http://www.racinefirebells.org

Group Tours of the Fire Department

Individual and Group tours of all Fire Stations are welcome during normal business hours (8 am to 5 pm). Group Tours consisting of four or more individuals can be arranged in advance by calling (262) 635-7915. By scheduling group tours at least one week in advance we will make sure we adjust our fire department training schedule to have fire fighters and paramedics in the fire station when you arrive.

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Fire Department Support Group

The Racine Fire Bells are a community oriented group of citizens who have banded together in support of the fire service.  This is done through two distinct areas of interest:  Firehouse 3 Museum, and Fire Bells Emergency Service Rehab.  Both areas have equal focus, although Rehab is their most visible, and often spoken about area of service. 

The Racine Fire Bells provide rehab coverage in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth Counties serving approximately 50 fire departments and various law enforcement agencies. This is done with two vehicles - one based in Racine and the other based in Lake Geneva. Between the two Rehab Units  they have gone on hundreds of emergency callls over the last 10 years.   They have been around since 1949.  To learn more about their Community Service in the Greater Racine Area go to their website at http://www.racinefirebells.org   

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Fire Department related Links

National Fire Academy 

USFA Fire Safety for KIDS 

NFA Prevention and Public Education 

Summer Fire Safety Tips 

FEMA After the Fire 

FEMA Learn about Disasters 

FEMA for Kids Website 

A Safe Place for Kids and Safety 

Firehouse 3 Museum 

International Fire Buff Associates 

SPAAMFAA - Antique Fire Apparatus 

Wis State Fire Fighters Memorial 

WI Alliance for Fire Safety Burn Camp 

Racine County Fire Chiefs Website 

GTC Fire Science Protection Program 

GTC EMT Basic Program
GTC EMT Paramedic Program 

WCTC-EMT Basic Program
WCTC EMT Paramedic Program 

Racine Fire Department Home 

 

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    Racine Fire Department

    Protecting the Citizens of Racine since January 22, 1843

    170 Years of Continuous Service


     The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but can not do at all or can not so well do for themselves -- in their separate and individual capacities.     July 1, 1854 Abraham Lincoln  

    Link to Fire and EMS Calls in the last 14 days - Updated Daily  

    Structure Fire 2Fire Chief Steve Hansen along with all our Fire Fighters and Paramedics welcome you to the City of Racine Fire Department. We have a highly trained, effective, and people oriented department that is yoimage12smur community problem solver. Whether you experience a fire, medical emergency, or other life altering event we provide exceptional problem solving skills that is highly reflective of our training and commitment to the Citizens of Racine and our guests.    

    Your fire department currently consists of six fire stations located throughout your community.  Additionally the fire department provides contracted Fire and Emergency Medical Services to the Village of Wind Point, Village of North Bay, and the Village of Elmwood Park.  All together we cover just over 20 square miles of residential or commercial properties, and about 3 square miles of water.   

    Each fire station is strategically placed to provide emergency response times anywhere in the City or our contracted areas of service in less than 8 minutes after we receive the call for help in the 911 Center.  Currently the fire department meets the 8 minute or less standard 84% of the time.  Our work is extremely time sensitive, and the fast emergency response times insures a very high quality of life  for our citizens after the emergency.  Longer emergency response times results in decreased quality of life for our citizens.    

      

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    Here are the location of your six fire stations:  

     Fire Station 1 - 810 8th Street 

    Engine 1
    Truck 1 - 97' Aerial Platform
    Paramedic MED  1
    Reserve BLS MED 21 (cross staffed by Truck 1)

    Special Teams 1 (Haz Mat / Heavy Rescue cross staffed by Truck 1)
    Reserve Engine 31 (not staffed)
    Fire Prevention, Fire Administration,
    Battalion Chief, Fire & EMS Training

    Fire Station 2 - 2430 Northwestern Av. 

