Hazardous Incident Response Team
The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT) consists of ten California State Certified Hazardous Material Specialists. The team was founded in 1981 by the Unified Disaster Council and is funded by a Joint Powers Agreement. This team services all unincorporated San Diego County areas, 18 municipalities, two military bases, and five Indian Reservations. There are over 400 responses a year in the HIRT operational area. HIRT responds jointly with the San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services Department, Hazardous Incident Response Team to investigate and mitigate chemically related emergencies or complaints. Emergency response activities include mitigation, containment and control actions as well as hazard identification, evaluating the threat to the local populations and the environment. HIRT is also responsible for handling all after normal business hours complaints for the Department of Environmental Health and Quality. To file a complaint, please call: (858) 505-6657.
|Joint Powers Agreement|
The JPA is the organization that funds the HIRT. This organization is made up of representatives from unincorporated San Diego, incorporated municipalities, Military Bases and Indian Tribes. The response to all of these geographical areas will be made by combined team of HIRT and the San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services HIRT. We operate as a team!
HIRT – Is a CalOES Certified Type 1 Team(s)
for responding to incidents involving known, unknown, and
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Field detection
capabilities include the ability to detect Chemical,
Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE)
hazards. San Diego is a region of diverse land use and
terrain as such we have five fully equipped emergency response
vehicles comprised of four-wheel drive trucks (outfitted with
lift gates and heavy-duty winches for hauling hazardous
waste). Each one is fully equipped for up to a level
"B" response and are stocked with the equipment
necessary to make a level “B” response. Reference materials,
communications, detection equipment (such as combustible gas
indicators, radiation detectors, and Haz-cat kits), and level
“B” personal protective equipment are among the items stocked
on the vehicles. Although HIRT is trained to make level “A”
responses, the level "A" suits are maintained on the
San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services HIRT emergency
|Household Hazardous Waste Disposal|
Household hazardous waste (HHW) is the unused or leftover portion of any hazardous chemicals or materials made for household use. Any leftover household product that is labeled with DANGER, WARNING, TOXIC, CAUTION, POISON, FLAMMABLE, CORROSIVE, or REACTIVE is considered a household hazardous waste.
For Household hazardous waste contacts for each jurisdiction in San Diego County you can visit this page.
|Laboratories: Asbestos, Lead, Mold, Drinking Water, Wastewater|
State Hazardous Waste Testing Labs
certified by ELAP can analyze environmental samples. Be
sure to verify a laboratory's “field of testing” offerings
to ensure they can run the tests you require.
trauma scene waste management practitioner is a person who
undertakes as a commercial activity the removal of human
blood, human body fluids, and other associated residues
from the scene of serious human injury, illness, or death.
A practitioner shall register with the California
Department of Public Health and shall follow Chapter 9.5,
commencing with Section 118321, of the California Health
and Safety Code, of the Medical Waste Management Act. A
trauma scene waste management practitioner must also
provide proof of a contractual relationship with a
registered transporter or the permitted medical waste
facility that will receive the trauma scene waste. Please
click here for list of trauma scene
|CalEPA Regulated Site Portal|
know more about hazardous materials related activities in
your area? The CalEPA Regulated Site Portal is a
website that combines data about environmentally regulated
sites and facilities in California into a single,
searchable database and interactive map. The portal was
created to provide a more holistic view of regulated
activities statewide. By combining data from a variety of
state and federal databases, the portal provides an
overview of regulated activities across the spectrum of
environmental programs for any given location in
California. These activities include hazardous materials
and waste, state and federal cleanups, impacted ground and
surface waters, and toxic materials.
|Marijuana Extraction Dangers|
In recent years the concentrating of Marijuana has become a popular activity which can be done by many methods. The main method of concern is using flammable solvents that are not contained and released to the immediate area. The flammable solvents utilized in this method are typically heavier than air and lay close to the floor. If the flammable solvents are concentrated enough, they can reach the flammable range and just need a small amount of energy to ignite. A coalition of first responders developed a first responder safety guide detailing the extreme hazards of illicit butane honey oil laboratories and the conditions that lead up to explosive result. This video demonstrates how dangerous this method can be.
|All Hazards Preparedness|
The planning process should take an “all hazards” approach. There are many different threats or hazards. The probability that a specific hazard will impact your business or residence is hard to determine. That’s why it’s important to consider many different threats and hazards and the likelihood they will occur.
Strategies for prevention/deterrence and risk mitigation should be developed as part of the planning process. Threats or hazards that are classified as probable and those hazards that could cause injury, property damage, business disruption or environmental impact should be addressed.
In developing an all-hazards preparedness plan, potential hazards should be identified, vulnerabilities assessed, and potential impacts analyzed. The risk assessment identifies threats or hazards and opportunities for hazard prevention, deterrence, and risk mitigation. It should also identify scenarios to consider for emergency planning. For more information on all hazards preparedness please visit the links below.:
|San Diego County Operational Area Hazardous Materials Area Plan|
The San Diego County Operational Area Hazardous Materials Area Plan (HAZMAT Area Plan) describes the system currently being used within the County of San Diego for managing hazardous materials emergencies. The HAZMAT Area Plan has been prepared pursuant to Division 20 Chapter 6.95 (Section 25503) of the California Health and Safety Code and in accordance with Title 19 of the California Code of Regulations.
disasters like wildfires and earthquakes,
businesses and communities may be faced with
environmental health hazards related to drinking
water and food safety, power outages, chemical
spills or other emergencies. The Department of
Environmental Health & Quality (DEHQ) and
the Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT) play
a critical role during disasters to protect
public health, including wildfires. Staff are
trained in Environmental Health Training in
Emergency Response (EHTER), which prepares our
staff to address the environmental health
impacts of disasters. For more information,
please visit DEHQ Disaster Recovery
Information or the Office of Emergency
Services’ website on Disaster Recovery.
HIRT conducts outreach such as information booths, interactive programs at schools, participation in fairs, fire open houses and more. Please visit our HMD School and Community Outreach page for more information about our programs!
|Other Helpful Agencies/Links:|
Poison Control – contact Poison Control right away if you suspect a poisoning.
Air Pollution Control District (APCD) – for complaints about the emissions of air contaminants - including smoke, dust and odors which have the potential to cause injury, nuisance, or annoyance.
Agriculture Weights and Measures (AWM) – for complaints about pesticide use (and other topics).
Storm Water & Watershed Protection - addresses issues such as vehicles leaking fluids onto public streets, a garbage truck leaking garbage fluid onto a street, trash and debris in the street and others.
Project Clean Water Reporting Tool - Tool for other municipalities’ Watershed Protection or Storm Water program
County Code Compliance -addresses trash/furniture abandonment, abandoned vehicles, illegal businesses, and others – in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Local Municipality Code Enforcement Agencies: