In today’s modern fire service the term Fire Suppression refers to the “all-risk”, 24/7/365 mission carried out by the highly skilled, professional men and women staffing your neighborhood Fire Station and the support staff that facilitates the mission. Although improvements in fire prevention and fire protection systems have greatly reduced the amount of overall fires in our community, Fire Suppression remains a core function of the Ventura City Fire Department. The department does much more than just extinguish fires. Each year on average the department responds to over 11,000 calls for service helping to protect the community and environment.
The most basic unit in the fire service is the engine company. The engine is a modern firefighting machine capable of pumping 1500 gallons of water per minute for a very long period of time. In addition to water, fire hose and ladders, the engine carries a wide variety of tools and equipment on it that might be needed at a moments notice to handle any type of emergency. Think of it as a very large toolbox on wheels. The assigned personnel consist of a Fire Captain who leads and commands the actions of the company and provides direct supervision to the other crewmembers. The Fire Engineer drives and operates the engine and is responsible for keeping all of the equipment in proper working order. The Firefighter/ Paramedic is responsible for carrying out the orders of the Fire Captain at the scene of an emergency and for providing advanced life support treatment to EMS patients when needed. All staffed fire stations in the City of Ventura have a Paramedic Engine Company assigned to them.
The truck company is a highly specialized unit that provides support to the engine companies and provides highly skilled technical rescue services including urban search and rescue needs. Ventura’s truck company operates on a unique vehicle, one with a traditional driver up front and another driver in the back who controls the steering of the rear wheels. The truck is called a tractor drawn tillered aerial apparatus and is extremely maneuverable. This helps in accessing many of Ventura’s hillside neighborhoods and narrow streets. Very specialized tools and equipment are carried on the truck including a 100’ aerial ladder that can place a large stream of water above a fire and hydraulic rescue tools commonly known as the “jaws of life”. The assigned personnel consist of a Fire Captain who leads and commands the actions of the company and provides direct supervision to the crewmembers. The Fire Engineer drives and operates the truck and is responsible for keeping all of the equipment in proper working order. Two Firefighter/ Paramedics are assigned to the company and carry out the orders of the Fire Captain at the scene of an emergency. One of the Firefighter/ Paramedics also assists the Engineer by driving from the tiller position and helping to steer the back of the truck. The Ventura City Fire Department staffs one Paramedic truck company around the clock.
There are other unique vehicles and specially trained personnel available including a specialized Hazardous Materials Emergency Response vehicle, a water tender/ tanker, a fireboat jointly operated with the Ventura Harbor Patrol and a Mobile Emergency Command Post shared with the Ventura Police Department. Many of the department’s personnel are additionally certified in Hazardous Materials emergencies, Ocean Rescue, and Urban Search and Rescue. These highly trained professionals are available around the clock, each and every day of the year.
One of the most significant factors regarding fire suppression activities in today’s fire service is the unique cooperative agreements that are in place with other fire agencies throughout the state. Automatic and mutual aid agreements ensure that the closest and most appropriate resource is available at a moments notice and cost sharing helps to most efficiently utilize these resources during a large-scale emergency. So whatever the need, whenever the time, rest assured your Ventura firefighters are equipped and at the ready.