    Engine 2
    Reserve BLS MED 2 (cross staffed by Engine 2)
    Water Rescue Boat 1 - Rescue Divers (cross staffed by Engine 2)

    Fire Station 3 - 1107 Lombard Av (Former Station 8, Quint 8, Med 8)

    Quint 3 (combination pumper/ladder)
    Paramedic MED 3

    Fire Station 4 - 3829 Washington Av  (Former Station 7, Quint 7, Med 7)

    Quint 4 (combination pumper/ladder)
    Paramedic MED 4
    Reserve Engine 4 (not staffed)

    Fire Station 5 - 2430 Blaine Av  (Former Station 9, Engine 9)

    Engine 5

    Fire Station 6 - 2101 16th St. 

    Engine 6
    Reserve BLS MED 6 (cross staffed by Engine 6)

    When reserve rescue squads are dispatched on medical emergencies their partner Engine or Truck Company is completely out of service and NOT available for other emergency calls. All personnel on that Engine or Truck Company move over to the reserve rescue squad. BLS means Basic Life Support / ALS means Advance Life Support. 

     

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    Mission of the Fire Departmentimage01sm

    The City of Racine Fire Department is a dedicated team of fire service professionals and we are proud to serve the citizens of Racine. Through teamwork, training, and communications we provide fire protection services, fire prevention and inspection services, basic and advanced life support services, and public education services. We are a high quality, cost effective service provider to our citizens. 

    The City of Racine Fire Department is a value driven, rather than a rule driven department. Based on that model we ask our members to:  

    • Make a commitment to the organization  
    • Be responsible to ourselves and to each other 
    • Be disciplined in everything we do 
    • Model good supervisory practices 
    • Be responsible leaders 
    • Maintain a safe working environment 
    • Establish roles and expectations for others to follow. 
     

    The core values that guide our every action include teamwork, safety, and citizen satisfaction.

    Customer Service - Where it all starts

     The Citizens of Racine are customers of the fire department in addition to being property taxpayers. Our customers have a stake in the services we provide. Our customers have a few basic expectations of service when they call the fire department. They are:  image06sm 
     
    • Respond to my problem quickly   
    • Bring enough fire fighters or paramedics to solve my problem 
    • Bring enough equipment to solve my problem 
    • Prevent, solve, or teach me to solve my problem 
    • Be nice - it is a stressful event or problem and I am not having a good day. 
     

    When a citizen has an emergency there is not enough time for them to research the qualifications of the fire department or to do any comparison-shopping for price. The fire department has an obligation to provide exceptional services, at reasonable costs.

    One significant reason the fire department exists is the services we provide cannot be provided by private industry in a manner that is profitable and cost effective to that private enterprise. Our municipal based department is non-profit, cost effective, and consistent in the delivery of services to both the citizens of Racine and our guests. Our services are time sensitive, people intensive, and even more people intensive if there are delays in reaching the scene of an emergency with proper resources and staffing.

    Hours of Operation - 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays !

    Service Levelsimage07sm

    • Paramedic Advanced Life Support,   
    • Emergency Medical Technician Basic Life Support,  
    • Fire Suppression, Hazardous Materials,  
    • Confined Space, Trench Rescue, Collapse Rescue, Dive Rescue, 
    •  Fire Safety Education, and Fire Prevention Code Enforcement 
     

    2014 Department Personnel 

    • image03smFire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services  - 129 
    • Fire Prevention and Inspection - 5 
    • Fire and EMS Training Division  - 1 
    • Fire Administration  - 1 
    • Maintenance  - 1 
    • Secretarial Support  - 2 
    • Fire Chief - 1 
    • Total Authorized Strength in 2014 is  140 
     

    Fire Department Resource Deployment image16sm

     
    • Emergency activities are time sensitive and people intensive   
    • Safe and effective responses to emergencies with proper staffing 
    • The first few minutes of an emergency are far more important than the next five hours. 
    • What would your mother want or expect? 
    • How long do you want her to wait for help? 
    • What quality of care do you expect for her to receive? 
    • How many fire fighters or paramedics will it take to move her safely from the basement, first or second floor of her home to the rescue squad that is waiting on the street? 
     

