Fire Department

FY 2021-23 Adopted Policy Budget

Who we are and what we do

Business Goals

  • Provide leadership to all aspects of the Department's operations, especially strategic planning, fiscal management, personnel management and labor relations.

  • Deliver high quality services when responding to emergency calls within 7 minutes, 90% of the time - from when dispatch first receives the call to arrival on the scene.

  • Create 9-1-1 incidents in the Dispatch system within 90 seconds for the annual volume of 60,000 emergency calls; maintain Computer Aided Dispatch/Records Management System (CAD/RMS) and the Center of Excellence accreditation, which will enable the Oakland Fire Department to compete for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) dispatch contracts.

  • Provide Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE) program and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and public education; continue to implement the National Incident Management System (NIMS) provide basic and advanced training to elected officials, management, and key staff to ensure an effective Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

  • Review 98-100% of all plans, sprinkler, fire alarm, evacuation, hood and duct Tenant Improvements (TI), and Tenant Parcel Maps (TPMs) within 3-15 business days; ensure public and private buildings are in compliance with the California Fire Code; develop and implement online permitting with an online payment option; develop and implement new inspection and billing database.

  • Ensure employee safety and health, which will result in increased productivity and reduced workers’ compensation claims.

  • Partner with Oakland Public Works on the Capital Improvement Program and identify both major and minor projects within Fire to repair, update and upgrade facilities, and replace aging fire stations; to provide logistical support to the Oakland Fire Department’s facilities, apparatus, and equipment, including developing and instituting reasonable maintenance schedules to ensure CAL-OSHA compliance.

  • Continue to explore revenue opportunities, such as grant funds and cost-recovery fees; streamline the billing process to maximize revenue collection.

  • Continue to meet all mandated training, especially focused on new supervisors and managers, exercise and drill requirements for sworn personnel.

  • Utilize our race and equity team to inform the department on systems, processes and procedures to ensure inclusivity throughout the divisions and bureaus.


Office of the Fire Chief

Directs overall policy, planning and management of the fire department. Responsible for providing effective leadership for the Department’s operations through strategic planning, financial reporting, performance measures, staff development and training; serves as the liaison to the Oakland community, Department staff, City management, the Mayor and City Council.

Fiscal & Administrative Services

Manages entry level and promotional recruitments, performance management, worker’s compensation, labor relations; provides training in labor law and practices to supervisory and executive-level staff; provides fiscal administration and analysis, payroll and benefits services.

Support Services

The Support Services Division manages the timely and cost-effective purchase, acquisition, coordination, maintenance and/or repair of Fire Department facilities, fire apparatus, personal protective safety gear, and tool and equipment. In addition, it oversees the Operations of the Fire Dispatch Center which provides dispatch service support for emergency calls and non-emergency calls throughout the City. Coordinates with the Department of Information Technology and Oakland Police Department to implement and maintain the City’s Integrated Public Safety System (IPSS).

Field Operations

Responsible for emergency medical response, fire suppression, mitigation of disasters and rescue activities. The Field Operations Bureau is the Department’s largest division employing 12 Battalion Chiefs and over 430 suppression personnel. The Field Operations Bureau handles over 60,000 emergency incidents a year, which includes fire, rescue, medical aid and other calls for service.

Fire Prevention

Under the direction of the Fire Marshal, the Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB) provides overall fire code regulatory compliance functions for the City of Oakland. The FPB serves to directly benefit the health and life safety well-being of the entire community, through comprehensive fire protection engineering review and approval of new construction and tenant improvement plans, for fire and life safety comportment, and through comprehensive inspection and enforcement of the CA Fire Code. Annual inspection programs include: State-mandated and operational permit inspections conducted by FPB code inspectors, with non-permitted and multi-unit residential inspections performed by engine company personnel. Vegetation Management inspections in the Very High Fire Danger zones of Oakland Hills are conducted by FPB suppression district inspectors, with residential lots inspected by engine company personnel. The FPB also directly manages hazardous building referrals from engine companies for a thorough compliance enforcement follow-up; and coordinates fire cause investigations with three sworn investigators. The FPB has a very robust Public Fire Education Program (ages pre-school to seniors) that reaches thousands of citizens annually.

