Bergen Regional Special Ops. Team

The Bergenfield Fire Department is a founding member of the Bergen Regional Special Operations Team that was established in 2000 as a regional multi- jurisdictional task force designed to provide the communities of Bergenfield,, Dumont, Englewood, Fort Lee, and Tenafly with equipment and staffing available to respond to specialized rescue incidents such as a building collapse, water rescue, rope rescue, confined space rescue, and trench collapse rescue incidents. This regionalized approach was adopted for several reasons. First, it would provide each municipality with the resources and specialized equipment required at specialized rescue incidents, second, it would guarantee adequate manpower, and most importantly the funding for the team would be shared evenly by the participating agencies so that any one individual municipality would not be burdened by start up costs and annual funding requirements. In addition to this local response, the team serves as the primary technical response group for the 10 fire departments within the East Bergen Mutual Aid Association.

The team is comprised of approximately 15 firefighters from each of the five municipalities. There is one Rescue Manager from each community who is responsible for the supervision and training of the members from each individual local team. These Rescue Managers are supervised by the Bergen Regional Task Force Leader who is responsible for the overall technical training and supervision of the Task Force members. The finance and administrative section of the team is managed by an association consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The dispatch of the team is coordinated through the Englewood Fire Department dispatch center. Several levels of dispatch are available including responses for technical assistance, the deployment of an Incident Support Team (IST), or a full task force response. Based on the Task Force's general response guidelines, the IST or senior ranking arriving member at the incident will conduct a size up and field assessment of the scene and based on this information will ensure that the appropriate level of resources required to mitigate the incident is responding to the emergency. In the event a full Task Force response is required, the following apparatus will respond; Englewood Rescue, Bergenfield Squad w/equipment trailer, Fort Lee Rescue, Tenafly Squad, and the Dumont Tower ladder. This regionalized type of response provides the Task Force Leader and the local Incident Commander with a large compliment of specialized equipment and personnel technically trained to operate at these major incidents.

Since its inception the Bergen Regional Special Operations team has responded to numerous incidents in many communities within the northeastern section of Bergen County. Some of these responses include confined space incidents/rescues in Bergenfield, Ridgefield, and Leonia. Building collapse incidents resulting from motor vehicle accidents in Oradell, Fort Lee, and Leonia, and most recently a house explosion with collapse that occurred in Teaneck Township.