     Emergency Medical Services

     PI Accident 1The City of Racine Fire Department employs a rapid response, knockout punch strategy for responding to medical emergencies within the community. This approach provides us with the immediate resources necessary to prevent medical emergencies from becoming catastrophic, life ending events. We send the right equipment and enough personnel to do the job correctly the first time. This option best suits our community's needs and our available resources. image35sm 

    Advanced Life Support Calls for cardiac emergencies, heart attacks, strokes, diabetic reactions, asthma, and other breathing difficulties results in the closest fire engine to the incident along with a Paramedic rescue squad being dispatched at the same time. All fire engines carry emergency medical supplies that allow those crews to immediately start life saving measures while waiting for the Paramedic rescue squad to arrive. We have more staffed fire engines than rescue squads.   

    Effectively and immediately mitigating an incident maximizes our on duty resources, prevents additional risk to our citizens, reduces property losses, and improves the safety of our fire fighters and paramedics.

    Approximately 85% of all annual emergency calls for service are medical in nature.  For 2013 this involved approximately 8,500 calls.  Of these 8,500+ EMS related calls,  over 4,800 EMS calls or about 60% of the calls, required advanced life support (Paramedics) compared to the national average of approximately 40%.

    Fire Suppression Services

     image14smThe City of Racine Fire Department again employs a rapid response, knockout strategy for responding to reported fires within the community. This typically requires two fire engines, one ladder truck, one rescue squad, and the Battalion Chief to respond on the initial alarm of fire. Once it is established that the reported fire is in fact a working fire, we immediately send an additional engine or quint company as a fire fighter rescue team (RIT for Rapid Intervention Team) in the event of a catastrophic incident where a fire fighter becomes trapped or stricken in the burning building. On average we initially have 14 fire fighters on the scene of an incident.  image19sm 

    Not all fire fighters from the initial response can be involved in the direct attack on a fire. Each fire fighting company and individual members have specific responsibilities and tasks to accomplish within seconds of arriving at the scene of a working fire. Establish a water supply, pull hose, forcible entry, implement the ventilation of heat and smoke away from fire victims, search and rescue, and scene safety are but a few tasks requiring immediate attention. Often times all of this is done without the fire fighters having knowledge of the layout of the residence. We must adapt on the fly to the multitude of residential home configerations that exist in the community. Imagine putting on a blindfold and trying to find your way around your home in total darkness.    

    Approximately 15% or 1,300 annual calls for service are for fire or fire related emergencies.

    Failure to send adequate staff on the initial response for fire may result in the incident progressing beyond what the on duty fire suppression resources can manage and cause death or critical injuries to fire fighters and fire victims alike. In addition there will be increases in overtime expenditures for the recalling of off-duty fire fighters.

    image61smOther Emergency Calls

     
    The City of Racine Fire Department provides a multitude of other services to our citizens, and the citizens of Southeast Wisconsin. We are the State Regional Type 2 Hazardous Materials Team for Southeast Wisconsin. The training and skills acquired and paid for by the state are used right here in our community on a daily basis. We also provide emergency water rescue through our dive team, confined space rescue, high angle rope rescue, and problem solving for unique situations that tend to occur on a regular basis.
     
     
     

    Fire Prevention and Fire Safety EducationFPB-playground3

     The City of Racine Fire Department provides for a Fire Prevention Bureau. The Fire Prevention Bureau is directly responsible for over 3,200 bi-annual fire inspections in Racine, Wind Point, and Elmwood Park in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes and Comm 14. These fire inspections cover a broad range of issues in each building. The more common issues covered include proper fire extinguisher, lighted exit signs, and general housekeeping. More specialized issues include looking at electrical systems, heating and air conditioning systems, hot water heaters, boilers, enclosures, flammable liquids storage, proper chimney flue connections, sprinkler system operation, fire alarm system operations, and clear aisle access to exits to name a few.

