Chagrin/Southeast Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team



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The Chagrin/Southeast Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team was formed in 1990 at the request of local fire chiefs. Cuyahoga County provided some initial seed money to start the team, and the balance has been obtained from annual membership fees, county, state and federal grants and well as fees charged for responses.

The team is governed by the Chagrin/Southeast Council of Governments, but the day-to-day operations are run by the Hazmat Committee. It is comprised of fourteen fire chiefs who serve the the region, as well as the team coordinator and representatives from hospitals, police departments and service departments.

The team is staffed with cross-trained firefighter paramedics with an interest in hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction emergency response. Each team member receives extensive training and participates in monthly training. Most members also attend specialized schools throughout the country each year.

When a fire department needs the special skills and equipment of the Haz-Mat Team, they contact our dispatch center and the team is paged out. Various levels of response are available based upon the product and the nature of the incident.

Team members use specialized detection and identification tools, including high tech meters and instruments. They wear chemical protective clothing and "suits" to allow the option of offensive tactics. They can utilize specially designed equipment for plugging, patching, neutralizing, collecting, stopping, reducing or mitigating the hazards of the incident.


Who we are...What we do...

Each team member must complete their initial training as a Hazmat/WMD Technician. This involves sixty four hours of training in Incident Assessment, PPE, Direct Reading Instruments, Chemistry, Incident Command, Product Control and Containment, Plugging and Patching, Research and Reference Materials, Chemical Weapons and Hazardous Materials Strategy and Tactics.

Every team  member must also complete their initial Confined Space Rescue Training, including assessment, lock-out, and tag-out, rope rescue, air monitoring, patient packaging, retrieval systems, hard wire communication systems and supplied air breathing apparatus.

All members must maintain proficiency through monthly training and annual competency testing.

Hazmat Team Leaders and Hazmat Safety Officers must complete an least an additional twenty-four hours of training in Hazmat Strategy and Tactics and Hazmat Safety. As prerequisites, they must also complete almost 60 hours of training in the National Incident Management System.


The Chagrin/SE Hazmat Team began training for response to the consequences of a terrorist attack following the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the training has been continuous ever since.

Our team is one of only nine specially trained teams in the state of Ohio tasked with civilian response to terrorist incidents.

We have been verified to meet the rigid standards of the Ohio Hazmat Tecnical Advisory Committee and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency as a Type 1 Hazmat/WMD Team.

In order to prepare for this responsibility, our members have attended federal Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense Training Courses througfhout the United States.

These include: