The Burbank Fire Department hazardous materials team doesn't just
clean up messes in the city -- this week, members were sent to assist
in a street chemical incident near Santa Clarita.
The call Tuesday ended up being canceled, but if Los Angeles
County firefighters such as the ones in the Santa Clarita area need
Hazmat aid again, Burbank would assist because of a recent agreement.
Burbank and Los Angeles County officials agreed on a mutual-aid
deal that would send local Hazmat teams to county incidents mostly in
the west Valley if county Hazmat crews can't get there soon enough.
In return, county resources would be available to Burbank in the
event of a major calamity.
The deal, finalized in August and implemented last month, will
also include Burbank responses to fires at Universal Studios.
"It's the old principal of quid pro quo," Asst. Chief Norm
Stockton said. "Some day, we might have a major incident and we might
need them that day.
"When you have a big disaster, after not aiding them when they
needed it, it would be pretty tough if they said they weren't
coming," he added.
Burbank's Hazmat team is based at Station 12 at 644 N. Hollywood
Way. Under the agreement, it would go any- where in county
The agreement was about three years in the making, officials said.
It was driven by the need share resources, ongoing mutual-aid
agreements and a need to streamline dispatching services at the
multi-agency communications hub known as Verdugo Dispatch.
Burbank Battalion Chief Tracy Pansini said the Hazmat climate
following Sept. 11 also played a major role in the agreement
"With the emphasis on homeland security and with weapons of mass
destruction, Hazmat teams are crucial to protecting citizens and
mitigating the hazards," Pansini said.