The Special Operations Division trains and responds to emergency hazardous material incidents, lake/swiftwater incidents, technical rescues, and the rescue of all incident victims. It also responds to disasters and assists other local emergency responders. The City of Wylie has many large areas of concern such as: Lake Lavon and its dam(s), the North Texas Water Municipal District, the KCS Railway that runs through our town, as well as the new intermodal facility. Highway 78 is a major road in North Texas and therefore offers special risks. With these unique challenges in our district, it is important for the department to have specialized training.
As a result of countywide strategic planning, Wylie is primarily concerned with two specialties: water rescue and hazardous materials response. Although these are our primary areas of concern, attention is given to all areas of specialized response. Current plans call for other agencies throughout Collin County to focus on other specialty areas, with hazardous materials being a joint effort among all agencies.
Special operations is a multi-faceted section and has management responsibilities for the following programs:
Our hazardous material response team meets or exceeds current competencies for a technician level team. The hazardous material response team shall be triggered through an "all call" activation. Currently, Fire Station #3 houses the hazmat team. The captain assigned at that station is certified as a hazmat technician and hazmat incident commander. Training requirements for hazmat technician level consist of an initial 102-hour hazardous material technician course that is supplemented by a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education annually, as required to maintain skills and competencies that are established by federal regulations. A total of 120 hours is required for certification as a hazardous material technician by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Standards. Quarterly drills, which include all fire department and EMS personnel, shall be conducted to maintain the proficiency of our operations level response personnel.
Swift Water/Dive Rescue
All types of water rescue are an increasing concern in the Wylie area. Not only has there been an increase in water rescue incidents, there has also been a reduction in the private resources available to assist with these types of incidents. Wylie Fire Rescue recognizes that with two major lakes located within minutes of the area and the increased population of Wylie itself, a team of specialized water rescue personnel is necessary and required to meet our overall department mission of providing safety for our residents.
Specialized Technical Rescue