As Chief of the Springfield Fire Department, I am proud to say that the citizens of the City of Springfield are well protected with a fire department equipped with staffing, emergency vehicles, response teams, and pre-incident plans to handle the risks that have been identified within our response area. We serve eight unincorporated areas in and around Springfield known as Fire Protection Districts. The fire service has changed dramatically over the years and the City of Springfield is fortunate to have kept up and been on the forefront with these changes. The department continues to be a fine example of service delivery excellence in all levels and types of services.
The title “fire department” although traditional in its term by no means is an accurate or all inclusive reflection of what our fire department provides today. The Springfield Fire Department not only responds to structure fires, but also provides the training, staffing and response needs for hazardous material emergencies, technical rescue including structural collapse, high angle and confined space rescues on a regional basis. The department has its own water rescue and dive team to respond to our lakes, rivers and the hundreds of ponds and bodies of water located throughout the city. Our emergency medical services accounts for a majority of our work load and we are proud to service the city with 12 strategically located fire stations that are staffed and equipped to handle all types of emergency calls for service. All 18 front line emergency vehicles are staffed with highly cross trained members capable of responding and mobilizing to any emergency we are called for.
The department also offers programs in public education and works in conjunction with the school system, hospitals and senior groups and assisted living centers. The fire prevention Division is also committed to maintaining a safe and code compliant community and offers services such as fire plan review, fire suppression system testing, daily inspectional services and fire investigations.
Much like the military, the Springfield Fire Department is organized into Divisions, Battalions and Companies: Division 1 is our Operations Division which most of our members working in the fire stations are assigned to. Division 2 is our Fire Safety Division where our code enforcement Fire Inspector/Investigators are assigned. Division 3 is our Training Division where all training for the entire department is organized and occurs. Division 4 is our Technical Services Division where all technology and information based systems is maintained and managed. Battalion 1’s area is South Grand Avenue and everything north. Battalion 2’s area is everything south of South Grand Avenue. Each fire station has members assigned to Companies known as Engines, Trucks and Squads.
Each member of the department must train over 200 hours per year to meet the high standards set by the State Fire Marshal’s Office as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health, OSHA and NIOSH. The department is committed to safety in all of its efforts. Each day the message of safe practices is adhered to by each crew at each station on each shift. A firefighter’s day consists of a 24 hour shift that begins at 7:00 am and ends at 7:00 am the next day. During the course of the day, there are fire prevention, public education as well as training obligations along with the nearly 17,000 calls per year that are responded to.
The men and women of the Springfield Fire Department have and always will be committed to the highest level of service to all visitors and citizens of the community. As firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians, the work done is much more than a job… it’s a way of life and we are all proud to serve you in everything that we do each day.
Springfield Fire Chief