Hazardous Materials Response Program
The primary mission of the Technological Hazards Division is to provide assistance to local jurisdictions in emergency situations involving hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. This assistance can take several forms depending upon the incident severity and the capability of local responders.
Assistance can include an on-scene response by a HMO and a state-contracted regional HAZMAT response team if needed. Once on scene, these officers can provide technical assistance and response advice and serve as liaison to other agencies or groups. These officers are prepared to conduct offensive-control actions to include hot-zone entry for reconnaissance, stabilization, and product confinement.
Each hazardous materials officer is trained and equipped to assist with the identification of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials. Technical assistance or on-scene response is available on a 24/7 basis from one or more of the HMOs. These officers will work with other state resources, industry representatives, and technical consultants to provide vital information to emergency responders on scene.
THD maintains specialized detection and monitoring equipment, specialized protective clothing, and product-control devices. On-scene responses can be made by ground or air transportation and are available on a 24-hour basis throughout the Commonwealth by request through the Virginia Emergency Operations Center at 800-468-8892.