Mission Statement: Through dedication, determination, and continous training; we will achieve maximum operational proficiency and provide the highest level of response possible in the areas of hazardous materials, technical rescue, fire fighting, and emergency medical services.
The Special Operations Response Team (SORT) is comprised of three rescue companies, three engine companies, and three ambulances that are strategically positioned throughout the City of Memphis. Special Operations began in the mid 1970's with two hazardous material response teams, and during the late 1980's, expanded its services to include a rope rescue team. In 1997, the Memphis Fire Services Division, in conjunction with the national Urban Search and Rescue Program, expanded its services to include structural collapse, confined space, and trench rescue. In 2007, Special Operations increased its service level to include water rescue.
Members of the SORT companies are required to hold technician level certifications in each technical skill. They dedicate countless hours of training in both the classroom and field settings to maximize their skills in each discipline. Special Operations is supported by a dedicated staff who are responsible for providing technical training, researching the latest equipment and training, insuring equipment is working properly, purchasing equipment, and developing policies that meet the demands of the City of Memphis and Division of Fire Services.