Agenda Item   



                                                                                                                        ASR Control  17-000403




legal entity taking action:

Board of Supervisors

board of supervisors district(s):

All Districts

SUBMITTING Agency/Department:

Health Care Agency   (Approved)

Department contact person(s):

Denise Fennessy (714) 834-4409 



Steve Thronson (714) 834-4418



Subject:  Ordinance Designating Hazardous Materials Response Team Vehicles


      ceo CONCUR

County Counsel Review

Clerk of the Board


Approved Ordinance to Form




3 Votes Board Majority




    Budgeted: N/A

Current Year Cost: N/A

Annual Cost: N/A




    Staffing Impact:


# of Positions:

Sole Source: N/A

    Current Fiscal Year Revenue: N/A

  Funding Source: N/A

County Audit in last 3 years: No



    Prior Board Action: N/A






Read title of ordinance.




Order futher reading of the ordinance be waived.




Consider the matter.




Direct ordinance be placed on agenda of the next regularly scheduled Board meeting for adoption.




At the next regularly scheduled meeting, consider the matter, and adopt the ordinance.







Adding Section 6-1-141 to the Codified Ordinances will fulfill the requirement needed for the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to issue an emergency vehicle permit to Health Care Agency's Environmental Health Emergency Response emergency vehicles.







In order to operate an emergency response vehicle that has lights and siren capability, a vehicle must be issued an emergency vehicle permit by the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol in accordance with California Vehicle Code section 2416. For vehicles responding to hazardous materials incidents involving immediate preservation of life or property, the local governing authority must designate by ordinance the vehicles as hazardous materials response team vehicles.


The Health Care Agency's (HCA) Environmental Health Emergency Response program (Health HazMat Team) provides 24/7 response to hazardous materials spills, clandestine drug lab operations, terrorism incidents, and hazardous materials complaints. The Health HazMat Team provides regulatory guidance and technical expertise, mitigates and oversees the removal of hazardous substances and investigates hazardous materials incidents. Since 2012, an increase in the Health HazMat Team's responsibilities including a 20% increase in emergency response calls, along with feedback from fire and law enforcement responders have led to the need for an emergency vehicle permit.


An emergency response vehicle allows staff assigned to the Health HazMat Team to arrive within a reasonable time, usually within the hour, after a request for assistance is made. Most fire and law enforcement personnel do not have the technical expertise in chemistry and biological agents to address potential hazards that may occur at drug lab, chemical spill or other hazardous materials incidents. It is critical in protecting the lives of first responders and the public that the Health HazMat Team arrive in a timely manner and have the capability to request traffic to yield should congested roads delay an effective response. Both Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Sheriff have extended their support for the Health HazMat Teams' vehicles to be operated and permitted as emergency response vehicles.


In accordance with the policy pertaining to its operation, Health HazMat Team staff will be required to be thoroughly trained at an approved Emergency Vehicle Operations Center. Limitations on use and compliance with California Vehicle Code will be observed at all times.


The Health HazMat Team is comprised of California State Certified Hazardous Materials Technicians and Specialists who have specialized training in hazardous materials, investigation, evidence collection and weapons of mass destruction. The Health HazMat Team is part of the Orange County Joint Hazard Assessment Team and trains with local law enforcement including Specialized Weapons and Tactics, Bomb Squad, Fire Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Civil Support Team to respond to high hazard incidents. All members of the Health HazMat are deputized Health Officers and are trained Terrorism Liaison Officers with the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center.


HCA's Safety program and the CEO/Office of Risk Management have reviewed and approved the attached policy draft.


HCA requests that the Board adopt the draft ordinance designating the Health HazMat Team vehicles as responsive to hazardous materials emergencies as referenced in the Recommended Action.













Attachment A - Proposed Orange County Ordinance 6-1-141
Attachment B - Vehicle Code Section 2416
Attachment C - Draft Emergency Vehicle Operation Policy
Attachment D - Letter of Support OCFA
Attachment E - Letter of Support OCSD