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Marine Response Team

The Marine Response Team had its early beginnings in the 1970's as a joint venture between the Seattle Fire Department and the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD).

In 1983, the MARAD project was transformed into the present day Marine Emergency Response Team.


Personnel provide technical support to Incident Commanders at marine incidents. Such emergencies include fires, confined space rescues, hazardous material releases, flooding, and pollution incidents.

The first Seattle Fireboat was put into service in 1889 and the department has had one in service ever since. Today, the Fireboat is employed in a multi-mission role; Firefighting duties include vessels, shore-side fires, servicing the cities boating industry and plays a supporting role in disaster preparedness and city tourism.

Marine Response Team personnel are cross trained with other special operations units. For example, they respond to confined space incidents along with the Technical Rescue Team. They also respond with the Hazardous Materials Team and provide assistance with decontamination equipment.

Marine Response Team members have taken the lead in the formation of a Puget Sound Marine Response Consortium. This organization partners the United States Coast Guard, the marine industry, and regional response agencies. The Consortium will provide the marine industry with enhanced protection of vessels, crews and the environment while affording fire agencies access to the training and resources needed to prepare for such an incident.

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Last Modified:   June 13, 2012

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