    FPB-playground4The officers of the Fire Prevention Bureau are trained fire fighters, and Paramedics. In the event of an extraordinary emergency in Racine these fire fighters could be used to supplement the emergency response after other internal resources are exhausted.

    In addition to fire inspection duties, the Fire Prevention Bureau officers issue code enforcement letters, review building construction plans for new and existing structures for fire safety issues, pre-fire planning, and post fire cause and origin investigations. These services prevent fires and other problems from happening through routine enforcement and engineering. FPB-school1 

    One officer in the Fire Prevention Bureau has the sole responsibility to organize and conduct fire safety and education training for school aged children. This vital public education initiative includes life safety information, education, and resources to children in Racine on a variety of fire topics. We teach kids how to prevent fires, and what to do in the event a fire is discovered. We make about 20,000 contacts annually. Fire Safety education is in addition to regularly conducted fire extinguisher training classes for area businesses.

     

    Fire and Emergency Medical Services Training

     image28sm The Racine Fire Department places an extremely high value on fire and EMS training. This is what makes us so darn good. Repetition, and the introduction of new skills on a regular basis keeps our members in touch with the current best practices in fire suppression and Advanced Life Support. One Division Chief of Training is dedicated to coordinating and teaching of fire fighting skills, while the other Division Chief of EMS is dedicated to coordinating and teaching Emergency Medical Services, and Paramedic skills. Each area has specific annual requirements. Our goal is a competency based modelPI Accident 3 of education where each fire fighter or paramedic periodically demonstrates competency in fire fighting and EMS. This competency-based model requires hours of classroom training on an annual basis.  

    The fire department also has takes advantage of low or no cost training opportunities available on a regional, state and nationwide basis. A prime example is training sponsored by Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and the National Fire Academy (USFA-NFA).  

    Mutual Aid - MABAS

    image40smThe City of Racine Fire Department has pre-planned the need for outside resources in the event of a catastrophic emergency. In the past the department had a variety of written agreements with surrounding communities for this assistance. These were commonly called recipical aid agreements. Today we have a standardized mutual aid agreement known as MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System).

     MABAS does not help with fire fighting and rescue operations in the first 30 minutes of a fire. It takes time to mobilize these resources and does not help the fire department initially perform rescue operations for trapped victims of fire.

    MABAS is recognized by Wisconsin and across the nation and is a practice of sharing fire and EMS resources between communities when a community exhausts their own internal resources during a catastrophic event. MABAS provides standardized guidelines to assure a baseline level of effectiveness and interoperability. MABAS is not meant to be a solution in an effort to reduce staffing, but is meant to assist departments when a community has a single catastrophic event or a multitude of smaller emergencies that strip the capabilities of that department.

    Best Practices

    image21smThe problem-solving model used in non-emergency situations consists of five areas where we focus our efforts on preventing problems within the organization.  

          Hiring the right individual for the job  

          Clearly stating our expectations and policies 

          Providing ample training opportunities to develop proficiency 

          Providing members with leadership guidance to perform well 

          Assuring that members know when they have performed outside the expectation 

    The model for emergency decision-making is called the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS is the most current operating system available, and allows us to deliver safe and effective emergency services despite limited resources. In ICS fire fighters and paramedics use the same pattern of response and decision making every time, regardless of whether the incident is a fire or medical emergency. The benefits of ICS include a reduced stress level for responding fire fighters and paramedics, improved safety on the scene of an incident, and faster deployment of resources.

    ICS depends on proper staffing and training. Failure to adequately staff the City of Racine Fire Department and train personnel may result in unnecessary injuries to the citizens of Racine, our visitors to Racine, fire fighters, paramedics, and/or additional damage to property.

