Fire and EMS Operations
Chain of Command
The Union Township Fire Department operates like a paramilitary organization, with a chain-of-command structure similar to the military's. The firefighter/paramedic is the first point of contact for emergency and non-emergency situations, managing essential functions related to fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and other responses. The firefighter/paramedic reports to their Lieutenant, who oversees their crew's training, response, equipment, and assigned area. The Lieutenant may also act as the Incident Commander during emergencies until relieved by a superior officer. The Assistant Fire Chief is responsible for all members' operation, management, professionalism, and performance across all three shifts. The Assistant Fire Chief reports directly to the Fire Chief.
The Union Township Communications Center serves as the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Emergency 911 calls in Union Township. It is responsible for dispatching the Union Township Fire Department to fire, EMS, and other emergency-related incidents. The Communication Center utilizes nationally recognized Emergency Medical Dispatch programs to ensure accurate and efficient dispatching.
The department comprises six stations, staffed by career firefighter-paramedics, with each station equipped with an advanced life support paramedic unit (ambulance/medic unit) and an engine/pumper. Additionally, the department has three strategically located aerial devices (ladder trucks). Typically, one paramedic unit is dispatched on a medical call. However, when a paramedic unit cannot reach the scene quickly enough or additional personnel is required, additional apparatus staffed by firefighter-paramedics or firefighter-Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are dispatched as "first responders."
Hazardous Materials / Extrication
The department provides various services beyond fire suppression and emergency medical aid. Personnel are adept at handling hazardous materials mitigation, responding to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and conducting rescue extrication. In situations that require extrication, the frontline fire trucks are equipped with heavy rescue equipment, including the "Jaws of Life."