Special Operations Task Force
The Santa Clara County Fire Department Special Operations Task Force exists to improve emergency responses that are outside the scope of typical emergency calls through advanced training, teaching, and emergency responses in the district and adjoining agencies.
Personnel assigned to Truck 85, Rescue 83, Engine 72 and Haz-Mat 72 are assigned to the Santa Clara County Fire Department Special Operations Task Force (SOTF). This makes up approximately 15 personnel + (1) Battalion Chief / per shift, with (3) shifts assigned to the program.
In addition to regular fire department training, all members are required to have the following:
• CSFM Fire Instructor 1A and 1B
• Confined Space Rescue
• Trench Rescue
• Low Angle Rescue
• Rescue Systems I and/or II
• CSTI Hazardous Materials Technician or Specialist
• Haz-Mat Safety Officer/ All Risk
(Additional training is encouraged and is not limited to: Advanced WMD training, improvised explosive devise recognition, swift water rescue, Haz-Mat toxicology, rubble medicine, etc.)
Continued training includes:
• Weekly Special Ops, multi company training
• Participation in the quarterly Hazardous Materials Countywide Refresher Training
• UASI Urban Shield Exercise/ Competition and Participation – (12 hours)
Santa Clara County Fire Department Special Operations Task Force may be deployed within district when needed by Incident Command request of the Special Operations Task Force. Haz-Mat 72 is also recognized as an OES Type 1 resource for large WMD or large scale Haz-Mat events throughout the state.
Some Santa Clara County Fire Department Special Operations Task Force members have been attached to FEMA Task Force 3, local SWAT teams or actively teach for private and public agencies. Some member deployments and SOTF deployments include:
• Hurricane Katrina – rescue and Haz-Mat operations 2005
• San Jose High Rise Rescue- 2011
• Santa Clara County City Six Flags Roller Coaster Rescue- 2007
• San Jose Downtown / AT&T- 1,300 gallon Diesel Spill - 2010
• Santa Clara City/ CHP- Bomb maker's facility, 2013
• Los Altos- PG&E House Explosion 2002
• Suspicious Package/ Envelope diagnostics at Campbell PD, Moffett Field, Google, EBay, Stanford and Apple- various years.
• Trench and steep terrain rescues- various years.