The Emergency Services Division is commanded by Assistant Chief Matt Hudson. This division is responsible for fire suppression, emergency medical services and special operations activities. Members of the Columbia Fire Department respond to over 10,000 calls for help each year.
Staff & Firehouses
Emergency Services composed of 118 full-time personnel organized into 3 shifts. Each shift is supervised by a Division Chief and a Battalion Chief who are responsible for emergency and administrative functions for that particular shift. Each Division Chief subsequently reports directly to the Assist Chief of Suppression (Emergency Services). Our personnel are all EMT – Basic or Paramedics. The work schedule is an alternating schedule of 24-hours on, 24-hours off, 24-hours on, 24-hours off, 24-hours on, 96-hours off.
The Columbia Fire Department operates out of 9 fire stations located strategically throughout the city. We staff 7 Quints, a Snozzle, an Engine and 2 ladder companies. Quints serve the dual purpose of Engine and Ladder Truck. The Quint and Engine companies are intended to provide water for fire suppression, stretch fire hose and control/extinguish the fire. The Quints are located at all the fire stations except Station 1 and 2. Station 1 has a Snozzle, which is a specialized aerial truck with a piercing nozzle. Station 2 has an Engine. The ladder companies provide ventilation, forcible entry and search/rescue operations. They are located at Firehouses 1 and 2.
We also staff one Heavy Rescue Squad at fire station 3. It carries a variety of specialized equipment. Some of that equipment includes; vehicle extrication equipment, high angle rescue equipment, trench rescue equipment, confined space rescue equipment, water rescue equipment and breathing air resupply. The truck also has a large capacity on board electric generator which powers large scene lights to allow for night operations and the use of power equipment.
The Columbia Fire Department also has personnel that are trained and equipped to handle unusual or technically challenging calls that fall outside normal fire or emergency medical responses. The personnel making up these special units, or “teams,” are fire department personnel that have volunteered to confront incidents that pose a high degree of risk to both citizens and responders.
Special Operations Response Teams
Special operations activities include hazardous materials response and technical rescue. Each of these specialized areas is staffed by members of the fire department that have received specialized training in their particular field of interest in addition to normal fire department training.
These specialty units do not replace existing units; they make our existing personnel more productive by providing an increased level of service to the citizens of Columbia. Responses to floods, hazardous chemical accidents, building collapse, trench rescue and the release of weapons of mass destruction are all addressed by our highly trained personnel. In addition, these same firefighters support the operations of other departments within the City of Columbia as necessary.
The Columbia Fire department has a variety of specialty equipment and apparatus that can be used to augment general operations. Personnel involved with special operations regularly train to maintain proficiency in their respective areas of expertise. This striving to maintain proficiency and to offer increased services establishes the Columbia Fire Department as a leader within the community and the state.
Today, the Columbia Fire Department, the Columbia Police Department and the University of Missouri Police Department operate a state-of-the-art Hazardous Device Unit. Training for all of these various units is ongoing and takes place year round. Basic training in these specialty techniques are provided to other members of the Fire Department throughout the year.