What We Do
Fire companies are the basic unit of firefighting with a crew of firefighters assigned to a particular piece of fire apparatus and station. For all fire companies, life safety (search and rescue) is always the first consideration followed by incident stabilization (fire control, attack, suppression, ventilation), and property conservation (overhaul and salvage). All crew members go through extensive and continuous training that is both physically and mentally challenging in order to be able to complete the demanding functions that firefighting requires.
In addition to 82 on-duty firefighters every day, the Madison Fire Department also proudly employs a team of civilian fire prevention officers under the Fire Prevention Division. Code Enforcement Officers inspect all public buildings twice a year to ensure local occupancies are in compliance with fire code and city ordinances. Other duties include testing new sprinkler and alarm systems and reviewing floor plans for new buildings to ensure they are constructed in compliance with fire code.
Emergency Medical Service
All City of Madison Fire Department firefighters are trained at the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Technician - Basic level to support medical calls and to provide basic life support at incidents. In addition, there are more than 90 paramedics trained to provide Advanced Life Support to patients. All paramedics are trained as firefighters as well. Each day, there are eight Advanced Life Support ambulances on duty staffed by two paramedics each, and Engine 14 is staffed with one paramedic and three EMT-Basics.
Being a paramedic can be one of the most challenging and rewarding assignments on the City of Madison Fire Department. On any given day and throughout the year, the medics are the busiest units in the City. In addition to responding to all emergency medical calls in the city, medics also respond to structure fires and other fire-related incidents to assist in performing fire ground operations such as fire suppression.
Engine & Ladder Companies
Fire engines (or pumper) are the most common type of company in the City of Madison Fire Department. All engines are equipped with a pump, several hundred gallons of water, and large amount of hose lines of various sizes for fire attack and exposure protection. Engines and Ladders also carry ladders to access multiple floor structures, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), tools used for forcible entry and extrication from vehicle accidents, life safety equipment, a variety of hose appliances and tools, and assorted other equipment. The crew of an Engine and Ladder Company consists of an officer, apparatus engineer, and two firefighters.
The primary functions of the engine company are fire attack, life safety (search and rescue), and exposure protection. Engine companies also provide immediate life support and supply additional staff to assist paramedics during EMS incidents.
All of the City of Madison Fire Department Ladder Companies are equipped with aerial ladders. Duties, in no particular order, include forcible entry, search & rescue, laddering, ventilation, overhaul and checking for fire extension, placing and operating elevated water streams, and salvage.