Fire & EMS Operations

About Operations

The Operations Division provides fire protection, rescue services, and emergency medical service to approximately 51,000 citizens in a service coverage area of more than 23.5 square miles. This Division also provides service to the many visitors that frequent the more than 3,000 hotel rooms, restaurants and festivals within our City.

The Division now handles more than 6,000 emergency incidents a year. This Division has three shifts, (A, B, and C), with 30 firefighters assigned to each shift and is led by a Battalion Chief. This allows the department to have a minimum of 26 firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each fire company has a Captain that oversees their activities. The city is divided into five geographical areas or fire districts. Each fire district has one fire station located within it.

The Division responds to a variety of calls, including:
  • Emergency medical calls (EMS)
  • Building fires
  • Rescues
  • Wildland fires
  • Automobile accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Drowning
  • Lockouts
Additionally, fire station personnel are responsible for:
  • Conducting fire prevention inspections in their area
  • Developing pre-fire plans of businesses and apartment complexes
  • Participating in continuing education and skills training
  • Maintaining their equipment and station
  • Presenting public education messages at schools, community events, station tours
  • Installing smoke detectors in homes
All of the ambulances and fire apparatus are equipped with Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment so that immediate patient care can be initiated by the first arriving unit. This is why in some cases a fire engine, quint, or ladder truck will arrive before or along with an ambulance, as either may begin patient care. The team assigned to a particular apparatus (engine, truck, or ambulance unit) and the apparatus itself is known as "company."

GFD Quick Facts 
  • More than 90 uniformed firefighters
  • 5 fire stations
  • 4 engine companies
  • 1 quint companies
  • 1 truck company
  • 3 ambulances
  • 1 battalion chief
  • 1 dive rescue unit
  • 1 heavy rescue unit
  • 1 rescue / fire boat
  • 1 brush unit

 Fire Department Risk Management Statement 
We will begin our response on the assumption that we can protect lives and property.

  • We will risk our lives a lot, if necessary, to protect savable lives.
  • We will risk our lives a little, and in a calculated manner, to protect savable property.
  • We will not risk our lives at all to protect lives or property that is already lost.