Operations is the largest division of the department and is made up of 124 uniformed firefighters, 51 apparatus engineers, 64 firefighter/paramedics, 51 lieutenants, 6 division chiefs, and 4 assistant chiefs. These are the personnel that make up the fire companies. Assistant Chief Jim Keiken supervises the Operations Division and is supported by Division Chief Ernesto Martinez, who coordinates the Special Teams: Lake Rescue
, Hazardous Incident Team
, Rapid Intervention Team
(RIT), Heavy Urban Rescue Team
(HURT), along with Technical Rescue and Field Service activities.
Madison has twelve (12) fire stations serving the city. Each day (24-hour shift), there are a total of 78 on-duty personnel that make up the fire suppression companies, rescues, and special teams of the fire department. 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. OIC's 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.