Deputy Fire Chief
||19 New Street
Danbury, CT 06810
The Danbury Fire Department is an all hazard emergency response agency. Our core mission is to provide for the safety and security of citizens and visitors to Danbury. On any given day, our members might respond to a structure fire, a hazardous material situation, assist a mother with unlocking her car or provide medical assistance at a motor vehicle accident. The primary focus of the Department is to provide the best possible customer service on every call.
When people call 911 and have an emergency they expect help immediately. We respond to medical calls, water leaks, flooding, odors, alarms, fallen trees, aircraft crashes, motor vehicle accidents and people trapped under ground, above ground, and just about anywhere in between. This past year, 2011, our 9-1-1 center answered 45,035 calls. This resulted in 4362 fire and service responses and an additional 4,4891 “first responder” (medical) responses.
The Danbury Fire Department is highly trained and educated. Firefighters go through a rigorous process to be appointed to the department and then attend various educational forums throughout their career. This is critical to the fire service as the dynamic nature of emergency response evolves constantly. Though our mission to protect our citizens and visitors remains the same, completing the mission requires ever vigilant training and preparation.
Continuing formal education is encouraged and supported by the department. College courses through Naugatuck Valley Community College have been taught at our facility in headquarters. Members of the department hold certificates from the National and State Fire Academies, the State of Connecticut and independent training groups. Many of our members hold advanced degrees ranging from Associates to Masters Degrees.
The table of organization of the Department Career Division currently comprises staffing of one hundred and sixteen members. This allows the department to staff five fire stations with six engine companies, an aerial truck company and a command vehicle. These assignments are staffed twenty four hours a day. In addition, various administrative and command staff positions allow us to respond to the needs of the city.
Another major component of the department is the Volunteer Division. These men and women serve the community of Danbury in various capacities as members of twelve volunteer companies. They serve as Firefighters, Fire Police and apparatus engineers. These volunteers undergo similar training as the career members and are an integral part of the Department. As volunteers, they give freely of their time to protect our citizens.
The department is a keystone in the states’ regional response plan with a number of resources of the state housed in Danbury. These resources will respond to the region or state staffed by Danbury firefighters. We provide staffing to operate and support a Hazardous Material response vehicle, petrochemical foam trailer, a Mass Hazardous Material Decontamination trailer and a Mass Casualty trailer.
The department continues to face the challenges of potential terrorism and large scale natural risks. During this past year, we responded to the two major storms of August and October. The toll on our citizens was a serious one. Many were stranded and left without power for days. Though these storms sorely tried our resources the department and city persevered.
We have been successful in getting many of our staff into the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg Maryland. These members have received training in fire service statistics and analysis, Fire Marshal programs and other subjects. These prove very beneficial and the costs for the training, transportation and housing are borne by FEMA.
Our local efforts, coupled with those of the Department of Emergency Management Homeland Security (DEMHS) Region 5 HMRT have significantly increased the preparedness level of the department and the region. As one of three battalions (Waterbury, Torrington and Danbury) of the regional response team, Danbury personnel will be called to respond and be utilized throughout the western Connecticut Region 5 responding to Hazardous Material spills.
Our public education outreach effort continues throughout the community with mock crash simulations in local high schools, Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention and public education programs. Our continuing education includes automatic defibrillator (AED) instruction and fire extinguisher use training for local businesses and citizens. Our older AEDs have this year been replaced with newer models. These initiatives, combined with our inspection, education, prevention and suppression duties, contribute to making the City of Danbury one of the safest in the state.
Community Risk Reduction:
The Officers of Community Risk Reduction are charged with educating the citizens and business entities of the city in methods of reducing injuries due to fire, scalding and fire code compliance. These officers comprise the Fire Marshal and six Deputy Fire Marshals. Annual visits are made to each Danbury school to present Fire Safety Programs to the very diverse school population. This education is a key stone in creating a fire safe environment in Danbury as the students then bring the information about smoke detectors, escape plans and other safety tips in to homes that we otherwise have difficulty reaching.
This office is also responsible for the enforcement of many sections found in Chapter 541 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as well as numerous codes promulgated under the provision of these statutes. In the last year there were over 7083 code enforcement inspections completed by the Fire Marshal’s Office. They also investigated over 249 citizen complaints and 158 fires, explosions and emergency responses.
This year we have been the recipient of a donation through the State Neighborhood Assistance Act program. We were fortunate to receive a very generous gift from Bedoukian Research Inc. This donation will contribute to expanding our training capabilities at our local training facility. The goal is to acquire propane fired training tools to incorporate the methods of fighting propane and other petro chemical fed fires.
As the City and community evolve, the fire department likewise will continue to train and educate our members to meet the changing emergency response environment. Despite significant fiscal pressures, we will maintain our current response model and we expect no reduction in service levels. The citizens of Danbury have a Fire Department that is equipped and prepared to fulfill our mission of preserving life and protecting property. Working together, the Mayor, City Council and the Department, Career and Volunteer, will meet the communities’ demand for excellence in education, prevention, fire suppression and rescue services.