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Letter from the chief


Frequently asked questions


Special teams


Community involvement

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Table of Contents

The mission of the Reno Fire Department is to provide our citizens and visitors with the best possible all-risk emergency service in the protection of life and property. Public health, safety and prevention education are key components of our mission. We are and will continue to be identified by our dedication and pride in outstanding customer service. | 334-INFO

Letter from the chief The Reno Fire Department had many challenges and accomplishments in 2013. Despite slow economic growth and budgetary constraints, we continue to serve the public with outstanding pride in service. Below are some of the key benchmarks we reached as a department: • We received and administered over $8.4 million in grant award funding for firefighting personnel, special team equipment, wild land firefighting equipment, emergency management and public education materials. • To increase preparedness, we planned and conducted emergency and disaster drills with local facilities and regional cooperators. • During the 2013 fire season, we responded with 82 personnel and eight apparatus to 23 wild land fires in six states. • We responded to over 37,000 calls for service in 2013. This represents a 7% increase in call volume when compared to 2012. • The Insurance Services Office (ISO) conducted its survey of our department and the City of Reno maintained a Class Three rating, meaning property owners should not see any significant changes to insurance rates. • Our Fire Investigation Team made eight arrests and three citations for arson fires, including the arrest of a suspected serial arsonist. • We hired Jeff Donahue as permanent Fire Marshal. • Working with multiple city departments, we acquired, installed and implemented the use of Mobile Data Terminals (computers) in all Fire Department front-line apparatus. • We coordinated with the contractor and developers on construction of our new Fire Station #12 in the Damonte Ranch neighborhood. I’m deeply proud of this department and the service we provide to our community. However, no department could reach its goals without each member doing their part. As I’ve said time and again - “We are good people doing great work.” Stay safe, Chief Hernandez

About the City of Reno fire department The Reno Fire Department provides all-risk emergency services to the City of Reno with 238 budgeted line positions, 11 fire prevention positions and 17 administrative and support staff positions. All-risk emergency services is the national model of municipal fire departments, providing the services needed in the most efficient way possible. Besides responding to fires, whether they occur in structures, vegetation/brush or vehicles, we also provide rescue capabilities for almost any type of emergency situation. This includes quick and efficient emergency medical care for our citizens, a hazardous materials team capable of identifying unknown materials and controlling or containing a release, disaster preparedness and management of large scale incidents. Maintaining this level of service requires nearly constant training of personnel. This training maintains both the skills needed to operate safely in emergency environments and the physical fitness necessary to reduce the likelihood and severity of injuries. Our minimum annual training requirements to maintain firefighting and medical skills is 240 hours per year. Special teams and company level drills add significantly to that number. The Reno Fire Department budget in Fiscal Year 2013 was $41 million. Of that total, $7 million came from a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant administered by FEMA. The remainder comes from the City of Reno General Fund.

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Common non-medical responses 1,000


800 600


We also responded to 2,171 vehicle accidents and 101 rescue calls, which includes extricating people trapped in vehicles, elevators and machinery, plus our water rescue responses. RFD also had eight calls for animal rescue, because the furry or feathered friends of our citizens are important, too!


Structure Fires



Brush Fires

200 100



Other Fires


Vehicle Fires



Although over 26,000 of our calls for service were for medical emergencies, we also responded to 703 fire calls, or an average of about two per day. As a busy metropolitan fire department, we staff our rigs with four personnel to allow for maximum efficiency in fireground operations. Aggressive interior attack is the key to putting fires out when they’re small and minimizing damages.


Hazardous Condition

The Reno Fire Department (RFD) ran 37,200 calls for service in 2013. This was a slight increase over 2012 responses. A majority of these calls are for emergency medical situations. All RFD apparatus are capable of providing care at the Intermediate Life Support level. We have 26 Paramedics within the department and are working towards being able to provide paramedic services to our citizens.

Public Service Assist

Department Response Statistics

Incident response types Out of a total of 37,200 calls for service, the graph to the right illustrates the distribution percentage. *Miscellaneous includes fire alarms, good intent, and not as reported or unfounded calls.



