses, Special Operations is also responsible for the mitigation of incidents involving chemical releases and spills, radiological emergencies, explosive ordinance support, hazardous chemical fires and transportation accidents throughout the county. The role of Special Operations has evolved tremendously in the wake of national and international terrorist events. Special Operations personnel have a vital role in providing Homeland Security.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue has partnered with three other local municipalities to comprise Palm Beach County’s Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team. Funding for the Regional Haz-Mat team is provided through a unique relationship with Palm Beach County’s Solid Waste Authority. Federal rules and regulations require that all team members be certified Hazardous Materials Technicians. Haz-Mat Technicians must complete 160 hours of intensive instruction which covers types of containers, identification of containers, transportation modes, federal, state and local laws and treatment and evacuation of victims. Members of the team are also required to maintain their skills through annual competency training, which continues throughout their assignment to the team. Special Operations also work side by side with the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team providing on-scene medical and technical support.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Special Operations personnel are among the best-trained and equipped public safety professionals in the country. The primary focus of Special Operations is citizen and responder safety.
Special Operations 31