In addition to the everyday calls for service, the Virginia Beach Fire Department Special Operations Division provides a specialized response to emergencies that are outside the scope of a typical firehouse.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department provides emergency response and mitigation to many incidents that occur in marine environments. Many duties of the Marine Team include search, rescue, and firefighting operations.
Emergency responses include swimmers in distress, boaters in distress, medical emergencies on boats and ships, shipboard/ boat fires not accessible from the shore or a pier.
All 60 members of the VBFD Marine Team are certified in the Virginia Safe Boat Operators course, Virginia Department of Fire Programs Shipboard Firefighting, United States Coast Guard (USCG) Search and Rescue course, and many other maritime certifications.
Marine Team members are assigned to Fire Station 1 (First Landing), Fire Station 6 (Creeds) and Fire Station 12 (Seatack). Members that are assigned to Fire Station 1 are also members of the Marine Incident Response Team (MIRT).
This regional team is a made-up of local fire departments, police departments, and private organizations that can provide aid to the Virginia Port Authority and Port of Virginia. The MIRT responds at request of the USCG Captain of the Port and may provide any aid or services requested.
These services may include fires, hazardous material releases, medical emergencies, and search and rescue events.
Fireboat 1 is 30' Argus Class Northwind with an enclosed cabin and is located in the Lynnhaven Inlet. Fireboat 1's main response area includes the Lynnhaven Inlet, Lynnhaven River, Chesapeake Bay, and Atlantic Ocean.
Fireboat 6 is a 24' Metal Shark response vessel and is located at Fire Station 6 (Creeds). Fireboat 6's main response areas include the Intracoastal waterway, Back Bay, and Currituck Sound.
Fireboat 12 is a former USCG 41' Utility Boat (UTB) and is located in Rudee Inlet. Fireboat 12's primary response area includes Rudee Inlet and the Oceanfront from Cape Henry to the North Carolina line.
All Virginia Beach Fire Department Firefighters that pass the basic swim test are eligible.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department's HazMat Team responds to materials emergencies, spills, releases, or accidents. This specialized team is trained in accordance with OSHA and industry standards. The minimum level of training for our personnel is that of "Technician". Many team members receive training all the way to the "Specialist" level.
Our department is a partner in the Southside Regional Hazardous Materials response team. Our team has received extensive training in Weapons of Mass Destruction Response training locally and at many Department of Defense training sites across the country.
Members of our team have played an integral role in performing training for the Police Department and members of other agencies who would be involved in a response of this nature.
All Virginia Beach Fire Department Firefighters that have their HazMat Technician certification are eligible.
The VBFD Technical Rescue Team (TRT) provides emergency response and mitigation to incidents concerning collapsed structures, confined spaces, rope and high angle rescues, trench collapse, and vehicle machinery entrapments.
The VBFD participates in a mutual aid agreement with neighboring departments, called the Tidewater Regional Technical Rescue Team (TRTRT). This agreement allows the area departments to call for and provide technical rescue assets if needed to augment the resources available in the city.
The VBFD is also the sponsoring agency of the FEMA US&R Team VA-TF 2, one of the 28 federal urban search and rescue teams. The team is based in the center of Virginia Beach, allowing the cache to be available if needed for a response in the city or area.
The department has two heavy rescue companies, a collapse/shoring vehicle, and eight ladder trucks. Both heavy rescues have specialized equipment designed for technical rescue incidents.
Fire Rescue 2, the primary technical rescue squad has additional equipment, but not limited to: high angle rope rescue equipment, extrication tools, concrete and wood cutting tools, torches and other cutting implements, retrieval systems and confined space equipment (SABA and communications).
TECH 1, which is primarily used for confined space, collapse rescue, and shoring/trench rescue carries specialized equipment to augment the responding heavy rescue and ladder companies. The ladder companies are equipped for vehicle extrications and support heavy rescue operations.
The VBFD Technical Rescue Team is equipped and trained for high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, structural collapses, industrial rescue, and vehicle rescue to the NFPA 1670 Technician Level.
Members assigned to the Departments 8 Ladder Companies and Rescue 1 members are trained to vehicle technician, confined space and trench operations and have tools to provide support to the rescue companies.