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Erie County Hazardous Materials Response Team


The mission of the Erie County Hazardous Materials/WMD Response Team (EC-HMRT) is to respond to any Hazardous Material or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) release to identify, contain, rescue, recover, and mitigate the incident in the interest of Public Safety and Health.

Founded in 1989, EC-HMRT is an all volunteer team of approximately 50 members and responds as a function of the Erie County Departments of Health and Emergency Services.

The team is comprised of a diverse cross-section of the community and includes Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers, Nurses, Scientists, Emergency Medical Technicians and Hazardous Waste Specialists.

Team members who attain "Technician" level standing with our team receive training far in excess of New York State and OSHA minimum standards. Persons achieving technician level status receive an average of 400 hours of Hazmat training and must, at a minimum, achieve and demonstrate all competencies required by NFPA 471 and 472 for Hazardous Materials Technicians. With additional training, many technicians also attain "Specialist" level ratings in areas such as:

  • Railroad Tank Car Specialist
  • Highway Cargo Tank Specialist
  • Intermodal Container Specialist
  • WMD Specialist
  • Radiological Specialist
  • Chemical Specialist
  • Biological Specialist
  • Ammonia Specialist
  • Sampling and Collection Specialist

EC-HMRT is on call 24/7/365 for any incident requiring a hazmat response, dispatching via the Medical Emergency Radio Service of Erie County (MERS). The team is available to respond to incidents in all municipalities of Erie County free of charge.

Requests for response may be made by Fire, Police, EMS, Emergency Management, or other governmental agency in Erie County and will respond upon request, pursuant to existing Emergency Management Assistance Compacts anywhere in Western New York and Southern Ontario for services ranging from technical consultation to full hazmat response.


For technical consult or emergency response call MERS Control at (716) 898-3696 

Join The Team

Interested in joining the team?  Follow any of the steps below:

Have any additional questions?  Send an email to

EC HazMat Command Staff

Chief HM-9 Michael Zekas

9-1 Shawn Conway

9-2 James Gajewski

9-3 Jeffrey Hartman

9-4 Hugh Foster