Operations is the largest division of the department and is made up of 148 uniformed firefighters, 62 apparatus engineers, 73 firefighter/paramedics, 57 lieutenants, 6 division chiefs, and 4 assistant chiefs. In 2014, the department added 3 Field Operations Captains managing the east, west and central districts, and 3 Administrative Captains managing EMS, Investigation and Training. In addition, there are two EMS training officers assigned to that division of the department. A Training Lieutenant assists the Training Captain, and the Investigation Division is made up of 3 additional investigators.
Madison has thirteen (13) fire stations serving the city. Each day (24-hour shift), there are a total of 82 on-duty personnel that make up the fire suppression companies, rescues, and special teams of the fire department. The MFD's special teams consist of Lake Rescue, Hazardous Incident, and Heavy Urban Rescue.
All on-duty personnel are under the supervision of one Officer In Charge (OIC). The OIC is on duty for 24-hour periods and is responsible for directing all operations and emergencies. OICs are readily identifiable at fire scenes as they are positioned inside the Command Vehicle with the Chief's Aide. At all emergency incidents, department procedure calls for a command post to be set up at the scene. The command post is responsible for the overall direction of emergency activities.