Chain of Command
The Union Township Fire Department is a paramilitary organization and manages its emergency and non-emergency functions and incidents through a chain-of-command structure similar to that utilized by the military.
The chain-of-command with the Union Township Fire Department starts with the firefighter/paramedic that performs most of the basic functions associated with fire, EMS, and other type responses.
The firefighter/paramedic reports to his/her Lieutenant. The Lieutenant, in addition to performing basic functions associated with fire, EMS, and other type responses, is responsible for the management and efficiency of his/her crew regarding training and response, the station, its equipment and assigned vehicles, and details within the company’s assigned area, and may be the initial Incident Commander at the scene of an emergency until relieved by a superior officer.
The Operations Chief is responsible for the operation, management, professionalism, and performance of all members on all three shifts. The Operations Chief reports directly to the Fire Chief.
Union Township Communications Center is a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Emergency 9-1-1 calls for the Union Township and Amelia Village jurisdictions and is responsible for dispatching the Union Township Fire Department to fire, EMS, and other emergency-type incidents.
The Communication Center utilizes Emergency Medical Priority Dispatch and Emergency Fire Dispatch programs, both nationally recognized, to ensure accurate and efficient emergency dispatching.
Fire department units are dispatched from the closest of five stations staffed by career firefighter/paramedics.
An advanced life support paramedic unit (ambulance/medic unit) and an engine/pumper are located at every station. Additionally, two aerial devices, a 105’ ladder truck (Quint) and a 100’ tower ladder are located at two stations.
Both of the ladder trucks are also equipped with fire pumps and water tanks. Three secondary advanced life support paramedic units are also located at two stations and can be placed in service by the on-duty crew, if needed.This gives the fire department the capacity to respond to six advanced life support paramedic calls at the same time.
Typically, one paramedic unit is dispatched on a medical call. However, all engines and aerial devices are staffed by firefighter/paramedics or firefighter/EMTs, carry medical equipment including cardiac defibrillators, and may be dispatched to medical runs as “first responders” when they can reach the scene sooner than the paramedic unit or when additional personnel may be necessary.
In addition to fire suppression and emergency medical services, the Union Township Fire Department also specializes in hazardous materials mitigation, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) response, and rescue extrication. Currently, a majority of fire department personnel are trained to the hazardous materials technician level and utilize equipment carried in Hazmat 52, a 24’ hazardous materials trailer located at Station 52. The Hazmat Unit operates as a “Level 3” Hazmat Team. Should an incident involve extrication, a heavy rescue vehicle is maintained and ready for response at Station 49. Additionally, most frontline fire trucks are equipped with heavy rescue equipment such as the "Jaws of Life."
"MAZE" SCBA Training Trailer
The Union Township Fire Department also utilizes a specially constructed 40-foot trailer custom-built by some of its members to train in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The “MAZE” as it is called, is uniquely designed to put the trainee through a rigorous but realistic course to test his/her ability to wear, work, and be comfortable while wearing SCBA. The “MAZE” is available for loan to other fire departments in the area and has been utilized throughout the Tri-State area.
Mobile Live Fire Training Trailer
The Union Township Fire Department also utilizes a mobile live fire burn trailer purchased through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
The 53-foot, 2-story, mobile live fire training trailer allows firefighters to conduct a number of firefighting evolutions safely and efficiently, including; flashover/rollover recognition, search and rescue operations, ladder evolutions, fire attack, hose line management, ventilation procedures, and basement fire scenarios.
The mobile trailer will be available to other fire departments in our region after completing a training and certification class required by the trailer manufacturer.