Summary of Services
The Tallahassee Fire Department (TFD) is the municipal fire service provider for the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. TFD’s primary function is to minimize the impact of events that threaten the safety of residents and visitors. TFD is an entity of the government of the City of Tallahassee and is funded through the assessment of fire service fees and contractual service agreements with Leon County.
TFD provides the City of Tallahassee and Leon County with fire suppression, specialized hazardous material response, emergency management, and facilities security. TFD also provides urban search and rescue, technical rescue, vehicle extrication, emergency medical care, fire safety, code compliance review and enforcement, and public education services. Beyond Leon County, the department also provides emergency response via mutual aid to communities in the surrounding area.
The Logistics Division supports the mission of the Tallahassee Fire Department by providing support services for fire suppression, hazardous material, and rescue operations. Personnel within the Prevention Division interact with local businesses to implement and administer fire safety measures for the public and employees in the establishments. Fire inspectors assess and monitor each building for compliance with National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) codes.
Training is instrumental in developing and advancing Fire Suppression & Rescue personnel, and TFD’s curriculum emphasizes customer service and professional fire service advancement. TFD achieves this by coordinating and delivering in-service training through practical skills activities, classroom work, and an online curriculum.
Within TFD, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are trained in Basic Life Support (BLS) measures for trauma care, cardiac and stroke care, CPR, advanced first aid, childbirth, and basic medication administration. These skills allow a BLS provider to stabilize a patient until Advanced Life Support (ALS) care arrives or until a patient is transported to a hospital for further medical care. TFD’s Paramedics are ALS certified and responsible for managing the emergency medical scene according to protocol and directing operations inside of the medical transport unit en route to the hospital.
In FY22, the Tallahassee Fire Department will continue to provide outstanding services to the community at their current staffing level.
A 15% increase in rates went into effect on October 1, 2021, which supports annual increases in salary, fleet, and operating costs necessary to provide high-quality fire services.
•The City and County agreed to conduct a joint fire services fee study and present recommendations during the FY24 budget development process for any fee adjustments to be made in FY24 or subsequent years.
•Personnel costs for the upcoming Fire Station 17 are budgeted beginning in FY23.
•Equipment for Fire Station 17 is budgeted over a 5-year period starting in FY23.
•The current collective bargaining agreement between the City and the International Association of Fire Fighters will expire at the end of FY23. A new agreement will affect personnel costs for future years.
Emergency Management (5-2-C) :
• A G-300 course scheduled for TPD personnel in April.
• A wide-area search course is in the process of being scheduled for TFD personnel, a date has not yet been selected.
• A Supplemental Staffing for Emergencies training will be scheduled in April.
• Replacement of outdated analog cameras with digital cameras for greater coverage and integrate with emergency services (Fire and Police).
• Implement a smartphone-based mobile credential access via email; will allow us to easily issue and revoke access without needing to manage physical cards or tags.
Future ALS expansion (5-D-1):
• Greater than 99% of the City of Tallahassee is covered by a TFD Fire Station. The plan for 2021 is to add one additional TFD ALS fire apparatus and upgrade the EMS response capabilities of Fire Station 10 to provide 100% coverage throughout the city.
• Design platforms that will connect the community with public safety professionals before an emergency occurs. Allowing the citizens and visitors to interact with public safety through community initiatives, education, and the proposed Fire Safety Innovation Center.
Emergency Management (5-E-4, 5-E-Initiative): The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting the ability to host in-person events. Large-scale exercises and emergency management trainings are designed for an in-person setting. A table-top exercise, large-scale community preparedness exercise, and additional trainings will be offered once we feel it is safe to host in-person exercises and trainings.
Facilities Security: Common issues associated with government facilities often involve multiple buildings, managing access levels for different sites and now COVID19 protocols.
Future ALS expansion: Ensuring there is adequate paramedic staffing for an additional ALS fire apparatus to sustain 24/7 ALS operations.Training (5-C-2) Training preparedness in arson investigations for Investigators has been impacted considerably by Covid-19. All classes were canceled and remain in limited available status.
Public Education: Engaging the community and developing partners for the Fire Safety Innovation Center
Arson Investigation Training: Assist Florida Fire College and other educational partners in designing alternative venue to education in additional to in-person training.
Emergency Management: Meet with City response agencies to determine future emergency management training and exercise needs.
1. Research an elevated skin temperature scanning solution at employee access points.
2. Implement a mass message system for employee notification.
Logistics Division - Fire Station Renovation:
1. Upgrade Station 15 to a multi-company station.
2. Upgrade Fire Stations to meet structural wind requirements of the 2017 Florida Building Code and of the ICC500 Hurricane Shelter.
Future ALS expansion: Working with our Leon County partners and looking at ways to enhance the four remaining non-ALS TFD fire stations so that every fire station in both the incorporated and unincorporated areas are served by TFD equally.
Public Education: Design, and develop the proposed Fire Safety Innovation center. Establishing community partners for the Fire Safety Innovation Center
Arson Investigation Training: Assist Florida Fire College and other educational partners in designing alternative venue to education in addition to in-person training
5-E-4: Facilitate annual table-top preparedness exercise for all response agencies.
Preparing for potential disasters is imperative to ensuring the safety of our community. A table-top exercise is a scenario-based training where all emergency response agencies work together through a possible real-life emergency scenario. This exercise allows participants to improve individual and team performance as well as communication across agencies. It also allows agencies to test their response plans and standard operating procedures. Tabletop exercises are discussion-based sessions where agencies meet in an informal, classroom setting to discuss their roles during an emergency and their responses to a particular emergency. The type of disaster discussed is one that could potentially impact the City given its vulnerabilities.
Given the information provided throughout the exercise, first responders are expected to make decisions to stabilize the incident and protect themselves and citizens. The intention of the exercise is to encourage first responders to consider appropriate actions to be taken based on their agency’s standard operating procedures. A person from each team is responsible for evaluating their agency’s response during the exercise. Additionally, upon conclusion of the exercise, participants are given an opportunity to discuss their own response. This information is collected and used to create an After-Action Report (AAR). The AAR includes recommendations for updates to each agency’s response plan and standard operating procedures.
Due to COVID-19 response, initial planning for this exercise has been postponed. Preliminary discussion has taken place between City and County Emergency Management teams. City staff will continue to monitor COVID-19 locally, and an initial planning meeting will be scheduled with response agencies once it appears an exercise could be safely conducted.
5-E-i-2: Facilitate annual large-scale community preparedness scenario, integrating all response and medical agencies.
Local emergency response agencies strive to be prepared for any crisis that could endanger Tallahassee and our residents. Community response and medical agencies run an annual large-scale community preparedness scenario to test strengths and identify weaknesses of agencies’ response plans.
In past preparedness scenarios, response and medical agencies have practiced responding to a plane crash, a train derailment, and other mass casualty events. In the wake of COVID-19, local agencies are planning an annual exercise that focuses on how public safety agencies can maintain operational readiness, while limiting employee exposure and ensuring the safety of our community.