Team Training

The Special Operations Team drills monthly on various skills. The entire department also conducts annual training sessions on a variety of specialized skills designed to support and supplement the Special Operations Team.

Training Requirements

All team members are required to achieve a minimum level of training. These certifications are designed to maximize the versatility of the member and the team. Within 18 months of joining Special Operations Team, each member must have completed the following training:

  • Basic Air Monitoring
  • Confined Space Technician
  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Rope Rescue Technician
  • Structural Collapse Operations Level
  • Swiftwater Technician
  • Trench Rescue Technician

All Special Operations training is based on an Annual Training Plan (PDF).

Special Operations Training Members

Team Accomplishments

The Special Operations Team was formed in 2009 when the Hazardous Materials and Technical Rescue Teams were combined. Since then, considerable effort has been made to make the team an elite, and well-equipped group of technical experts. Those accomplishments include:

  • Additional staffing to Rescue 2 (2021) 
  • Purchase of a new heavy rescue/CBRNE unit, replacing a 2010 unit (2020)
  • Standardized compensation plan with four tiers for Special Operations Team members (2019)
  • EMAC deployment to Texas with NWA TF1 for rescue and recovery efforts following landfall of Hurricane Harvey (2017)
  • Securing another rescue unit, in cooperation with Washington County, for collapse rescue response (2016)
  • Moving Rescue 2 to Station 2 to improve coverage of team resources (2015)
  • Acquiring a dedicated rescue boat and pull vehicle housed at Station 5 and staffed by the crew of Ladder 5 (2014)
  • Increasing the minimum team staffing to five per day on Ladder 5 and Rescue 2 (July 2013)
  • Establishing dedicated staffing for our Rescue/CBRNE unit, "Rescue 2" through federal grant funding (July 2013)
  • Creating collapse rescue units (housed at Station 1) for trench and structural collapse rescue responses (2011)
  • Purchase of a new heavy rescue/CBRNE unit, replacing a medium-duty unit (August 2010)