The Montecito Fire Protection District responds to emergency and non-emergency hazardous materials incidents. Such incidents include actual or potential spills, leaks, and exposures to substances that pose a threat to life, health, and/or property. All District firefighters are certified as Hazardous Materials First Responders and are trained to recognize a hazardous material incident, placing the safety of the public and emergency responders as the foremost priority.
In addition to Hazmat First Responder personnel, the District has several members who are trained to the "Specialist" level and particiate with Santa Barbara City Fire Department and Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District on the South Coast Hazardous Materials Response Team (Hazmat Team). The mission of the Hazmat Team is to reduce the impact of hazardous materials incidents on life, the environment and property using the most advanced tools and equipment possible.
What is a Hazardous Material?
A hazardous material is a substance that, in any quantity, poses a threat to life, health, the environment or property. More than four billion tons of materials classified as hazardous are shipped throughout the United States each year. Hazardous materials commonly shipped in the United States include:
- Explosives (materials that combust or detonate)>
- Compressed gases (pressurized flammable or nonflammable gas)
- Flammable liquids (those with a flash point of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Combustible liquids (those with a flash point greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Flammable solids (non-explosive solid material that burns vigorously and can be ignited readily)
- Oxidizers (substances that give off oxygen or act like oxygen and stimulate combustion)
- Poisonous gases, corrosives, (materials that destroy skin)
- Radioactive materials
It is important to act quickly when dealing with a hazardous materials incident. Time is critical, but do not act so quickly that you endanger yourself or others at the scene. Call 9-1-1 immediately and keep people away from the spill or leak to limit exposure to the material.