August 24, 2017

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Don Petito

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Steve Garten

Flagler County
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1769 E. Moody Blvd. Bldg #3
Bunnell, Florida 32110

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EMS EMS - FAQ Operations Special Operations  

The operations division is responsible for the day to day operation and response to emergency calls. Firefighting and providing emergency medical services has been classified as one of the most hazardous occupations in the world. This occupation accounts for high death rates, high disease contraction, and high divorce rates. Human assets are our greatest assets when it comes to fire department operations. They have not figured out how a computer or a machine can perform the function of a firefighter or paramedic.

Firefighters and paramedics are only as good as the equipment and training will allow them to be. The equipment used by firefighters and paramedics is used under very stressful and hazardous conditions. Like the firefighters and paramedics, the equipment used has a high death rate, high failure rate, and short life span. Equipment used by the fire department needs to be in excellent working condition at a moments notice. The crews spend a great deal of time cleaning, repairing and preparing equipment to ensure its operability. All equipment used by fire department personnel can be classified as safety equipment. If a piece of equipment fails at a time when it is expected to operate, it places the firefighter and citizens in an unsafe environment.

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the final rule for the Standard for Respiratory Protection, which encompasses many industries and impacts the fire service through two specific sections. These sections specify procedures for immediate danger to life and health (IDLH) atmospheres and interior structural fire fighting, commonly referred to as the two in/two out rule. This rule obligates fire departments to provide a minimum team of firefighters to perform an interior attack on a fire - two firefighters for the attack team and two firefighters for the back up rescue team.

Florida Administrative Code, Uniform Minimum Firefighter Employment Standards addresses the adoption of the OSHA rule incorporating the two in/two out provisions as they pertain to firefighters and firefighter employers. Through written policies and procedures, the Department advised the State of the intention to comply with the two in/two out provision in order to provide for the safety and welfare of our firefighters. Further, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adopted an additional standard titled NFPA 1710, which specifies the minimum criteria addressing the effectiveness and efficiency of the career public fire suppression operations, emergency medical service, and special operations. Simply put, the standard identifies how many firefighters should be responding to emergencies and establishes response times.

Career Firefighters

Career firefighters work a three shift platoon system allowing the stations to be staffed 24 hours a day. The shifts are broken into A, B, and C shifts with the firefighters working 24 hours straight with 48 hours off duty.

Engine 16 and Engine 92 are staffed with three (3) firefighters, one being a paramedic. Engine 41 is staffed with 2 firefighters, one being a paramedic. Ladder 41 is staffed with one firefighter. The rescue ambulances are staffed with two (2) firefighter/paramedics. Fireflight, our fire fighting and EMS transport helicopter, is staffed with one pilot and one firefighter/paramedic

Volunteer Firefighters

Recruiting, retention, and retaining quality volunteer firefighters is on a downward trend nationwide. Volunteer fire departments nationally have been forced to hire full-time firefighters to be able to keep up with the demand for service. Several key factors play into this downward spiral. First are the demands placed on the volunteers. Federal, State, and local training requirements increase the time demand on the volunteers. Without completing the required training requirements, the volunteers cannot participate in the combat (firefighter) role. They are placed in an inactive or support role where they become disinterested and quit. Since the events of September 11, there was a spike in interest in volunteering for the community. Call volumes nationwide increased dramatically and the time demand on volunteers again increased.

The economy has also had a negative effect on volunteerism nationwide. Increased taxes, lower wages, and higher prices for everything from fuel to housing have had a major effect on recruiting and retaining volunteers. Dual income families have become the norm. The feeling of an impending attack by terrorists and the unpreparedness of the victims of 911 also have an impact. People have changed their priorities and consider family time more important than work and community involvement. All of these factors are the findings in studies performed by the industry nationally. Currently, Flagler County Fire Rescue has 22 volunteers registered. Out of those 22 registered volunteers, eight can be considered active.

Below is a link showing the criteria to be a volunteer firefighter in the State of Florida. For addition information please contact Lenny Ensalaco at (386) 313-4257 or e mail at

Volunteer Guidelines

NOTICE: Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request,do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.