Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is the ACFD?
- How is the ACFD structured?
- Why is it a benefit to receive service from the ACFD versus our own fire department?
- Why does the ACFD take those big fire trucks to medical calls?
- Why do ACFD firefighters shop at the grocery store? Are we paying for their food?
- What services does the ACFD provide besides putting out fires?
- What are the ACFD’s plans for the future?
- How does the ACFD balance being a regional service provider and meet the individual and unique needs of each community?
- Why can't you make my neighbor clean his property that is a fire hazard?
- What is the process for fire hazards and other community blight to be addressed by the ACFD?
- How does the ACFD Fire Prevention Bureau proactively work with the development community?
- Why does the ACFD need to have a 5 minute response time to fire and medical emergencies?
- Why does the ACFD need 3 personnel on each apparatus?
- What is the fiscal and operational ability and sustainability of the ACFD?
- How can the community stay more informed and support and assist with the mission of the ACFD?
- Can I volunteer for the ACFD?
Who is the ACFD?
The Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) was formed on July 1, 1993 as a dependent special district with the Alameda County Board of Supervisors as its governing body. This consolidation brought together into a single jurisdiction the Castro Valley Fire Department, Eden Fire Department and County Fire Patrol (each a dependent special district under the Board of Supervisors).
- Prior to 1993 Unincorporated Fire Protection
- Castro Valley FPD
- Eden Consolidated FPD
- County Fire Patrol
- July 1, 1993 Alameda County Fire Department
- July 1, 1995 City of San Leandro
- July 1, 1997 City of Dublin
- August 1, 2002 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- October 1, 2007 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- January 20, 2008 Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ACRECC)
- May 1, 2010 City of Newark
- July 1, 2010 City of Union City
- July 1, 2012 City of Emeryville
- Prior to 1993 Unincorporated Fire Protection
How is the ACFD structured?
The ACFD is divided into 4 branches, Operations, Special Operations, Fire Prevention and Administrative Support Services.
Why is it a benefit to receive service from the ACFD versus our own fire department?
Increased depth of services; decreased costs to the economies of scales; access to specialty services that jurisdictions cannot maintain on their own (i.e., Type 1 heavy rescue, Type I hazardous materials team); benefits of a regional provider with an identity and involvement of your local fire department.
Why does the ACFD take those big fire trucks to medical calls?
The ACFD is an all risk response agency and needs to be able to respond from one type of emergency call to another in a seamless manner. Taking a fire truck or fire engine to an emergency enables ACFD firefighters the ability to clear a medical emergency and transition into responding to a structure fire in an uninterrupted and timely manner.
Why do ACFD firefighters shop at the grocery store? Are we paying for their food?
ACFD firefighters work 24 hours a day and are required to buy their own food so that they can prepare their meals for the entire shift at the fire station.
What services does the ACFD provide besides putting out fires?
- Hazardous Materials
- Urban Search & Rescue
- Water Rescue
- Disaster Preparedness
- Reserve Program
- Expanded Training Opportunities
- Safe Surrender Baby Program
- CPR Training
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training
- Fire Safety School Assemblies
- Fire Station Tours & Engine Visits
- Santa at the Fire House
- Fire Extinguisher Training
- Holiday Toy Drive
What are the ACFD’s plans for the future?
The ACFD’s plans for the future are to continue to partner with communities within Alameda County to assure the highest level of service in a seamless and efficient manner for all citizens in Alameda County.
How does the ACFD balance being a regional service provider and meet the individual and unique needs of each community?
The ACFD has specific personnel assigned to each jurisdiction to meet the needs of the each community while at the same time providing a regional response network that offers a clear depth of resources and synergy that each community can have on its own.
Why can’t you make my neighbor clean his property that is a fire hazard?
The ACFD works in collaboration with each of its jurisdictions to maintain appropriate fire clearance and fire measures for all of its communities. These fire hazardous abatement programs are conducted in accordance with state statute and locally adopted fire codes and ordinances which dictate the timing and authority that is available to the ACFD and local law enforcement.
What is the process for fire hazards and other community blight to be addressed by the ACFD?
A complaint is forwarded to the ACFD by a citizen or other city or county entity. The ACFD will investigate the complaint, prepare and communicate actions, monitor and assure compliance and forward to the appropriate law enforcement agency for further intervention as appropriate.
How does the ACFD Fire Prevention Bureau proactively work with the development community?
As part of the ACFD’s Strategic Plan, all aspects of Fire Prevention have been surveyed and monitored. The Fire Prevention staff is accessible as part of the county and city planning team to proactively work with the development community prior to project approvals in order to minimize unnecessary costs and reviews. The ACFD Fire Prevention staff is available to provide information and reference materials or consult with community members on an as-needed basis.
Why does the ACFD need to have a 5 minute response time to fire and medical emergencies?
The ACFD 5-minute response time is based on two aspects of emergency response:
- Emergency medical service calls are to provide life saving to assure adequate respiration and circulation are restored within a 5-6 minute window period to prevent long-term brain damage.
- For fires, a 5-minute response time allows a sizable firefighting force to converge on a structure or wildland fire, keeping it to its point of origin or 10 acres or less.
Why does the ACFD need 3 personnel on each apparatus?
Each person on the fire apparatus has a specific job:
- The Company Officer/Captain is responsible for supervising the Engineer and Firefighter(s) working on his/her command. He/She has the responsibility to assess emergency situations, request and organize adequate resources and mitigate the emergency in the shortest amount of time with the least impact to the community as possible.
- The Engineer maintains the apparatus in a state of readiness, cleanliness and function ability assuring that the equipment on the emergency scene has adequate supplies (i.e., water, air, lighting) available to emergency responders.
- The Firefighter is responsible to carry out the tactical functions needed to mitigate an emergency as directed by the Captain and supported by the Engineer (i.e., pulling fire hose, throwing the ladder, provide emergency medical services).
What is the fiscal and operational ability and sustainability of the ACFD?
The ACFD is seen as an industry leader in regional fire protection at the statewide level and beyond. The operational capabilities of the ACFD are expansive and provide a vast amount of resources and capabilities to address all types of emergencies. The strength and sustainability of the ACFD are based on its inherent collaborative approach to fire protection.
How can the community stay more informed and support and assist with the mission of the ACFD?
There are a variety of ways that you can stay connected to what is going on in the ACFD. Sign up to follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. In addition to receiving updates via social media, you may attend periodic ACFD town hall meetings, fire station open houses, and various other community outreach events that are listed on our Department Calendar. You are also welcome to visit your local fire station and meet the firefighters that serve your community. To find the station closest to you, please click here.
Can I volunteer for the ACFD?
There are many opportunities to volunteer for the ACFD by participating in the Reserve Program. To find out additional information regarding the Reserve Program, click here.