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Hazardous Materials Team

The Palm Harbor Fire District is also part of the Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Response Team (PCHMRT). Other departments that make up the entire team are St Petersburg, Seminole, Pinellas Park and Largo. Anytime a Haz Mat response in Pinellas County exceeds a local jurisdiction's ability to mitigate the call, the PCHMRT is called to assist. Normally, the unit from Palm Harbor is not dispatched if the call is below Ulmerton Road in Largo and vice versa for St. Petersburg. The team's role is to assist in the mitigation of the call but control remains with the local jurisdiction. Palm Harbor has a total of 12 personnel assigned to the PCHMRT, 4 per shift. The Deputy Chief of Operations acts as the District's liaison with the team and is also the team's Deputy Commander. A Haz Mat response will get the Haz Mat unit (owned by Pinellas County) and 3 personnel.

The PCHMRT in Palm Harbor is assigned to Station 66. When a Haz Mat call occurs, the unit from Palm Harbor is dispatched, causing the engine at Station 66 to be taken out of service for lack of manpower. While the District does not like that unit having to be taken out of service, the District does benefit by being a part of the team. Federal law requires fire department personnel be trained to respond to Haz Mat calls. By being part of the PCHMRT Palm Harbor personnel receive training that exceeds the federal requirement and are much more capable when it comes to handling a Haz Mat call in Palm Harbor. Additionally, Palm Harbor has specialized equipment readily available that it would not normally have.



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