Special Operations


 The Marine Team

Marine/Shipboard Firefighting and Rescue
Fire Boat 6The Virginia Beach Fire Department provides emergency response and mitigation to incidents that occur in water-related/marine-type environments. Marine Team duties include search, rescue and recovery operations; attack and extinguishment of fires within ships/boats; and provide assistance to citizens and/or vessels in distress.
Responses include swimmers in distress, boats and boaters in distress, medical emergencies on boats and ships, shipboard/boat fires not accessible from the shore or a pier, and shipboard/vessel fires accessible from the shore or a pier.
All 52 members of the VBFD Marine Team are certified in the Virginia Safe Boat Operators course, Virginia Department of Fire Programs Shipboard Firefighting, USCG SAR course and department provided marine training and competencies. Boat operators receive training related to the specific vessels that will be operating. Marine Team members are assigned to Company 1 (First Landing), Company 6 (Creeds) and Company 12 (Seatack).
Members of the Marine Team assigned to Company 1 are also members of the Marine Incident Response Team (MIRT). This regional team is a made-up of the area fire departments, with mutual aid to the Virginia Port Authority, through the Hampton Roads Marine Fire Fighting Contingency Plan. The MIRT responds at request of the Captain of the Port, and will provide any aid or services requested. These services may include fires, hazardous material releases, medical emergencies, and search and rescue.
Fireboat 1 is 30' Argus Class Northwind with an enclosed cabin capable of pumping 1500 GPMS. Fireboat 1 is kept on the water at the City Marina located in the Lynnhaven Inlet.  Fireboat 1’s main response area includes the Lynnhaven Inlet, Chesapeake Bay and Cape Henry Atlantic Ocean waterway.
Fireboat 6 is a 24 foot Metal Shark aluminum response vessel with a 500 gpm fire pump. Fireboat 6 is located at Fire Station 6 (Creeds).  Fireboat 6’s main response areas include the Intra-coastal waterway and the Back Bay/ Currituck Sound waterways.
Fireboat 12 is a former USCG 41’ Utility Boat (UTB). The 41’ UTB is designed to operate under moderate weather and sea conditions where its speed and maneuverability make it an ideal platform.  Fireboat 12 is kept on the water at the City Dredge Ops marina located by Owls Creek. Fireboat 12’s primary response area includes Rudee Inlet and the Oceanfront from Cape Henry to the North Carolina line. 
Eligibility Requirements
All Virginia Beach Fire Department Firefighters that pass the basic swim test are eligible.

 ​​​​​​​Hazardous Materials Team

​​​​​​​​The Virginia Beach Fire Department's HazMat Team responds to materials emergencies, spills, releases, or accidents. This specialized team is trained in accordance with OSHA and industry standards. The minimum level of training for our personnel is that of "Technician". Many team members receive training all the way to the "Specialist" level.

Our department is a partner in the Southside Regional Hazardous Materials response team. Our team has received extensive training in Weapons of Mass Destruction Response training locally and at many Department of Defense training sites across the country.

Members of our team have played an integral role in performing training for the Police Department and members of other agencies who would be involved in a response of this nature.

Eligibility Requirements
All Virginia Beach Fire Department Firefighters that have their HazMat Technician certification are eligible.

 Technical Rescue Team

The VBFD Technical Rescue Team (TRT) provides emergency response and mitigation to incidents concerning collapsed structures, confined spaces, rope and high angle rescues, trench collapse, and vehicle machinery entrapments. The VBFD participates in a mutual aid agreement with neighboring departments, called the Tidewater Regional Technical Rescue Team (TRTRT). This agreement allows the area departments to call for and provide technical rescue assets if needed to augment the resources available in the city. The VBFD is also the sponsoring agency of the FEMA US&R Team VA-TF 2, one of the 28 federal urban search and rescue teams. The team is based in the center of Virginia Beach, allowing the cache to be available if needed for a response in the city or area.

The department has two heavy rescue companies, a collapse/shoring vehicle, and eight ladder trucks. 1035 Tech Rescue.jpgBoth heavy rescues have specialized equipment designed for technical rescue incidents. Fire Rescue 2, the primary technical rescue squad has additional equipment, but not limited to: high angle rope rescue equipment, extrication tools, concrete and wood cutting tools, torches and other cutting implements, retrieval systems and confined space equipment (SABA and communications). TECH 1, which is primarily used for confined space, collapse rescue, and shoring/trench rescue carries specialized equipment to augment the responding heavy rescue and ladder companies. The ladder companies are equipped for vehicle extrications and support heavy rescue operations.

The VBFD Technical Rescue Team is equipped and trained for high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, structural collapses, industrial rescue, and vehicle rescue to the NFPA 1670 Technician Level. Members assigned to the Departments 8 Ladder Companies and Rescue 1 members are trained to vehicle technician, confined space and trench operations and have tools to provide support to the rescue companies.​