About the Denver Fire Department


Eric Tade,
Fire Chief

Established in 1866, the Denver Fire Department provides services to the citizens who live, work and visit the City and County of Denver providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, technical rescue, hazardous materials response, water and high angle rescue.  The Department currently has over 900 paid firefighters supporting daily fire/rescue and medical operations.  There are 30 fully staffed firehouses supporting fire and emergency calls within the city and supporting fire and emergency calls to the City of Glendale, City of Sheridan, and Skyline Fire District. The Department also has four fully staffed firehouses located at Denver International Airport.

Department Organization

The Operations Division is responsible for the day to day provision of emergency services to citizens. Members assigned to the Operations Division respond to all calls for emergency medical assistance, auto accidents, structure fires and major disasters within the City and County of Denver, while providing mutual aid to surrounding communities.

The city is divided into six response Districts with Denver International Airport designated as a separate Division. Each District operates under the direction of Assistant Chiefs assigned to oversee the operation of up to eight pieces of apparatus. Assistant Chiefs are the Incident Commander at all incidents involving two or more pieces of apparatus.

The members of the Operations Division act as an all-hazards response agency responding to citizen calls for assistance, regardless of the nature, providing a safety blanket that allows the city to maintain high standards and a quality of life.

The Operations Division is also responsible for the co-ordination of the EMS Education and recertification for all members of the Denver Fire Department. In addition to responding to emergency calls, all Denver Fire Stations also participate in a Fire Prevention program by inspecting and pre-planning all local area businesses, apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc. on an annual basis.

All fire stations also participate within their community with neighborhood groups by attending numerous gatherings and showing support for their area. Operation’s staff is continuously involved in community events’ reading programs, tutoring, fire safety talks, homeowners’ association meeting, demonstrations, community gathering, etc.

In order to address concerns over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other terrorist threats, Operations has been analyzing response capabilities and providing intensive training to address those issues. Local and Inter-jurisdictional training sessions have been conducted related to biological, nuclear and chemical threats. A good portion of this training has been acquired through grants resulting in no cost to the City.

This Division provides for fire and building code enforcement, public safety, research and testing of new materials and technology. In the more recent history of the Fire Prevention Bureau, we have become more extensively involved with enforcement of hazardous materials ordinances and codes. 

The Fire Prevention Bureau consists of two major divisions, Fire Investigation and Fire Prevention. Within the Fire Investigation Bureau, we have 12 investigators who work around the clock to investigate causes of fires and determine the fault. In that bureau is our Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program.

In this program our goal is to save lives and protect property. To do this, we must modify the behavior of children who are using fire before they cause injury or death, damage property, or it becomes necessary to charge them with a criminal act. If you know about a child who has firesetting behavior or want more information about this program, contact Denver Fire Investigation Bureau at (720) 913-8241.

The Fire Prevention Bureau (FIB) is comprised of 8 separate groups, including: 
  • Certificate of Occupancy (C/O), Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) and Business License Inspections
  • Engineering 
  • Flammables 
  • Hazardous Materials Permits and Inspections 
  • High Rise and Warehouse Inspections 
  • Hospital and School Inspections 
  • Public Assembly Permits and Special Detail 
  • Sprinkler and Fire Alarm Testing child and elderly care, high rise and public assembly, flammables and hazardous materials, institutions and health care, system testing, license and CO sign-off. 

Each of these groups represents an expertise especially designed to ensure code compliance, and safety and education as they relate to their respective group.

The Technical Services division contains four groups:

  • Fire Dispatch/Communications
    The Dispatch group, which acts as an integral part of the 911 call system, dispatches, tracks and monitors all communications for more than 100,000 emergency service calls annually, and operates the emergency warning systems.

  • Fleet Management
    Fleet Management originated in 1880 as part of the original eleven “professional” members hired when numerous volunteer hose companies combined to form the Denver Fire Department. That first rank of “machinist” indicated the firefighter was a highly skilled machinist, mechanic and blacksmith. That tradition continues to this day. Mechanics hired today are required to possess a journeyman’s full range of skills and knowledge.

    Fleet Management performs all aspects of repair and maintenance for nearly every piece of equipment and vehicle used by the Denver Fire Department.

    The “Repair Shop” as it is most commonly known, is a full service facility. It is responsible for handling all of the fire department’s vehicles from inception, design, construction, and maintaining through its entire service life of 20 years or more all the way through to its decommission. The Repair Shop also maintains virtually all of the personal safety equipment, small equipment, and rescue tools used by Denver firefighters every day.

  • Facility Maintenance
    The Facility Maintenance section is responsible for ongoing service and maintenance of hundreds of thousands of square feet of property and building space. The group also oversees the acquisition, design, and construction of new facilities for the Department.

  • Line Shop
    The Line Shop is responsible for providing all electronic and electrical maintenance service for the department, and specialized support for the electrical systems at the 911 Combined Communications Center and maintenance of the 72-siren emergency warning system. It is also responsible for research, development, and implementation of new technologies. The Line Shop performs a broad range of technical functions, including installation, maintenance, and repair of department radios, automatic vehicle location systems, and mobile data computer terminals. They also maintain Denver’s fire alarm box system and fire station electrical systems.

The Administration Division is responsible for managing benefits and payroll, personnel, risk management, records, and internal investigations. It also oversees recruitment efforts that yield thousands of applications every testing process.

The Administrative team states its goal as: "We strive to ensure that all services provided to the employees of the Department and to the citizens will be professional, effective, and delivered in a timely manner."

The mission of the Safety and Training Division is to prepare and equip the members of the Department with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform safely and effectively.

The Rocky Mountain Fire Academy, founded in 1986, serves as a hub for the Training Division and features a 5-story drill tower and live burn building where realistic fire scenarios and evolutions can be taught and practiced. The academy also provides services to regional organizations and departments that have individual training needs for their firefighters.

The division oversees Research and Development and is continually ensuring that the Department has cutting-edge equipment. Additionally, it maintains and manages the Department's wellness program that helps the city's Firefighters stay healthy and fit.

Denver Fire Department (DFD) provides fire and rescue services to the employees, visitors and passengers at Denver International airport (DIA). DIA is the largest international airport in the United States, and the second largest international airport in the world. Denver International Airport is the fifth-busiest airport in the nation by passenger traffic with more than 50 million passengers flying through annually.

DIA is a city by itself with a containment fuel system, massive hanger/commercial facilities, complex underground transportation system and miles of highway response with potential emergencies to include aircraft fire, fuel and hazardous spills, bio-chemical threats and medical emergencies.

There are four fire stations staffed with a total of 25 fire fighters on duty 24/7 who are certified in Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting. Equipment includes 7 aircraft crash rescue vehicles each carrying 4500 gallons of water, 600 gallons of AFFF firefighting foam, and 500 lbs. of dry chemical extinguishing agent; a structural engine, a structural truck, 2 low profile vehicles, a chief’s vehicle, a special operations apparatus, 2 air stairs vehicles, and a snow cat.

In order to insure the highest quality of emergency readiness, DFD fire fighters participate in continuous training programs to be able to handle dynamic emergency situations and potential hazards at Denver International Airport.

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