Fire Calls


Rescue Hazardous Condition Public Service Assist


Vehicle Accidents


Emergency Medical Calls

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Frequently asked questions What is the difference between a fire engine and a fire truck? There is a lot of slang and specific jargon in the fire service. A fire engine is equipped with a water pump, a 500-750 gallon water tank to enable quick fire attack until a water source can be secured from a hydrant and thousands of feet of fire hose. Engines perform fire attack as well as being the first out on medical calls. Fire Trucks specialize in ventilation, search & rescue and extrication. They are equipped with an aerial ladder to access upper floors and provide for spraying water on a fire from above. Trucks also carry multiple ground ladders, numerous power and hand tools, ventilation fans and heavy rescue and extrication equipment. Please see apparatus pictures on page 13.

why does the fire department send a fire engine with four firefighters to every call, including medical emergencies?

The engine company is the basic unit of response for most fire departments and is staffed to be able to respond to the widest range of possible emergencies including fires, medical emergencies, hazardous materials incidents and other hazardous situations. Because the personnel operate as a cohesive crew with set responsibilities, they respond together as a unit to all emergencies. Fire stations are strategically placed around our community to allow for quick response times to all neighborhoods. By also responding to medical emergencies, we provide the best service to the citizen, arriving several minutes before the ambulance in most cases and providing extra trained personnel to Why do several fire engines respond assist in patient care and preparing for transport. On to what looks like a minor call? critical patients, our personnel will join the ambulance Fire Department units are dispatched according to crew and stay with the patient to the hospital. information received by the 9-1-1 call taker. Sometimes this information may not be complete, however what is the work schedule for firefighters? dispatch will always err on the side of caution and send Because emergencies can happen at any time, the what they feel is appropriate. There may be several fire department is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a fire department vehicles on the scene for what appears year. Firefighters work 24-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to to be a “simple” incident. However, in emergency 8 a.m. the next morning. Maintaining this staffing is services we have learned that if we assume something done with three shifts or battalions that each work two is “simple,” we can be horribly mistaken. consecutive shifts (48 hours) followed by 96 hours off.

do firefighters pay for their food when you see them in stores or does the city pay for their meals?

Their workweek averages 56 hours. This is the most cost-effective way to provide constant staffing.

Each firefighter pays for his or her own food. Typically, a ‘store list’ is prepared each shift where everyone at the station pays in and meals are decided upon. Then after shopping for food, the cost of each meal that day is added up and change is given.

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Our values To our citizens & visitors:

• The lives and well-being of our citizens, visitors and department members are our highest priority. • We will be fiscally responsible in all we do. • We will constantly strive to earn the respect of our community by providing the best possible emergency response based on concern, compassion and professionalism in everything we do. • We strive to provide the highest level of public safety education and prevention to our citizens. | 334-INFO

Special teams The Reno Fire Department maintains three special teams and the response vehicles to accompany them. All personnel are regular fire department employees who participate in the team trainings on top of normal fire department training.

Urban search and rescue team

Water entry team

Reno Fire’s Urban Search and Rescue Team (formerly the Technical Rescue Team) is trained to handle some of the “high risk-low frequency” incidents that may occur in our community. Team members specialize in high-angle rope rescue, collapsed building search and shoring, confined space rescue and trench rescue utilizing specialized equipment. Although rare, these types of incidents demand many well trained individuals working together as a team to give a victim the best chance of survival. The team is working towards becoming a Regional Task Force within the FEMA response model.

The Water Entry Team currently consists of 28 Reno Fire personnel who have received specific training at the technician level for Swift Water and Ice Rescue. Team members train monthly in both the classroom environment and out on the river, lakes and ponds we may respond to. Additionally, all team members must pass an annual fitness test that exceeds the standards of the United States Lifesaving Association for Aquatic Rescue Response Teams.

