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Special Operations Team

In Greenville County, a team of skilled volunteers from various Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement agencies work together to respond to a wide range of emergencies. This is known as the Greenville County Special Operations Team. These emergencies include water rescues, technical rescues, missing persons, and hazardous materials releases. To ensure the team is well-organized and equipped, Greenville County provides a Special Operations Coordinator who oversees the team’s response, equipment, and training. When members are performing under the team, they are considered volunteers. These employees work full-time at departments throughout the county and partner with the team to receive specialized training in addition to their regular jobs.

This partnership with agencies across Greenville County means team members can be sponsored by their employer, provided with equipment from the team and share personnel. The team is most frequently deployed to deal with fuel spills, missing persons, and hiking incidents. This is important work, as Greenville County is home to more than 1,400 miles of state-maintained highways, numerous railroad lines, and many industrial manufacturing plants that use hazardous materials. In fact, it is estimated in an average year, one out of every three trains and one out of every ten trucks is transporting some type of hazardous material.


Collapse, Trench & Shoring – Training and equipment are maintained to respond to light structure collapses and unstable soil trench collapses, to shore the affected area, and assist with rescuing trapped victims.  Different collapse scenarios require different types of shoring techniques.

Dive Rescue – members from emergency service agencies across Greenville County are trained in underwater diving.  This division is equipped with the needed SCUBA equipment to respond to dive emergencies in lakes and rivers.

Hazmat – Greenville County hosts many industrial facilities and miles of interstate.  This division is prepared to respond to chemical spills, industrial fires, and hazardous odor calls.  The Upstate Regional Response Weapons of Mass Destruction for South Carolina is hosted in Greenville County.  This WMD component of the HazMat Division increases the capabilities for response throughout the Upstate.

Rope Rescue – most commonly used in the mountains of Northern Greenville County, training and equipment is provided to assist hikers in distress.  Rope and rigging capabilities allow rescuers to access victims in hard-to-reach areas of high and low angles, unsafe for normal operations. 

Search & Rescue – training is provided for personnel to respond to search for missing persons.  Many times this involves a wide area land search coordination for those lost, in distress, or in imminent danger.  Once the person is located, crews are trained to assess and provide medical treatment until the person can be evacuated to safety.

Swiftwater Rescue – special training allows for responders to operate in bodies of fast-moving water, such as a river.  Boats and equipment are maintained to assist with rescuing individuals in distress.  When flooding occurs on normally dry ground, this division responds to assist with flooded homes, vehicles, and roadways.

Team Membership

Further your skills and knowledge in emergency services by joining the team today!
If you would like to join the team, please fill out the application below, have your supervisor sign it, and send it to the Special Operations Coordinator, Steve Hunt.

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