Aiken County HAZMAT Team Organization Structure


The HazMat Team is stationed at the Emergency Services office and new Aiken County EMS Headquarters - 621 York Street N.E., Aiken, SC 29801.

The nonemergency structure of the HazMat organization is depicted by the organizational tree below. The Team is a division of the Emergency Services Department. The administrative, operational and logistical functions are delegated by the paid HazMat Division Chief who reports directly to the paid Fire/Haz-Mat Chief. Other officer positions are staffed by both paid and volunteers. The entire Team is also composed of both paid and volunteer members.

Organization Chart - Feb. 2021

February 2021 Team Organization Chart

During a HazMat Team response, the organization structure shifts significantly from the "nonemergency" structure. The HazMat Team Leader and subordinate officers to become an integral portion of the Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS varies in size and complexity depending upon the type and extent of the emergency. The ICS is a nationally used, well organized system of command and control. Using this system, emergency responders report upward to only one individual. Finally, at the top of the response organization is the Incident Commander who utilizes all available resources from EMS, State Police, SCDHEC, Fire Services, DOT, etc. to handle the event.

For example and although unlikely, if the HazMat Team were called in directly by an industry and were the first to arrive on the scene, the first HazMat Team member arriving would assume the role of Incident Commander (IC). In this example, all other responding agencies would report up to the IC through various subordinate chains of command; however, only one individual - the IC - would be in charge. If, the HAZMAT Team was called in by a fire chief, the fire chief would be in command until he may decide that the incident is majorly a HAZMAT response and share command with the HazMat Team under a Unified Command System.

At the scene, the unit's emergency organization structure unfolds with assignments for specific tasks. A Safety Officer, Science Officer, Information Officer, Operations Officer, and Decon(tamination) Officer are assigned by the HazMat IC. Each officer then assigns Team members to support their specific function. For example, with detailed information from the Science Officer, the Operations Officer prepares a 2 man entry team and 2 man backup/rescue team while the Decon Officer prepares the decontamination line. All functions are nearly simultaneous, with the IC overseeing the entire operation. Depending upon the severity and extent of the emergency, the ICS and Team structure can easily and quickly require 20 or more personnel.

                      patch - Mourning

The Hazmat Team mourns the loss of our previous Fire/Hazmat Chief - Ray Bellamy who passed away on New Year's day 2021.  Ray was the chief of the Aiken County Sagemill Station near the Bridgestone-Firestone manufacturing facilities.  Ray will be missed by his fellow emergency responders in the CSRA - the Team will not be the same without him.

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