    Our fire fighters and paramedics are trained to deliver exceptional service in very stressful situations. Our risk management efforts focus on minimizing the risk to our fire fighters and paramedics by maintaining a response readiness mode. We apply the following model to our responses: image02sm 

    • We will risk a lot for savable lives  
    • We will risk a little for savable property 
    • We will not risk anything for lost lives or property 
     

    Arriving quickly and being unable to perform emergency operations due to inadequate staffing places us in a position to witness the emergency and not intervene.

    Special attention is given to safety and wellness programs. Active member wellness programs will reduce the risk of duty-incurred injuries and help prevent long-term occupational risks. A fire fighter or paramedic with a 30-year career represents a significant investment for the City of Racine.

    Maintenance of Fire Department Apparatus, Buildings, and Equipment

     The City of Racine Fire Department maintains our fleet of fire and rescue squad apparatus in-house. This includes routine maintenance such as oil changes, and lubrication of apparatus chassis, however this also includes annual apparatus performance testing, pump testing, ladder testing, and detailed equipment inspections. We also perform heavy maintenance such as overhauling of fire pumps, hydraulics, and electrical systems as needed. Minor body work and repairs are also performed in our maintenance facility. This provides the City of Racine with a significant cost savings over outsourcing of the maintenance function, and also provides the fire department with the capability to make emergency repairs 24 hours a day if required to restore apparatus to front line status. Many on duty fire fighters periodically assist the Fleet Maintenance Supervisor with routine maintenance issues.
     

    Fire Station building maintenance is an important function of the department also. We maintain five outlying fire stations by insuring heating, cooling, and electrical systems are up to standards, and we also insure the buildings will remain capable of housing fire apparatus and crews for many years to come. The average life expectancy of fire stations is eighty to one hundred years. On duty fire fighters perform normal housecleaning chores daily, and also assist with routine building maintenance issues such as light repair work, and painting.

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    History as a Teacher

    History is a wonderful teacher. Our job is to look at history to make predictions on future events and possibilities. In addition we must make basic assumptions on future budgetary trends based on current experience. Here are some key points when predicting the future based on history:

     
    • There is no crystal ball. We cannot physically foresee what the future will bring.
    • Past incident data tells us what has happened
    • Past incident data teaches us how to handle similar incidents in the future
    • We can make reasonable predictions on future events but there are no guarantees about what we can expect at any given time, on any given day of the week.
    • Bad things happen in good cities. Are we prepared and properly staffed?
    • Those who don't know history are destined to repeat history!   (Edward Burke 1729-1797) 
    • The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions. (Claude Levi-Strauss) 
    • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. (Thomas Alva Edison) 
     

    In closing, Thank you for taking the time to visit us here at the Racine Fire Department. If you have any questions or comments we always welcome the opportunity to touch base with our community. Please also check out our other web links for additional information. 

     

    April 1, 2014 

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    RFD Logo

    Non-Emergency
    Contact Information

    Main Number
    (262) 635-7900

    LifeQuest EMS Billing Questions
    (888) 777-4911

    Fire Prevention
    (262) 635-7915

    Battalion Chief
    (262) 635-7914

    Chief's Office
    (262) 635-7911

    FAX
    (262) 635-7864

    810 8th Street
    Racine,  WI  53403-1433

    Racine County Communications Center - Life Threatening Fire and Medical Emergencies
    9-1-1

    Administrative
    Office Hours

     7:30 am to 4:30 pm - Monday through Friday.

    Fire Suppression,
    Technical Rescue,
    Level A Haz Mat,
    Water Rescue,
    Trench Rescue,
    Collapse Rescue,
    & Emergency Medical Services

         24 / 7 / 365
         including weekends
         and holidays

     

    General Email Link

     Click Here for Email 

     

    All Fire Department Photos courtesy of
    Timothy J. Stein
    Racine FD Photographer

     

    Fire Department Recruitment 

    The next fire department recruitment process will take place in the Spring of 2016.  

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