The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Health Hazardous Materials Division’s Emergency Operations Section (EOS) provides 24-hour-a-day response to spills and releases of hazardous materials and wastes throughout the County.
To protect the citizens of Los Angeles County from actual or threatened releases, EOS has three teams of highly trained, state-certified Hazardous Materials Specialists that:
- Determine the identity of the material(s) involved.
- Determine the type and severity of hazards present. The substance(s) involved must be classified or identified to determine the physical, chemical and toxicological properties that make it hazardous. These properties establish the risks and anticipated problems.
- Assess the threat to human health and environment.
- Assess the need for evacuations, site control, security and notifications.
- Direct interim remedial procedures to limit the spread of the materials.
- Determine the need to bring in other specialized HHMD units (Investigations, Cal-ARP).
- Perform environmental assessments using direct monitoring equipment, hazard categorization kits, and sampling equipment.
- Maintain written federal, state, and departmental or specialized records of the activities conducted at an incident.
- Issue cleanup and abatement orders to the responsible parties.
- Direct the proper and legal cleanup and removal of all released materials.
- Perform the final clearance inspection to certify that the site has been properly mitigated.
- Allow re-occupancy when appropriate.
EOS responds to over 2,000 incidents per year and routinely works with local, state, and federal agencies, including law enforcement, fire, public works, and other environmental agencies. EOS occasionally assists cities which maintain their own Unified Program and emergency response service (El Segundo, Vernon, Glendale, Santa Fe Springs, and Long Beach). Responses include:
- Illicit drug labs.
- Uncontrolled releases of hazardous materials which may threaten the public and/or environment.
- Incidents involving death, multiple injury, or illnesses from chemical exposure.
- Illegal disposal (dumping) of suspected hazardous materials/waste or infectious waste.
- Highway chemical spills.
- Requests from federal, state or local agencies.
- Evacuations conducted to protect the public from exposures to hazardous materials.
- Industrial accidents involving chemicals.
- Fires where chemicals are present.
- Chemical accidents or incidents at transportation facilities such as airport, harbor, and railroad properties.
- Ruptures of pipelines carrying hazardous materials.
- Hazardous materials incidents resulting from natural or man made disasters.
- Hazardous materials incidents with extensive news coverage, potential impact, or both.
- Terrorism related responses involving chemical, radiological or biological agents.
- Any request deemed necessary by the Department in the interest of protecting public health, safety, and the environment.
- M-F HHMD Dispatch: 0700-1700 HRS, (323)890-4317
- After Hours Call: 911 or (323)881-2455 (Ask for Health Haz Mat)
For more information regarding Emergency Responses, click on the following:
For more information regarding Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response, click on the following:
Los Angeles Public Health
Center for Disease Control