Welcome to the website of the West Fargo Fire Department. The department is a combination career/paid on call system with an Insurance Service Office (ISO) Rating of 3/3x. All firefighters are paid employees of the City of West Fargo, and are classified as either Full Time or Paid on Call employees. In all, there are 18 full time and 45 paid on call employees in the department. Of our full time employees, two are assigned to Administration, three are assigned to Community Risk Reduction, and 13 are assigned to operations, including a Battalion Chief. Of our paid on call employees, 23 are assigned to the Central Station, including an Assistant Chief and the fire department Chaplain, and 22 are assigned to the Southside Station, including a Battalion Chief. With the exception of the Chaplain, all paid on call employees are assigned to operations. Every employee assigned to operations are required to achieve Pro-Board Firefighter I & II Certification within 12 months of hire. At this time, full time employees are required to achieve National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician within 12 months of hire.
Each day, 15 firefighters are assigned to meet our daily staffing standard. This is achieved through a combination of in station 24 hour staffing and "on call" staffing. Twenty-four hours a day, Engine 71 is staffed with 4 firefighters (cross manning Rescue 75, a non-transporting EMS unit) while 10 paid on call firefighters are subject to 1st alarm callback and station coverage, should the need arise. Also, Battalion 70 is staffed with a chief officer 24 hours a day, finishing off the 15 assigned firefighters. To ensure 10 paid on call firefighters are available, 14 are assigned call each week and 28 are considered "off call" but subject to major fire callback.
The department provides services with resources from two facilities: Central Station located at 106 1st Street and Southside Station located at 445 29th Avenue. Each station supports a “first run” engine and ladder company. Central Station also supports a heavy rescue, hazmat trailer and brush truck. The Southside also supports an EMS rescue and rescue boat. Resources of the fire department were used to respond to combined 1,568 fire and EMS calls in 2018. Of the total call volume, 662 were fire calls, representing a 31% increase in fire call volume over 2018 and 91% overall increase since 2014.
In 2019, the department adopted the "Chief's Intent" which helps guide our forward progression to meet the demands of an ever growing city.
Provide the services the community needs
The department isn’t just about responding to fires, but rather, responding and reducing all hazards within our community. While fire suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response, and technical rescue are the major operational areas we focus our efforts on, it is important to note that equal time should be dedicated to Community Risk Reduction efforts. When an act of terrorism occurs, or a natural disaster strikes, the department will be on the front line. That is a fact and an expectation of our community, as well as communities across our country. In addition to the response, if the department can reduce the seriousness of an incident through Community Risk Reduction, or even prevent it from occurring at all, then we are bound to do so.
Deliver those services in an expedient manner
During an emergency, time is critical to the success of our missions. Albeit a structure fire that grows exponentially each second, or providing life support skills to provide CPR before brain death sets in, we work within a defined timeline. Seconds count. The way the department has provided services in the past was rooted in our rural beginnings that are linked to the earliest volunteer fire department models created by Benjamin Franklin. The modern environment we now operate in demands that our services be provided as quickly as possible; that means having firefighters (full time and part time) in the station when the alarm sounds. This gives us the best chance of success.
Embrace innovation in tactics, equipment, apparatus and training
Just as our service delivery model has evolved to meet the modern environment, our tactics have to also change. Today, there are more science-based options in firefighting tactics than ever before in American firefighting history. Thanks to recent research projects, great strides have been made in equipment and apparatus design to increase safety and efficiency. However, none of these innovations filter into our department unless the leadership and firefighters embrace these innovations, and employ them within our department.
Adopt a safety first mindset in training and operations
Even with all the changes, evolution, and innovations in the fire service today, we as a department have to embrace a safety first mindset. From the Chief of the Department to the Probationary Firefighter, all members have to make safety the first priority of all department operations. From the station to the scene, every member has the duty to speak up when they perceive an unsafe act. Leadership has the responsibility to address all safety concerns and follow-up through policy changes, guideline changes, and reinforcement through training.
In all that we do, we strive for excellence and are committed to community service. I encourage the public to contact me directly at (701) 433-5380 or firstname.lastname@example.org with concerns, comments, or compliments
Thank you for your continued support,
Daniel Fuller, MPA, EFO
Chief of the Department
West Fargo Fire Department