The suppression division is staffed with 30 positions. This provides two 3 person engine companies that are staffed with a Fire Captain, Fire Engineer, and Firefighter / Paramedic. We also staff a one person squad which carries specialized tools and equipment that are not carried on our fire engine. A Battalion Chief with a command vehicle rounds out the on duty minimum staffing of 8 personnel per day. This division provides all emergency response resources, maintains operational readiness through facility and apparatus maintenance, individual and team training, pre-planning and by participating in mutual aid response in the Tahoe Basin as well as the State. The fire department has relatively young members within the department and within each rank. Emergency response, Fitness and Training are the priorities within the suppression division.
Fire Special Operations
The fire special operations division has 4 basic components based both on budget and administrative responsibilities. They include: Rescue, Hazardous Material Response, Arson Investigation, and Tactical Emergency Medical Services. The City of South Lake Tahoe has several rescue challenges which include water rescue, ice rescue, rope rescue, heavy and technical rescue scenarios. Our location dictates that we protect those on the lake, in the mountains and within our urban environment; our firefighters must have a variety of skills and equipment to meet those challenges.
We also serve as the first responder to all hazardous material calls in conjunction with the police department. The fire department is responsible to determine a cause and origin for all fires. We take great pride in presenting and educating our citizens in areas which include CPR, wildland fire prevention and specific safety tips for living in Lake Tahoe. Our paramedics also work closely with the police department with Tactical EMS, where medics are trained and work with the SWAT team.
The Tahoe area in general can easily become isolated from other responding agencies due to both natural and man-made disasters. Our goal is to provide immediate assistance to our citizens and maintain a well-trained Citizen's Team. That team is called STAT, the South Tahoe Action Team, where neighbors are trained to help their neighbors during large scale disasters.