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Special Operations

Marine Operations

TFD's Marine Division's fleet consists of a surface effect ship, the Commencement, as well as two rapid response boats, the Destiny, and the Defiance


The Commencement is equipped with two 535 horsepower marine diesel engines powering two 19" propellers and a 300 horsepower marine diesel engine that provides power to six 24" aluminum alloy fans. The fans can engage to create an air cushion under the ship much like a hovercraft, allowing it to travel up to 30 knots per hour and maintain a stable ride in choppy seas.

The Destiny is fitted with a 1,800 gallon-per-minute Darley pump and is also equipped with a full complement of radar, sonar, and night vision equipment making it all weather and all missions capable.


The Defiance is a 50-foot Metal Craft aluminum fireboat, fitted with twin Hale 3,000 gallon-per-minute pumps, and a full complement of radar, sonar, and night vision equipment making it all weather and all missions capable.

Our service area includes 32 nautical miles of saltwater shoreline, including the Narrows, Commencement Bay, the Tideflats, and Port of Tacoma. 

Hazardous Materials Operations

The goal of TFD's Hazardous Materials Team (Hazmat) is to respond to potential releases of hazardous materials with the purpose of preventing, containing, or stopping the release. In addition, the Hazmat Team responds to confirmed or suspected incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents. 

All Tacoma firefighters are trained to the Hazmat Operations level, with over 20 firefighters certified to the Technical Level. Core competencies for the Hazmat Team include the recognition and identification of hazardous materials, response chemistry, environmental regulations, radioactive materials, toxicology, air monitoring and equipment, decontamination procedures, spill control and containment, as well as medical monitoring.

Technical Rescue

The TFD Technical Rescue Team provides the necessary skills and equipment to react quickly in extreme rescue situations to save life and property. Emergencies that require dispatch of the Technical Rescue Team occur infrequently, yet they are also the incidents that pose the highest safety risk to both victims and firefighters. TFD's Technical Rescue Team members are currently trained in the following technical rescue disciplines: Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, and Technical Extrication. 

The Technical Rescue Team is comprised of 24 technician level personnel and is supported by 50 personnel trained to the Technical Rescue Operations level. In order to become a Technical Rescue Technician, our personnel must complete approximately 250 hours of discipline-specific training. All technician and operation trained personnel complete monthly training, one shift each month, to maintain proficiency and increase efficiency and safety at technical rescue incidents.