About the Baltimore City Fire Department
Led by Acting Fire Chief Jeffrey Segal, the Baltimore City Fire Department serves a geographic area of 81 square miles and a population of more than 640,000 residents. The department has over 1800 members who are divided into two management branches – Emergency Operations and Planning and Administration. The department responds to more than 235,000 emergency 911 calls per year.
Acting Assistant Chief of Operations Mark Wagner oversees the work of 4 Shift Commanders and the EMS Deputy Chief. Operations personnel work out of 38 neighborhood fire stations. These stations house more than 100 firefighting, emergency medical and special operations companies. Fire suppression companies are divided into six battalions, each led by a Battalion Chief. These companies include 31 engine companies, 17 truck companies, 4 squad companies, 1 rescue company, 2 AirFLEX units (air, floodlight and hi-expansion foam), 1 class A fire boat, 1 fire rescue boat, 1 mobile command unit, 1 shift safety officer and various special operations vehicles including hazardous materials and special rescue operations. Emergency Medical Service units are divided into 4 districts, each led by an EMS District Officer. These units include 36 advanced life support medic units; 24 full time, 3 peak time and 9 critical alert, and 1 peak time medic assist car.
Acting Assistant Chief of Administration Paul W. Moore, III oversees the Fire Academy, Fire Communications Bureau, Fire Prevention Bureau, Fire Logistics and also directs the Department’s Special Operations units. All divisions are currently undergoing very important initiatives to support the City. The Fire Academy has broken ground on a new burn building, which will support enhanced training for new and incumbent firefighters to help keep them safe. The Fire Communications Bureau continues to work on implementation of upgrades to the Computer Aided Dispatch program which will allow the Department to more effectively dispatch and manage resources. The Fire Prevention Bureau continues to support all City agencies and stakeholders in life safety and public fire education. The Bureau also plays an integral role in all City development projects, including the upcoming Redline transportation project. Fire Logistics is responsible for the procurement and distribution of all fire department apparatus, equipment, and supplies. It also manages the maintenance of the fire department fleet as well as the construction and maintenance of all facilities.
Chief of Staff Steve Nutting supervises the Fire Chief’s staff and manages headquarters functions including finance, human resources, legal counsel, safety, and public information. These functions assist the Fire Chief in managing the internal and inter-agency business operations of the department.
Prior to 1858 Baltimore’s fire department was an all-volunteer organization. In December of 1859 the City Council officially created the city’s first paid, professional fire department made up of one Truck and Four Engine Companies. Eventually, the Baltimore City Fire Department replaced the all-volunteer force completely. In June of 1927 five ambulances were placed in service and thus began the EMS Division.
By 1938 the Fire Incendiary Bureau is created which eventually became the Fire Investigation Bureau headed by the Fire Marshal. In 2008, all the supply, maintenance and procurement functions of the department were consolidated into one Logistics Division, adding the final piece to what is today Baltimore City Fire Department.