The operations division provides emergency response to fires of all types, rescues to include vehicle extrications, and emergency medical calls. Fire suppression activities also include investigating situations that are fire related such as automatic fire alarm activations, smoke or odor investigations, power line or transformer problems, and flammable fuel spills or leaks.
A typical response to structural related fire calls including activated fire alarms would include three engine companies, an ambulance, and in rural areas, a tanker. In addition, we would receive an additional automatic-aid engine company and in rural areas, an additional tanker under our automatic aid agreement(s). If the call originates in any of our schools or one of several targeted buildings, an additional engine company or truck company (aerial) also responds. This additional assistance is a valuable tool in controlling a fire early and to meet the resources needed on the scene. Should additional help be needed beyond this, the fire department is part of the MABAS mutual aid system – Division 104 Rock County
MUTUAL AID ASSISTANCE
Because appointments are not possible in emergency services, the Fire Department maintains mutual aid agreements with over 800 Fire Departments in Wisconsin , Illinois , and Missouri through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS). Rock County is known as MABAS Division 104 and includes all fire departments within Rock County . Realistically, we receive and provide mutual aid assistance with emergency services in Rock and Walworth Counties in Wisconsin and Winnabago and Boone Counties in Illinois on a regular basis.
There are two types of mutual aid assistance that we utilize, one is automatic mutual aid and the other utilizes the MABAS Box Alarm System. While they may sound familiar, they each have a benefit to enhance our services.
Automatic mutual aid response is a pre-arranged response agreement to provide or receive immediate response to predetermined type of incidents and locations from another department. This provides the affected department with additional resources to mitigate an incident, such as a working fire, in the early stages. By doing this, the damage is generally lower and the injuries to civilians and firefighters are reduced. Currently, our department has automatic response agreements with Turtle, Orfordville, Janesville and City of Beloit Fire Departments .
The other form of mutual aid assistance is the MABAS mutual aid system. This system consists of over 800 departments in Wisconsin , Illinois , and recently Missouri and provides assistance to each other in the event of an emergency that is beyond the normal capabilities of a community and its surrounding neighbors through a single contractual agreement. Pre-determined “Box Cards” outline what specific equipment is to respond to a specific type of incident. This brings endless resources and manpower to the stricken department in an orderly and structured fashion.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS)
When a medical emergency arises, members of the Fire Department are trained to provide care at the Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate Level. Part of the Beloit Memorial Hospital EMS System, thirty of our personnel are trained to provide emergency medical services. We have two fully - equipped ambulances and three fully-equipped engines to provide emergency medical care. We have the option to call Paramedic intercepts from either the City of Beloit or the City of Janesville for more critically ill or injured patients. We also utilize area Medical Helicopters to fly critically injured trauma patients to area trauma centers.
We are fortunate to have Trauma Designated Hospitals both in Rockford Illinois and Madison Wisconsin for critically injured patients or high-risk medical conditions within flight minutes of our jurisdiction.
Captain Emett Harold ([email protected]) serves as the Fire Department EMS Coordinator and can be reached at 608-364-2997 Extension 17
The training division coordinates all training, including engine company tactics and strategy, fire simulations, apparatus operations, EMT-B and EMT-I instruction and continuing education, hazardous materials response, auto extrication, rescue, confined space, wildland firefighting, and State or Federal mandated programs. The training and continuing education programs provided adhere to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Department of Public Health, and State standards. These are further supported by the department’s involvement in our MABAS Division’s training, Blackhawk Technical College Fjre/EMS Advisory Training Committee, and the Beloit Memorial Hospital EMS System.
All of the department firefighters are mandated to be certified to the Firefighter II level within two years of appointment, to include Hazardous Materials Operations and Terrorism Awareness. The Firefighter program is taught through Blackhawk Technical College with several department Instructors serving as lead instructors in the program. Both full-time and paid on call personnel train weekly in order to remain proficient in their individual skills.
Personnel trained as emergency medical technicians also are required to spend time annually in the hospital setting and surgical units to be evaluated by Physicians and the Project Medical Director on their skills.
The department has a Training Committee with a make up of both full-time and paid-on-call and is responsible for planning, coordinating, and conducting training for all personnel. The committee meets on a frequent basis to discuss up-coming training agendas and to discuss training needs of the department. The committee is also responsible for managing the annual paid-on-call recruitment hiring process. The committee conducts oral interviews, written entry exams, and practical testing. The finalist’s names are then submitted to the Chiefs for a final interview.
Assistant Chief Gene Wright ([email protected]) serves as the Training and Safety Officer and can be reached at 608-364-2997 Extension 12.
FIRE PREVENTION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION
Fire Prevention and Public Education Lieutenent Glen Hennig ([email protected]) and Norm Nitz ([email protected]) head the Fire Prevention Bureau. Routine fire prevention inspections and assignments are conducted by our full-time personnel at all businesses in the Town of Beloit and the Town of Rock . This includes pre-incident planning and identification of special hazards or conditions based on the particular business. The Town of Beloit has adopted NFPA 1 and Wisconsin Com 14 by Ordinance as the fire Codes. The department also by Ordinance adopted the KNOX Box system to provide a means for immediate access to area businesses 24 hours a day.
Annually, the department conducts approximately 500 fire inspections. The most common violations are:
•Electrical violations (open wires, open boxes, defective wiring)
•Misuse of extension cords
•Exit light violations
•Blocked or locked exits
•Improper exit hardware
•Safety can violations for flammable liquids.
You may contact Lieutenant Henning at 608-364-2997 Extension 14.
Public Education Programs are coordinated by Norm Nitz ([email protected]) and include a variety of topics that promote fire and life safety throughout the home and community. Personnel work with area schools to conduct classes both in the schools and in the Survive Alive House located behind Fire Station #1. The house, built by firefighters from a number of area departments, is similar to any home with the exception that theatrical smoke allows us to create conditions that children and adults, would be faced with in the event of a residential fire. There are also a wide variety of topics that range from fire safety education to fire station tours and visits to neighborhood block parties. You may contact Norm Nitz at 608-364-2997 Extension 13.