• By Albert Depew

Operations Division

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The mission of the Carson City Fire Department Operations Division is to provide the most cost effective techniques and methods for mitigation of emergencies that endanger life, environment, or property. The Operations Division goal is to deliver personnel and equipment to an emergency scene in the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City within 4.5 minutes following dispatch. Requests for emergency medical service will be answered by providing basic and advanced life support while meeting both state and local obligations for the delivery of EMS.


The Carson City Fire Department (CCFD) Operations Division is administered by the Assistant Fire Chief. In this capacity, the Assistant Fire Chief provides for the definitive management of the Operations Division. He is supported at a staff level by three Battalion Chiefs that perform mid-management duties. These Battalion Chiefs function as shift commanders for three platoons of firefighters. They provide direct management of personnel, equipment, and service delivery on a daily basis. Additionally, each battalion chief acts as a manager of assigned functional areas such as vehicle maintenance, personnel, emergency medical services, etc.


Battalion Chiefs - 3

Captains - 9

Pump Operators/Drivers - 9

Firefighter/Paramedics - 27

Firefighters - 6

Overall staffing is provided by 3 Platoons, each working a 24-hour shift:

A Shift - 17 Personnel

B Shift - 17 Personnel

C Shift - 17 Personnel

Station #51
Engine - 1 officer, 1 firefighter/pump operator, 1 firefighter/paramedic

Rescue Ambulance - 1 firefighter/paramedic, 1 firefighter

Rescue Ambulance - 1 firefighter/paramedic, 1 firefighter

Shift Commander - 1 Battalion Chief

Station #52
Engine - 1 officer, 1 firefighter/pump operator, 1 firefighter/paramedic

Rescue Ambulance - 1 firefighter/paramedic, 1 firefighter

Station #53
Engine - 1 officer, 1 firefighter/pump operator, 1 firefighter/ paramedic

Response Capabilities

Operations Division personnel represent a diverse group of individuals with many skills, talents, and specialized training. Assignments in specific areas include repair/maintenance technicians, hazardous materials technicians, emergency medical technicians, and rescue specialists. Activities and services which the Operations Division is responsible for include:

  • Fire suppression
  • Hazardous materials incident response
  • Emergency medical services
  • Specialized rescue such as high angle, confined space, ice, and swift water 
  • Fire prevention occupancy inspections
  • Business inspections
  • Facility fire drills
  • Public fire safety education
  • Fire investigation
  • Hazardous materials facility preplans
  • Non-emergency public assistance
  • Maintenance of apparatus, equipment, buildings, and grounds

Firefighters assigned to the suppression division staff both structural fire engines (apparatus) and wildland interface fire units. CCFD firefighters typically respond in a structural engine to most incidents and switch to off-road brush units when required. Each type of engine is unique and carries specialized tools and equipment specific to its task. Other specialized fire apparatus within the CCFD fleet include a hazardous materials unit, a mobile air/light unit, a heavy rescue unit, and special vehicles for off-road rescues. Separate “support” trailers are configured for trench rescue, multi-victim incidents, building collapes, and victim decontamination.

SpillThe CCFD responds to known or suspected hazardous materials incidents within Carson City to provide for the safety and protection of citizens, environment, and property. As the lead agency in the Quad-County Hazardous Materials Team, the CCFD maintains a wide variety of equipment and a response vehicle. All fire department personnel are trained to an operations level for hazardous materials emergencies. Technicians assigned to the Hazardous Materials team provide a higher level of intervention in the event of a spill, release, or other type of chemical emergency. Capabilities include hazard assessment, product identification, victim rescue and decontamination, and incident mitigation. During the past year, technicians have responded in support of law enforcement activities during clandestine drug lab intervention. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the United Stated, response to potential bio-hazard incidents has increased. Additional training has been attained and more specialized training is ongoing for hazardous materials specialists and incident commanders.

Carson City Public Works personnel routinely work in confined spaces. The City is required to designate a rescue entity for confined space emergencies, which gave rise to the confined space rescue program. A comprehensive training program is maintained to provide initial and ongoing training for all firefighters and incident commanders. Procedures are under constant scrutiny to assure that the CCFD has a rescue program that conforms to state and federal guidelines. Permanent props located at the CCFD training facility provide for ongoing practice with tools and equipment of specialized rescue situations.

In the event of major emergencies outside Carson City, the CCFD is ready to respond to requests for mutual aid to those agencies having an agreement with this department. Recent agreements established with neighboring agencies have enhanced initial response to incidents on jurisdictional boundaries. The CCFD also responds to requests for assistance from other public service agencies serving Carson City, such as law enforcement and the utilities department.  

Daily Staffing and Activities

Career personnel provide service on a 24-hour basis. Minimum daily staffing provides three engine companies, three rescue ambulances, and one command vehicle. Daily shift resource range between 15-17 personnel. These personnel respond from three fire stations located within the corporate limits of Carson City. The standard complement of personnel on an engine company consists of one officer, one Driver Operator, and one firefighter or firefighter/paramedic. One engine is consistently staffed as an advanced life support unit. When adequate paramedic firefighters are on duty, the other two engines are also configured as paramedic units. A rescue ambulance is staffed with two personnel, and a Battalion Chief staffs the command vehicle.

All operational personnel are certified as emergency medical technicians. Certification levels include: basic EMT, EMT Intermediate, and Paramedic. Semi-automatic defibrillators have allowed all engines to provide enhanced levels of cardiac care prior to the arrival of paramedic units.

The paramedics on the rescue ambulances are dual role employees with responsibilities of a firefighter as well. Their daily duties include activities such as fire prevention, public education, and specialized rescue.
Weight Room
In addition to emergency and non-emergency response, activities at each fire station include physical fitness training to enhance firefighter efficiency and health. Other routine duties include apparatus, facility, and equipment maintenance. Training and drills occur at company level or may involve the entire shift. Fire prevention inspection and educational programs are coordinated with the fire prevention division. Special projects are also undertaken and frequently relate to areas of responsibility (AOR) assigned to various personnel.

The CCFD management team strives to maintain a safe working environment for departmental personnel. This is accomplished by providing a comprehensive program of certification, testing, maintenance, and repair of specialized apparatus or equipment. Living and work sites are also monitored regularly for health and safety code compliance.

Fire Department members are continually involved with the citizens of the community providing Clear Creek Fireinformational or educational programs and inspection services. These programs are designed to assist citizens in the prevention of injury or property loss due to fire and other hazardous conditions. As part of this public service program, the department is involved in several local events at which a stand-by presence is desirable. Both emergency medical and fire suppression/prevention services are offered during these events. Several notable programs include Fire Prevention Week open house, fire extinguisher traiining, and CPR and First Aid Training.  This program involved a tremendous commitment to training by a number of firefighters. Operations Division firefighters also assist in training of civilians that are participating in the CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team) group. 

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