Emergency Response

Fire Suppression
The basic organization and orientation of the Department is directed to fire suppression and emergency service delivery. While the Fire Department places an emphasis on fire prevention, public education, risk reduction and hazard abatement programs, the ability to respond to and control fires is an overriding operational priority. In addition to serving the City of Healdsburg, the Department also provides contracted emergency services to Fitch Mountain and the lower Dry Creek Valley.

Emergency Medical Services
The Fire Department performs rescue and emergency medical services to injured or ill individuals. Staff is dispatched on all life threatening emergencies as a First Responder at the Emergency Medical Technician I (EMT-I) level. Enhanced services include an early defibrillator program.

Rescue & Extrication
Fire personnel respond to many different types of calls each day. Some of these require the use of advanced rescue techniques including the use of hydraulic tools, airbags, high and low angle rigging, confined space equipment, and various other manual and mechanized hand tools. The incidents that require the use of this equipment demand a level of expertise in order to complete the tasks.

Many members of our staff are certified and various State rescue courses and have brought a wealth of knowledge back to our other staff members. In addition to the equipment on our fire engines, we have been fortunate to equip 2 rescue trailers through grant money and donations, including a mass casualty incident trailer funded by the Dry Creek Band of Pomo Indians.

Disaster Management
The Fire Department is responsible for the development of a comprehensive disaster response plan for the city, and for providing coordination of all public and private services responding to emergency situations. Although large scale events are rare, we can be well prepared by learning from other disasters around the world.

To that end, the fire department has contracted with the REDCOM county dispatch to provide enhanced dispatch services and better mutual aid integration with other responding agencies at the local, state, and national level.

Additionally, the fire department has identified a MTZ (mutual threat zone) for the Fitch Mountain Area. This allows multiple agencies to plan and prepare for vegetation fires in the identified areas. The MTZ area is designated as such due to moderate population in a dense vegetation area with limited access/egress.

Learn more about fire safety on Fitch Mountain and high severity fire zones (PDF).

Pre-Fire Planning
The Pre-Incident Planning Process evaluates the protection, construction, and operational features of specific occupancies. These plans will help ensure responding emergency response personnel can effectively manage emergency incidents with available resources.

A Pre-incident plan should not be confused with fire inspections, which monitor code compliance. Pre-incident planning involves evaluating the protection systems, building construction, contents, and operating procedures that can impact emergency operations.

Pre-incident planning is a total concept based upon the following guidelines:
  1. Awareness of the problem
  2. Management commitment
  3. Education
  4. Prevention
  5. Protection
  6. Emergency organization
A thorough pre-incident plan involves:
  • Information gathering, analysis, and dissemination
  • Applying the “what-if-approach”
  • Planning reviewing, training, and evaluating identified commercial or residential buildings
Pre-incident planning can provide valuable information about an occupancy which can improve the ability of firefighters to respond effectively to a fire or other emergency at that location. Pre-incident planning addresses vital fire protection concerns, such as structure layout, including access contents, construction details, types and locations of built-in fire protection systems.

It includes all data which can have an impact on decisions or actions taken during an emergency. Pre-incident planning should be a joint venture between emergency services personnel and the occupants / owners of the property.