The Williamsburg Fire Department, in conjunction with other departments of the surrounding counties, provides specially trained personnel to support local, state, and federal Special Operations Teams. These teams are highly competitive and require an application process that includes some of the highest-trained and most qualified responders in the region. In addition to the application process, personnel on the special operations teams must have the approval and support of the Fire Chief. Participation in these teams is considered an extra duty and often requires additional time commitments to attend training or events.
The addition of special operations to the array of services provided by the Williamsburg Fire Department ensures that we are properly prepared to handle any situation that may arise and provides a unique opportunity to department personnel.
The department currently supports the following teams:
- FEMA Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search and Rescue Team
- Technical Rescue Team
- Hazardous Materials Team
- Marine Incident Response/Dive Team
- Burn Team
FEMA Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search and Rescue Team
Members of the Williamsburg Fire Department, in conjunction with other departments from the Hampton Roads area, support the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Urban Search and Rescue Response System. The purpose of this specialized team and its highly trained individuals is to assist localities that have been devastated by a catastrophic disaster, natural disaster, terrorist incident, and/or otherwise. The team responds with expertise and experience in handling such emergencies. The team is comprised of highly trained firefighters, EMS personnel, dog handlers, engineers, and physicians from throughout the region.
Virginia Task Force 2 has extensive domestic disaster response experience in a variety of mission assignments, such as Terrorist Attacks, Hurricanes, etc. It’s also recognized throughout the United States, as one of the premier leaders in the provisions of training in catastrophic event mitigation, readiness, and response and victim recovery techniques.
The department currently has two highly trained personnel who are eligible to deploy with Virginia Task Force 2 in the mitigation of natural and man-made disasters.
For more information on Virginia Task Force 2 and the other Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Task Force Teams, please visit the FEMA Task Force Teams site.
James City County & Williamsburg Technical Rescue Team
Members from both James City County Fire Department and the Williamsburg Fire Department take part in the area's Special Response Team. The team's mission is to mitigate heavy and tactical rescue situations that may arise in the James City County and Williamsburg communities, as well as, aid neighboring communities with their rescue efforts.
The team will respond to incidents such as:
The team is equipped with a wide variety of essential rescue tools, a heavy rescue truck, and a trailer.
James City County & Williamsburg Marine Incident Response/Dive Team
Members from both James City County Fire Department and the Williamsburg Fire Department take part in the area's Marine Incident Response and Dive Team. Personnel on the team may be boat operators, dive tenders, or divers. The team's mission is to respond to waterborne and waterfront emergencies.
The team will respond to incidents such as:
- Distressed/Disabled water vessels
- Lost/Missing boaters
The team is equipped with a wide variety of marine vessels capable of fire and rescue operations, as well as other support vessels equipped to provide dive-rescue capabilities.
York County & Williamsburg Hazardous Materials Team
Members from both York County Fire and Life Safety and the Williamsburg Fire Department participate in the region's Hazmat Response Team. The team's mission is to prevent and mitigate incidents involving hazardous materials. Hazardous materials (Hazmat) incidents involve the release of dangerous chemicals and nuclear or biological agents that could cause the loss of life, destruction of property, or harm to the environment.
The team will respond to incidents such as the threat and/or deployment of:
- Nuclear Agents
- Chemical Agents
- Biological Agents
- Weapons of Mass Destruction
The team is equipped with a wide variety of equipment, tools, and protective clothing to mitigate any hazardous materials emergency.
Williamsburg Fire Department Burn Team
Members from the Williamsburg Fire Department Burn team take part in the Hampton Roads Regional Fire Academy Training Burns. The mission of the Burn Team is to support live fire training evolutions at the fire academy. Personnel on the team function as fire starters, fire control, and safety members.