Hazardous materials response team Reno Fire contributes 31 members to the Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team. Known as the Triad, the team is composed of members from the City of Reno Fire Department, City of Sparks Fire Department and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. All members are trained to the HazMat Technician level with specialized training to respond to chemical, biological and radiological incidents. The team maintains a variety of sampling and detection devices and the protective equipment necessary for personnel to enter a hot zone and control or contain a release. Reno is a major shipping corridor with interstate highways, railroad lines and an air cargo terminal. This coupled with our heavy industrial area, and the far too common occurrence of illegal dumping, means that our team must be ready to respond to minimize the human and environmental effects of hazardous materials.


The team has two apparatus equipped with zodiac-style rubber inflatable boats, whitewater rafts, inflatable and hard shell kayaks, river boards and an ice rescue sled. The Water Entry Team receives an average of 45 calls for service each year. More than half the calls for service are to the Truckee River, especially in the area from Mayberry Park to Wingfield Park during the spring and summer rafting season. Call volume can double during years of above average annual snow pack due to the spring run-off. | 334-INFO

Ben Davis, Battle Born Photography

Our values To our organization:

• We will work as a team to accomplish the department’s missions and goals through open communications, cooperation and recognition of shared successes. • We encourage and promote pride, loyalty and a true sense of ownership in our department and our community. | 334-INFO

Community involvement CPR instruction Do you know what to do if someone suffers cardiac arrest? Would you like to learn Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation? The Reno Fire Department regularly offers American Heart Association (AHA) certified CPR classes to the community. Classes are available by private session but must have a minimum of six students enrolled in advance. The cost of each class is $50 per person and certification is valid for two years. Please visit our website at to view current scheduled classes.

after a devastating setback. While we can’t completely restore anyone’s life to normal, we hope to at least help them get back to work on Monday morning and the kids back in school with the supplies they need to be successful. In recent years, we have added a program to help pay veterinary bills for animals injured during fire or other incidents when the owner does not have the means to pay. The RFFCAP is run on a 100% volunteer basis. Funding from RFFCAP comes from the sale of Reno Fire clothing items, donations from the public and by organizing fundraising events.

Reno fire chaplain services


Last year, our volunteer chaplains provided services to 436 incidents in the City of Reno. Many of these incidents received multiple follow-up visits. These dedicated individuals provide Critical Incident Stress Management counseling to both public safety personnel and members of the public that have gone through a traumatic event. Chaplains provide mental, spiritual and emotional care both on scene and after the event. This includes trauma intervention, next of kin death notifications, funerals and grief care for loss of life events and assistance, information and referrals for a citizen that is experiencing a life-altering event such as a fire in their home. These services are provided free of charge to assist people in their time of need.

The Reno Fire Department is pleased to offer a ridealong program for anyone over the age of 18 that is interested in experiencing the life of a firefighter. Participants spend a nine-hour day at one of our stations with the crew seeing firsthand what life in the fire house is like and how it feels responding to emergency calls. To download an application, please visit our website at

Station tours

Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a fire station? The Reno Fire Department offers free tours of our fire stations to the public or community groups. Tours are conducted during normal business hours and are available by appointment only (no drop-ins please). For Community assistance program more information, please call 775-333-7775 or email The Reno Firefighter’s Community Assistance Program (RFFCAP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that exists to provide assistance to members of the community, firefighters and their families who have been affected negatively by fire and natural disasters. Over the last 10 years, RFFCAP has been able to help hundreds in the community to get back on their feet

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Our values To each other:

• We are committed to openness and honesty in all situations. • We value each member of the department and treat their diverse contribution with dignity, fairness and respect. • We are accountable to those we serve and each other. | 334-INFO

Fire prevention Fire prevention The Fire Prevention division has four main functions: Fire Inspections, Fire Investigation, Plan Review and Public Education. Fire inspections are conducted to discover and correct any condition likely to cause a fire or life safety hazard. All properties except private dwellings are inspected. Frequency of inspection is determined based on the associated hazards that a site may pose, and may include materials and manner of storage, maintenance of exits, accessibility to fire service personnel, maintenance of fire protection and detection systems and general housekeeping. The Reno Fire Department conducts investigations into suspicious fires to determine their origin and cause. Whether a fire is accidental in nature or intentionally set, the investigation team determines action needed to prevent future occurrence, such as product recalls, public awareness, increased code compliance inspections or arresting and prosecuting an arsonist. Reno Fire Department investigators are Nevada P.O.S.T. certified peace officers. In 2013, the Reno Fire Department investigated 154 fires of which 56 were determined to be incendiary in nature.

