Specialty Response Teams
The RFD maintains several Specialty Response Teams to handle incidents that require a higher level of expertise than the normally trained firefighter would have in the areas of:
The RFD Hazardous Materials Team handles incidents involving hazardous material spills and leaks. The AFPD serves an area that is heavily industrial and many hazardous materials are used in various local industries. Firefighter paramedics on this team obtain additional certifications that involve identifying hazardous materials and how to control them. Many hours are also spent training in bulky specialized suits required to be worn while working in and around hazardous materials. Besides the special suits this team wears, they also carry a wide array of computers and machines designed to sample and analyze hazardous materials.
Technical Rescue /
Illinois Urban Search and Rescue Team
The RFD Technical Rescue Team handles incidents involving people stuck at high elevations, underground or trapped in a structural collapse. Firefighter/Paramedics on this team obtain additional certifications and training in the areas of repelling and the utilization of rigging and shoring. This team carries and maintains specialized equipment such as ropes, underground cameras and shoring. Some members of the RFD Technical Rescue Team are also members of Illinois Task Force One. This Task Force is an Illinois based Urban Search and Rescue Team that is always ready to respond to disasters or incidents that may occur anywhere within Illinois.
The RFD Dive/Water Rescue Team handles incidents involving bodies of water such as creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes. Firefighter paramedics on this team obtain diving certifications and various other watercraft/waterway certifications. They carry and use a variety of specialized equipment such as boats, underwater sonar & SCUBA gear. They respond to many different types of calls including rescuing and recovering people within bodies of water and underwater evidence recoveries just to name a couple.
The RFD has a team tasked with determining the cause of the fire, and the origin. They work in conjunction with various local, state and federal investigation and law enforcement agencies to determine what started a fire, where it started, and to prosecute arsonists if it is determined that a fire was intentionally set. Members of the team are certified as investigators by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, and have extensive training in fire cause and origin determination. They have to maintain a high level of continuing education to remain certified and a part of the team.
Juvenile Fire Setters
Juvenile Fire Setters is a program that the RFD offers to the public. This program is for children who have started fires and for children who are beginning to experiment with fire starting. The program is designed to explain the consequences of setting fires and help prevent future incidences.