BSO Fire Rescue provides several highly specialized services to Broward County's municipalities and Unincorporated areas through its Regional Services division. The Advanced Bicycle Unit is deployed in conditions where access by vehicle is impossible or impractical.

Air Rescue, Technical Rescue, the Hazardous Materials (z-Mat) Team and the SWAT/Tactical Medics Team are deployed when crisis or life-threatening situations require specially-trained first responders with the equipment, vehicles and experience to deal with these extremely challenging and difficult rescues/situations.

Bicycle Unit Image

BSO Fire Rescue's Advanced Medical Bicycle Unit (AMBU) is used during large mass gatherings such as festivals, parades and other events where crowds make accessibility by medically trained rescue personnel difficult.

With the use of bicycles, firefighters/paramedics can reach victims more quickly, saving precious minutes. Unit members provide initial medical treatment and notify paramedics for transport when necessary. Each unit carries 30 pounds of medical equipment including airway management apparatus and defibrillation machines.

Candidates for the unit must complete a 40-hour training regimen requiring agility in crowded conditions and in difficult-to-navigate environments including down stairs and over curbs.

Air Rescue image

Operated by the Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, BSO's Air Rescue Unit provides emergency medical helicopter transport for all Broward County municipalities and unincorporated areas. The unit is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by teams of two firefighter/paramedics with a Pilot-EMT flying the aircraft.

Flight medics utilize state-of-the-art video laryngoscopes to provide the most advanced airway management skills. The unit is also able to administer whole blood for critically injured trauma patients and can transport two patients from the scene of an incident.

Along with the primary objective of transporting injured patients to local trauma centers, the unit also performs transports of medical patients, burn victims and executes search and rescue missions. Helicopters from the Air Rescue Unit provide the county with the highest level of pre-hospital care while rapidly transporting serious injury cases to area trauma hospitals and other treatment facilities, avoiding traffic and saving precious time. Air units effectively respond to the unique environmental challenges of South Florida: they can land in congested metropolitan neighborhoods or travel into remote Everglades areas in minutes.

Technical Rescue Team Truck

The Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services (FRES) Technical Rescue Team (TRT) responds to extreme rescue situations such as building collapse and emergency shoring operations, trench/excavation emergencies, confined-space rescue, high-angle/low angle operations and vehicle extrication/stabilization operations. The TRT members receive extensive training, have operational and technician level certifications and demonstrate proficiency in special rescue operations before and while they are assigned as a team member. These requirements are in addition to their firefighter and paramedic educational requirements.

The BSO FRES Technical Rescue Team responds from Station 32. TRT does not have a first due response area, but rather respondes countywide to any municipality or district requesting TRT's regional service. Resource deployment for the TRT includes seven personnel assigned daily, all trained to technican level in technical rescue per NFPA 1670 and 1006.

The team is deployed as follows: an officer, driver engineer and a firefighter paramedic on an Advanced Life Support , 105 foot Tower Ladder. An officer and two firefighter paramedics ride on an Advanced Life Support Rescue Transport Unit. The seventh team member is a driver engineer who responds with a specially designed tractor-trailer which is equipped with a full cadre of equipment to support extreme rescue operations. The trailer also contains an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) used to transport equipment to remote sites and other specialized rescue equipment. The TRT station houses an Air/Light Support Truck equipped with a light tower, generator and cascade system capable of refilling SCBA bottles at the scene of a fire rescue operation.

The BSO FRES Technical Rescue Team is a State of Florida Type-II Light Technical Rescue asset. Some of members of the Technical Rescue Team are also members of the Florida Task Force 2 (FL TF 2), which is one of 26 National Urban Search and Rescue Response System Teams (USAR) in South Florida under the direction of F.E.M.A. FL TF 2 has responded to numerous USAR operations throughout the United States. In 2001, nine members of TRT were deployed to assist in the rescue and recovery mission following the September 11th, terrorist attack and subsequent collapse of the World Trade Center. In January 2010, members of TRT/FL TF 2 were also deployed to Haiti to assist with search and rescue operations after the earthquake.

Hazardous Material Team in haz-mat suits

The Broward Sheriff's Office Hazardous Materials (Haz-Mat) Team responds to the accidental or intentional release of dangerous biological, chemical or nuclear agents into the environment. Typically, the team responds to spills of liquid and gaseous agents resulting from container failure, transportation accidents or human error and most frequently deals with fuel spills and propane gas leaks.

BSO's Hazardous Materials (Haz-Mat) Team responds to the accidental or intentional release of dangerous biological, chemical or nuclear agents into the environment. Typically, the team responds to spills of liquid and gaseous agents resulting from container failure, collisions and human error and most frequently deals with fuel spills and propane and other gas leaks.

Formed in 1986, the Haz-Mat team is based at Station 17 in Ft. Lauderdale. Team members must complete 160 hours of special training and be certified as hazardous materials technicians before applying for assignment to the team.

In recent years, new emphasis has been placed on the unit's response to acts of domestic terrorism including the intentional release of chemical and biological agents such as nerve gas and anthrax. Additional training, drills and mock events afford team members with detection, neutralization, medical treatment and large-scale civilian evacuation experience.

The Haz-Mat Team operates with a specially equipped tractor-trailer containing computerized detection and monitoring equipment, communications systems, a mobile weather station, protective clothing and remedial supplies.

swat/tactical medics team on lines from sheriff helicopter

Tactical EMS provides comprehensive, out-of-hospital medical support for law enforcement tactical teams during training and special operations. According to federal statistics, more tactical law enforcement officers are killed or injured during training than during any other type of activity.