as adequate and compliant fire safety systems, fire resistant building materials and proper and adequate exiting. The Reno Fire Department presents public education programs upon request. Both our engine companies and our prevention personnel have an active presence in our community. Many school and scouting groups also enjoy station tours.

Smoke alarm programs The Reno Fire Department offers free smoke alarms to city residents through a grant funded program aimed at helping low income individuals be safer at home. We also offer special devices for the hearing impaired. These can be picked up in person at fire administration or if needed, a firefighter will come to your home and install the unit at no cost. Information and an application is available on the City of Reno website –

Staff is also checking section reviews plans to determine compliance with the International Fire and Building Codes as well as all local codes, ordinances, standards and regulations. Plans checkers look for such things

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RENO.GOV/fire | 334-INFO

Fire station locations

ladder truck


Fire Engine


Brush rig

Station Number



1 2

495 East 4th Street 2500 Sutro Street


580 West Moana Lane

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1096 Ralston Street 1500 Mayberry Drive 3970 Mira Loma Drive 3050 Skyline Boulevard 3600 Kings Row 14005 Mt. Vida Street 5250 North Virginia Street


7105 Mae Anne Avenue

12 19 21

1190 Steamboat Parkway 2105 Hawk Meadows Trail 2501 Mill Street

Engine, Ladder Truck, and Rescue Engine and Brush Engine, Ladder Truck, Rescue, HazMat Rig, and Decon Trailer Engine Engine Engine and Brush Engine and Brush Engine and Brush Engine and Brush Engine and Brush Engine, Brush, Reserve Truck, Boat Rig, and Heavy Rescue Engine and Brush Engine and Brush Engine, Brush, and Boat Rig | 334-INFO

New Damonte ranch fire station

River safety

Here are some tips to make your experience in or around the river more enjoyable: • Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when in or around moving current. • Wear sturdy shoes, consider thermal protection from cold water and wear a hat and sunscreen. • Do not drink alcohol or use drugs when boating or tubing. • Never go into the river alone. • Have a plan and rendezvous point in case you Incident management teams become separated. The Reno Fire Department proudly supports both • Let a friend or family member know when you local and national Incident Management Teams. Our intend to return home. members go through a stringent training, qualification and selection process to serve with these teams. The Safety in your home Incident Management Teams are on call year round for a wide range of emergencies, including fires, floods, Residential fires account for nearly 400,000 of the fires earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous material releases, reported annually in the United States. On an average, terrorist actions and other human-caused incidents. Reno fires in recent years have been the cause of more than Fire Department resources represent command, general 3,000 deaths and approximately 18,000 injuries.  Most staff and support positions on these teams. Within this of these deaths and injuries occur in the home. last fiscal year, our members have provided assistance to our state and federal partners on 30 assignments Many of these deaths and injuries could be prevented across the western United States. In 2013, the Reno by following some simple home safety tips such as Fire Department has been reimbursed $840,000 by the installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide federal government to cover overtime and support costs detectors, having a home escape plan and creating for these deployments. Since the personnel deployed defensible space around your home to help prevent gain significant training and experience, this benefits against the threat of wildfires. our community by increasing our ability to manage local emergencies. The City of Reno will be opening a new Fire Station in April 2014. The new station 12 is located at 1190 Steamboat Parkway near Veterans Parkway and will serve the South Meadows and Damonte Ranch areas. It will be staffed by Engine 12, which is currently operating out of a temporary station. The total cost of the station was $3.1 million with nearly $2.5 million of that from dedicated development fees. | 334-INFO

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2103-2014 Reno Fire Department: Community Report  
2103-2014 Reno Fire Department: Community Report