To provide a high level of hazardous materials response capabilities to local communities, Wisconsin Emergency Management contracts and sponsors 20 Regional Hazardous Materials Response Teams. The teams are divided into Task Forces: Northeast Task Force, Northwest Task Force, Southeast Task Force, and the Southwest Task Force. These Task Forces are then divided into Type I, Type II, and Type III teams, all with differing capabilities and training requirements.
The Regional Hazardous Materials Response System may be activated for an incident involving a hazardous materials spill, leak, explosion, injury or the potential of immediate threat to life, the environment, or property. The Regional Hazardous Materials Response system responds to the most serious of spills and releases requiring the highest level of skin and respiratory protective gear. This includes all chemical, biological, or radiological emergencies.
Local (County) Hazardous Materials Response Teams respond to chemical incidents which require a lower level of protective gear but still exceed the capabilities of standard fire departments. Currently, there are 40 counties that have a Local (County) Hazardous Materials Response Team. Those teams may provide assistance to surrounding counties and are approved by the Local Emergency Planning Committees.