Command Structure & Response
The Seminole County Department of Public Safety, EMS/Fire/Rescue Division is hereafter referred to as Department. The Department's Operations section is divided into three shifts under the leadership of a Division Chief. The County is divided into four geographical response areas, each under the command of a Battalion Chief. Each Battalion Chief is responsible for four to five fire stations with a total of 18 fire stations. Each of the 18 community fire stations has a Lieutenant responsible for managing the daily operations of the stations and the firefighters assigned to the station. All personnel hired by Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue are State of Florida Certified Firefighters and a State of Florida Emergency Medical Technician and/or Paramedic.
Management of Emergencies
All “Operations” are managed by using the “Incident Management System” established under the “National Incident Management System”. This system establishes a structure to effectively and safely mitigate an incident. At a fire scene a “Rapid Intervention Team” (R.I.T. Team) is established to quickly deploy into the structure should a firefighter becomes trapped or incapacitated while inside the structure fighting the fire or searching for fire victims.
Types of Emergency Response
This Department responds daily to fire emergencies including residential and commercial fires, vehicle fires, wild land, and industrial fires. Operations sends a pre-designated number of fire engines, ladder trucks, rescues, and chief officers to each type of call. The number of firefighters and amount of equipment sent is based on the National Fire Protections Association (NFPA) standards 1710, that defines how to safely and effectively deal with each type of fire, including extinguishing the fire, rescuing endangered occupants, protecting other property, and doing all of this in a way that is safe for the public and our firefighters.
Sixty to sixty-five percent of the alarms that the Department responds to are for medical emergencies. Our highly trained Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians respond on Rescue Units with life saving equipment for heart attacks, strokes, difficulty breathing, traumatic injuries (i.e. vehicle crashes), and many other types of medical emergencies. If your medical emergency requires transport to a local hospital, the same Paramedics and Emergency Medical Transport unit will transport you to the hospital.
Seminole County hosts a number of special teams under the direction of a Division Chief of Operations. As the population and demand for services have grown over the last couple of decades in Seminole County, along with the changes and threats of our National Security, Seminole County has developed specialty teams to help meet the changing needs in the types of emergencies that the Department mitigates.
Special Hazards and Operations Team
In addition to fires and medical emergencies Seminole County responds to incidents that require specialty training that include hazardous materials mitigation, confined space rescues, water rescue, etc. The Department's Special Hazards and Operations Team is dispatched to respond to these types of incidents.
The Department’s bike team is prepared to respond to emergencies on the Seminole County trails or in areas where a larger emergency unit cannot access. In addition, the Department's bike team provides standby for medical emergencies for special events that are sponsored by the County or by the City of Altamonte Springs or Winter Springs.
To reduce the danger of rural/urban interface uncontrolled wildfires the Department's burn team in cooperation with Division of Forestry and the Natural Lands program participates in a prescribed burn program. The prescribed burn program reduces the natural fuel levels and at the same time benefits plants and wildlife.
Urban Search and Rescue
Seminole County is a member of Central Florida’s Task Force 4 Urban Search and Rescue Team. This team is comprised of members from the City of Orlando Fire Department, Orange County Fire Rescue, as well as Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue.
Vehicle Extrication Team
Seminole County responds to vehicles crashes daily that includes many various types and sizes of transportation units. In addition to cars and trucks they may include, planes, trains, buses, semi-trucks, waste management vehicles, etc. Each type of vehicle presents unique circumstances in removing a trapped and or injured patient. Seminole County established a vehicle extrication team that routinely trains on various vehicles and shares their knowledge through training other members of Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue.