Fire suppression personnel provide fire protection, emergency rescue, and emergency medical first responder services to the community. These services are provided through the use of two ladder trucks, seven engine companies, and two rescue units located in nine fire stations throughout the city.
Suppression has a total of approximately 120 firefighters who work on three shifts. Firefighters work an average of 56 hours every week and each shift is supervised by a battalion chief.
The St. Joseph Fire Department has the collective ability to pump 100,000 gallons of water a minute through over 5.5 miles of hose. The fire suppression division is well prepared to deal effectively with almost any fire emergency.
In addition to fire protection, the fire department provides multiple forms of rescue services to the citizens of St. Joseph and surrounding areas.
Rescue situations that occur in St. Joseph involve people trapped in rivers and rapid streams, people immersed in broken ice on ponds and lakes, people ensnared in sewers and wells and people caught in the wreckage of vehicles. Rescues have occurred in highly elevated locations and sites under ground. Individuals caught in industrial machinery have also been extricated.
Firefighters stay current on technique and equipment through an aggressive training program presented by our two training officers. Fire department equipment is periodically updated.
The damage from structure fires has decreased steadily for the last several years through our aggressive approach to fire incidents.