HazMat 2 is a team of specially trained volunteers committed to protecting Lancaster County against the effects of hazardous materials.
In 1983 four local fire companies Eden, East Petersburg, Neffsville, and Southern Manheim Township came together and formed a new fire department focusing on hazardous materials. They purchased specialized equipment and protective clothing required and began training several of their members in the skills required to mitigate a hazardous materials release. This team of volunteers became known as HazMat 2-9.
During this time Congress was doing its part to make the Nation safer and better prepared. In 1980 the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or CERCA was passed in response to the Love Canal Disaster in New York. In 1986 a major amendment was passed known as "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986"which added specific portions on Community Right-To-Know and emergency response requirements.
Thanks to the foresight of those four fire companies Lancaster County was already well prepared to meet these requirements. In 1993 HazMat 2-9 and the County of Lancaster formalized its commitment to serve Lancaster County by signing a multiyear contract to provide the emergency response required under CERCA.
Continuing to challenge and maintain a level of professionalism HazMat 2-9 met the requirements to become a state certified hazardous materials response team through Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). This certification is valid for four years at the end of the four years we are required to prove our capabilities and demonstrate that our team meets the state requirements for a hazardous materials team.
In recent years we have taken on a wider range of capabilities and services which include supporting other emergency services with our robust unmanned aerial system (More information can be found under apparatus - special units).
In 2015 at the request of Lancaster County Wide Communications (LCWC) we changed our unit designation from HazMat 2-9 to HazMat 2.