• Background

About Waupaca Co. HazMat Team

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Hazardous materials are chemicals, which if released, spilled or misused can pose a threat to the environment or health. These chemicals are used in industry, agriculture, medicine, research, and consumer products. Hazardous materials come in many forms. They can be liquids, powders, solids, or gases. They can be explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons, and radioactive materials.

About1These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of accidents in plants where they are produced or used.


If not contained immediately and properly, hazardous materials can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes, and other property.The HazMat Team is here to ensure that any incident is contained and its effects on the residents of this county are minimized.


The Waupaca County HazMat Team was established by the Waupaca County Board of Commissioners under Ordinance number ____ and began operations January 1, 1992.

The Waupaca County HazMat Team consists of 25 on-call team members from  fire departments and private sector industries throughout the County. Team members have received, and continue with extensive training for dealing with hazardous chemical leaks and spills.About2

The Waupaca County Emergency Management and the Waupaca County HazMat team have worked together to purchase and maintain the specialized equipment necessary for handling hazardous chemical emergencies. That equipment includes chemical identification and detection instruments, chemical protective clothing, absorbents, overpack drums, a computer-based information center and more.

The Team capabilities include, but are not limited to;

  • scene/site control
  • chemical identification
  • chemical information
  • control and containment by
    • plugging or diking
    • absorbing
    • neutralizing
    • overpacking
    • decontamination of equipment and personnel
At an incident involving a hazardous substance, the Fire Chief for that jurisdiction needs to make the determination as to the need for the Hazardous Materials Team.

WCHMT Unit 2Only the Fire Chief (or his designee) can request activation of the Team. The Waupaca County HazMat Team responds at the request of the Fire Chief/Incident Commander in charge. The team’s response is to be considered as mutual aid. The team will only respond if there is a fire department, minimum one pumper, and ALS medical unit on scene, these requirements are to maintain PA certification. Teams members must have vitals taken and documented by EMS personnel before and after entering a hazardous environment.

The Team operates under the incident command system; they are not the incident commander, rather a part of the response organization. The Incident Commander remains in command and has overall jurisdiction of the scene. Under State and Federal laws the team can only mitigate the situation, once under control or contained, the team duties are completed. The team cannot remove any hazardous materials from the scene; cleanup is the responsibility of the spiller and must be done by a certified individual or company.

The Waupaca County HazMat Team receives grant funding through the State of Wisconsin Department of Military Officers/Division of Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) through the EPCRA HazMat Equipment/Computer Equipment Grant. This grant allows the HazMat Team to purchase equipment that is used to contain chemical spills. The maximum grant amount is $10,000.00.

WCHMT Unit 1Other funding sources are received from contracted counties, responsible party reimbursement and the State of Wisconsin DNR reimbursement fund. Waupaca County also has contracts with Portage and Waushara Counties to provide HazMat Response services.

The Waupaca County HazMat Team is also under contract with Wisconsin Emergency Management as one of 20 state contracted HazMat Teams through the Wisconsin HazMat Response System (WHMRS).  Waupaca County HazMat Team is one of 12-Type 3 teams. 

Non-Emergency and pre-planning information is available through the Waupaca County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

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