About Our Department
The Oshtemo Township Fire Department is a combination fire department comprised of full-time staff, paid-on-call members, as well as resident interns. OFD currently has 16 full-time personnel which include 3 full time Captains, 9 full time Firefighters, 1 full time Training Officer, and 3 Chiefs (1 Chief, 1 Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal, and 1 Deputy Chief). There are 21 paid-on-call personnel, and 2 Resident Interns. Through this system the department provides 24/7/365 protection to the 36 square miles and 22,802 residents of the township.
The department operates two Fire Stations that are staffed 24/7 as well as a third station that is an un-staffed reserve station. OFD operates 14 pieces of apparatus. Fire Station 5-1 is staffed with 1 full-time Captain, 1 full-time firefighter, and 1 paid-on-call firefighter by working a 24 hour shift. Station 5-1 is also staffed by the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Station 5-2 is staffed with 2 full-time firefighters and 1 paid-on-call firefighter. Station 5-2 is also staffed by our Training Officer from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday. What is a paid-on-call firefighter? Paid-on-call firefighters remain “on-call” and ready to answer any alarm which may come in at any time. These firefighters respond from their homes, places of employment, or wherever they may be at the time of the call.
There are four levels of rank within the paid-on-call system, consisting of Firefighters, Driver/Operators, Lieutenants, and Captains. Each level of rank has certain responsibilities outlined below:
- Firefighters – provide all technical response to our community’s emergency needs.
- Driver/Operators – same responsibilities as firefighters plus the responsibility of staffing the Fire Stations and responding additional apparatus to alarms. In the absence of a Lieutenant or Captain they serve as the incident supervisor.
- Lieutenants and Captains – same duties as Driver/Operators plus the responsibilities of serving as supervisors on emergency scenes as well as assisting department administration in implementing department policies.
The type of emergency call determines the level of response from the department. Because two Stations are staffed, the township is divided into a north section and a south section thus allowing a single apparatus response for smaller events. The location of the call will also determine the type of response from the department. Below are some common examples:
Depending on the location of the call either Fire Station 5-1 or Fire Station 5-2 will respond with a Rescue (GMC Yukon) staffed by the on-duty personnel. Paid-on-call staff that are off duty can respond to the scene or to a station to provide additional staffing for a secondary response and to provide dispatching services. Providing additional staffing to the Fire Stations is an important role since 27% of our alarms occur before the previous alarm has been cleared. In addition to the fire department response Life EMS Ambulance responds to provide advanced life support and transport services.
Motor Vehicle Accident with Injuries (MVA)
Engine 511 from Fire Station 5-1 and Squad 582 from Fire Station 5-2 respond emergent (with lights and sirens) to all MVA calls regardless of the location. Paid-on-call staff responds to the scene or to the station to provide additional staffing. Life EMS Ambulance responds to provide advanced life support and transport services.
For an automatic fire alarm with no sign of a working fire an engine responds from the first due station and an aerial truck responds from the second due station. Only the first due apparatus responds emergent. Additional apparatus will respond with paid-on-call driver/operators non-emergent unless it is advised there is a working fire. If a working fire is to be found, all apparatus will be immediately upgraded and the automatic aid departments will be dispatched.
For a reported structure fire, an engine responds from the first due station and an aerial truck responds from the second due station. Additional apparatus respond emergent with paid-on-call staffing. In addition a pre-determined neighboring automatic aid fire department is dispatched upon the first receipt of the call to provide additional resources.
We also respond to other jurisdictions under automatic aid and mutual aid agreements. Just as other departments come into Oshtemo to assist us, we go to other jurisdictions to assist them.