Special Operations


The Special Operations Division maintains training and incident response responsibility for special hazards, unique situations and unique modes of transportation.  This includes hazardous materials, weapons of mass destruction, AeroTrain automated people mover system, Metrorail commuter train system, area passenger and freight rail systems, bulk fuel facilities, area waterways and active shooter events.  Special Operations also coordinates security intelligence gathering and dissemination of potential threat information.

The Hazardous Materials Response Team is comprised of six specialists and seventy technicians; all trained to the NFPA 472 standard.

The remainder of all Fire & Rescue Department personnel are trained to the hazardous materials operations level. Personnel train monthly at the shift level and participate in an annual, large scale team exercise. 




The AeroTrain system is an underground passenger tram system at Washington Dulles International Airport. It extends between all terminals and is completely below grade.  All personnel are trained for emergencies involving this system.  Personnel participate in annual exercises that test their ability to efficiently and effectively respond emergencies that require control of smoke and fire conditions and removal of trapped victims.





The Metrorail System

Reagan National Airport consists of elevated tracks an at grade station with elevated platform and a tunnel that connects to the Crystal City Station.  At Washington Dulles, Phase II of the Silver Line remains under construction with a future connection to the Main Terminal. 




Active Shooter Planning 

Fire & Rescue Department personnel have dedicated a significant amount of time to planning and preparation for active shooter incidents.  Personnel are trained to the Rescue Task Force level of warm zone entry, treatment and care.  This allows for entry under cover of law enforcement personnel in their stack formations, ensuring a more rapid and organized approach to providing lifesaving care. We are equipped with tactical personal protective equipment and immediate trauma care kits designed for such events.


Fire Incident Preparation

In preparation for fires involving bulk fuel storage facilities, we maintain water supply and foam support units capable of delivering up to 4000 gallons per minute and dry chemical.  High capacity water supply manifolds have been installed at both airports to provide the required flows.