Emergency Management Services

In advance of any threat, hazard, technical or planned event that compromises safety and security; and overwhelms the city’s ability to maintain continuity and provide services, the Emergency Management Services Division (EMSD) is in a perpetual cycle of preparedness: planning, organizing and equipping the City to not only respond to, but to recover from and mitigate against any crises that affects our city, the region, the state and beyond. Through internal and external training and exercising, we can test our capabilities, explore our vulnerabilities and evaluate and review our plans. Education of the public; enhance the CORE program and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and collaboration and coordination across governments, inclusive of private partners and special districts, is paramount to the ‘whole community’ approach towards resilience. The EMSD works to maintain a state of readiness for the City of Oakland, aligning with state and federal legislation as well as the National Preparedness Goal.

Medical Services

Ensures voter-mandated emergency medical services to the citizens, businesses and visitors of Oakland; manages programs related to continuous paramedic training in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines; maintains inventory of equipment for Basic/Advanced Life Support and tracks and manages all licenses and certifications for all paramedics and EMTs; develops preventive health programs for the community; provides EMT and Paramedic-related classes, such as CPR, First Aid and Automated External Defibrillation .



External Services

Emergency Response and Suppression

The Field Operations Bureau is responsible for emergency medical response, fire suppression, mitigation of disasters and rescue activities.

Code Compliance & Enforcement

The Fire Prevention Bureau conducts fire safety inspections of the City’s buildings, structures, vacant lots, and cannabis operations. The Bureau also performs, what are termed state-mandated inspections, which include buildings used for public assemblies, educational purposes, institutional facilities, multi-family residential dwellings, and high-rise structures.

Investigations and Inspections

Investigate suspicious fires, fires resulting in injury or death, and incidents involving hazardous materials, bombs, or incendiary devices. Lead threat and hazard identification efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate, and respond to hazards. Plan review and approvals of hazardous materials business plan inspections, underground storage tank inspections, and building plans for new construction and improvements to have required fire safety components.

Community Outreach and Information

Conduct community outreach to engage, inform and train community members and partners in preparedness and response activities, mange the volunteer program, and disseminate public information and warnings for all hazards.

Local Support

Provides Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) to Oakland International Airport to comply with FAA requirements, activates a FEMA-sponsored Search-and-Rescue Team when requested by CAOES, and maintains the Sea Wolf, the City's fireboat.

Internal Services

Emergency Response and Communication

Develop and maintain emergency mitigation, response, recovery plans, and inventory while participating in county and regional planning and preparedness activities. Activate the EOC for emergencies and planned events. Ensure proper processes and procedures for efficient communication within and across City departments during emergencies.

Recruit and Training

Provide in-service training for the Fire Academy recruits. Coordinate mandated fire-specific training for all existing and recruit personnel, including state required hours of continued education to maintain certifications and licenses.


Established in 1869, the Oakland Fire Department (OFD) has a rich history of dedicated men and women providing the highest quality and highest level of courteous and responsive service to the residents and visitors of Oakland. This is accomplished by implementing comprehensive strategies and training in fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and all risk mitigation, including: human-caused and natural disasters, emergency preparedness, 9-1-1 services and community-based fire services.

OFD includes:

  • 539 authorized sworn personnel for fire suppression and emergency response (24-hour shifts or 40-hour position assignments)
  • 116.23 authorized (full and part-time) civilian personnel
  • 25 Fire Stations, which includes equipment and resources such as:
    • 24 engine apparatus
    • 7 aerial apparatus
    • Hazardous materials response team
    • Technical rescue team
    • Airport rescue company
    • Water rescue team
    • Specialized wildland response apparatus
  • Over 60,000 response calls annually, of which 80% are calls for emergency medical services