HazMat Unit

In the course of a normal day, any number of the 84 thousand federally registered hazardous chemicals are being transported through our county, or in use somewhere near by. That’s a lot. Worldwide, there are over 55 million registered hazardous chemicals. That’s even more. Changing times have required firefighters to train for a wide variety of services.

Hazardous Materials Unit Santa Barbara County Fire Department-2

Hazardous materials (haz-mat) incidents involving the release of dangerous chemicals, nuclear or biological agents that could cause the loss of life, destruction of property, or harm to the environment, must be dealt with.


The Santa Barbara County Fire Department Haz-Mat Team members include firefighters from Stations 38 (Gaviota) and 31 (Buellton) with minimum staffing requirements set to be on duty at all times. The team is a group of firefighters and staff who have the specialized training in the prevention and mitigation of incidents involving hazardous materials.

The tractor-drawn trailer is located in the center of the county at Station 31 in the City of Buellton and can respond where necessary.

Hazardous Materials Unit Santa Barbara County Fire Department-3

Inside the trailer are a host of equipment necessary in fulfilling the mission of mitigating any hazardous materials situation. Here are just some of the tools that are carried on board;

  • HazMat identification tools
  • Monitoring equipment
  • Level A and B suits
  • Computer/internet equipped
  • Plume plotting
  • Weather station
  • Night-vision goggles
  • Decontamination equipment
  • Library
  • Radio/Cell phone
  • Absorbing material
  • Real-time camera & video