Sunday, April 19

The Upland Fire Department

Department Overview

The Upland Fire Department, as with other fire service organizations, was created by concerned citizens to protect the community from fires. The original intent was to keep fires localized or stop the fire from spreading to other buildings and destroying the entire community.

The Upland Fire Department responds to a wide variety of fire type incidents. This includes structure fires, vehicle fires, wildland fires, other outdoor fires, dumpster fires, and any other type of fire that may occur in the city. The Upland Fire Department is responsible for sending an appropriate level of response to the type of fire that is reported. In the case of a reported structure fire, a standard response consists of 3 engine companies, 1 truck company and a chief officer. This response level consists of 13 personnel. This staffing is capable of extinguishing a small fire in a residential type structure. In the event that a fire is larger or more involved, additional resources would need to be requested from other fire agencies.

The Upland Fire Department participates with a variety of other fire agencies in mutual aid agreements. These type of agreements are fairly common throughout the United States. All fire service providers recognize that it is very easy for a fire to become large enough that the local resources and personnel are unable to control the incident. For this reason, fire agencies enter in mutual aid agreements to help each other when situations dictate the need. In the case of the Upland Fire Department, personnel and equipment respond throughout the State of California as part of the Master Mutual Aid Agreement. This agreement provides for cost reimbursement for a providing agency after a certain period of time. Likewise, a fire department needing assistance, can ask for help without having to worry about jeopardizing the safety of the community. The Upland Fire Department also participates in a automatic response agreement with the neighboring fire departments to send the closest fire engine to a reported structure fire without having to worry about the political city boundary. This policy is written into all of the West End fire agency response procedures and provides a tremendous asset to all the local cities by not having to budget taxpayer funds for additional personnel and equipment to have available around the clock.

As the community has grown, the Upland Fire Department has changed and altered with the growth to continue to be able to extinguish fires of all types. This has seen the Upland Fire Department grow from one fire station with only volunteers to a fully paid professional organization with four fire stations staffed around the clock.

The Upland Fire Department responds to over 2,000 reported fires annually. A large majority of these reported fires are found to actually be fire alarm malfunctions, false alarms or honest mistakes where smoke is observed in the area, but no fire is found. The annual number of fires that meet the reportable fire criteria is approximately 400. This number includes fires of all types and sizes. As a fairly typical indication of fire loss annually, in 2000, the City of Upland experienced a dollar loss of property by fire of approximately $1.3 million, while saving $147,000,000 from damage. The Upland Fire Department has responded to fire reports in the community for almost 100 years. While the equipment, personnel and other service requirements of the organization have changed over the years, the Upland Fire Department will continue to provide a level of fire protection that allows the community to live and work in an environment that is relatively free of the worry of fire and its life altering results.