It's important to know that our responders are available when you need us. You may not have given much thought about how your local fire department is staffed. First responders are typically an "out of sight, out of mind" phenomenon until you need help and then you expect a prompt response by well-trained personnel. You should know that our dedicated employees and members staff our station and apparatus 24/7, 365. Interested in learning more about how we keep Delaware City and the surrounding area safe? Read on!
Staffing is an important topic and one that we take seriously. As the fire service continues to evolve, the days of responding from home to the fire station for a response when the pager sounds are dwindling. There are fewer volunteers nationally and as a result more paid personnel to ensure a seamless response in your time of need. Fires today burn hotter and faster than ever before. Couple that with increasingly lightweight building construction techniques and you have a recipe for disaster. Whereas traditional "legacy" construction provided nearly 20 minutes from the start of a fire until collapse was a concern, modern lightweight construction is at risk of collapse in well under 10 minutes. This is why having a staffed crew in station, round-the-clock, is so important.
New Castle County has a robust mutual aid system enabling departments to work together for responses. Any structure fire brings a large response: 4 fire engines, 2 ladder trucks, a rescue truck, Chief Officers, as well as EMS resources. Each of these pieces of apparatus has a minimum number of required personnel (typically 3). Like a professional sports team, each piece of fire apparatus and crew has a specific, predetermined job to perform in order to quickly and safely manage the incident. This response is in keeping with national standards to achieve minimum safe staffing. We rely on our mutual aid partners, and they on us, to ensure that we have the manpower necessary to be successful.
On a daily basis, our staffing model is at least 6 personnel at the fire station. That enables us to staff one piece of fire apparatus with 4 firefighters and one ambulance with two personnel. It also enables us to flex our staffing as needed for additional EMS emergencies, water rescues, or other types of responses.
Delaware City Fire Company Daily Staffing Model:
1 Career Fire Officer (Captain, Lieutenant or Acting Officer)
2 Career Firefighter/EMT's
2 Part Time Staff (Could be Firefighter/EMT's, EMT's, or Firefighters)
1 Stipend Member
Career Assistant Chief (Monday-Friday days)
Duty Officer - A Chief Officer who responds in the command vehicle to manage incidents (this may be a volunteer chief responding from home or a career chief)
Volunteer members staffing the station
Volunteer members responding from home or work
It is a constant challenge to ensure that we have an adequate number of volunteer, part time, and career staff on duty to respond and we always need help! We are always recruiting new volunteers and part time employees. To learn more about how you can help, check out our website: www.dcfc15.com