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40 West Cleveland Avenue
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Operations Division

Operations Division – 2012 Activity Summary

About the Operations Division

The Operations Division has primary responsibility for emergency response and preparedness within the City of Porterville. Staffing two fire stations, the division responds to a wide variety of emergencies including, fires, rescues, emergency medical incidents and hazardous conditions.  

The Operations Division is comprised of 32 full-time and 30 Reserve Firefighters organized into three shifts, A, B, and C. Each ten person shift includes 1 Captain, 1 Lieutenant, 3 Engineers and 5 Firefighters. Reserve Firefighters provide additional staffing for emergency response and contribute several hours each month toward completion of department activities.

The Division includes a Training Captain responsible for management of the department’s annual training programs and coordination of emergency management response and preparedness activities with City staff. Daily supervision and leadership of the division is provided by the Battalion Chief of Operations.

2012 Emergency Response

The Operations Division responded to 4429 Emergency Incidents in 2012, including:

  • 3196 Emergency Medical Incidents
  • 239   Fires
  • 114  Hazardous Conditions
  • 8  Explosions

2012 Response Performance

Fire Department Response Standards specify the minimum criteria needed to effectively and efficiently deliver fire suppression and emergency medical services.

The Porterville Fire Department response time standard for the First Arriving Engine to a fire suppression incident is five (5) minutes and thirty (30) seconds; 90 % of the time.

  • In 2009 the department met the response standard to fires 62% of the time.
  • In 2010 the department met the response standard to fires 71% of the time.
  • In 2011 the department met the response standard to fires 81% of the time.
  • In 2012 the department met the response standard to fires 81% of the time.

The Porterville Fire Department response time standard for arrival of an emergency medical unit with two Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) is five (5) minutes; 90% of the time.

  • In 2009 the department met the response standard for EMS 75% of the time.
  • In 2010 the department met the response standard for EMS 75% of the time.
  • In 2011 the department met the response standard for EMS 81% of the time.
  • In 2012 the department met the response standard for EMS 80% of the time.

Additional information regarding response performance can be found in the departments 2012 Annual Report.

Fire Prevention

The Operations Division conducted 352 Fire and Life Safety inspections in 2012, identifying and correcting hundreds of code deficiencies.

Reserve Firefighter Program

During 2012, Reserve Firefighters responded to many fires and participated in numerous Public Education Events. The Reserve Firefighter's contributed more than 1,374 hours toward emergency activities and Fire Department programs.

Apparatus & Equipment

The Operations Division maintains a fleet of 16 vehicles that are outfitted with a broad array of tools and equipment. Preventive maintenance is critical to ensure all vehicles and equipment are ready to perform at a moments notice. During 2012, the Division accomplished 4,629 hours of fleet and equipment preventive maintenance. 


The Operations Division maintains two Fire Stations, the Fire Prevention Building, and the department's Regional Training Center. During 2012, the Division performed 5,047 hours of facility maintenance.


During 2012, Fire Department personnel participated in 627 drills and classes, including basic firefighter skills, emergency medical technician, hazardous materials response, technical rescue, and disaster management.

The Department’s regional training facility hosted 19 courses, providing more than 800 hours of instruction to 491 students from throughout the region and state.  These courses ranged from State Fire Training courses, a National Fire Academy course, Public Works courses, and Police Officer SWAT.

The Fire Department’s training division is also responsible for the City of Porterville’s National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance program.  During 2012 the department was awarded state Homeland Security grant funding to purchase CPR mannequins and automatic external defibrillators to place in city facilities.


Public Education

The Public Education Officer functions in the Fire Prevention Division and is overseen by the Fire Marshal. Personnel are primarily responsible for fire prevention education and outreach services in the City of Porterville. Some of these services are:

Preschool Fire Safety Education

Emphasis is placed on specific fire safety knowledge and actions. This program teaches fire safety awareness and skills to children aged 3-5 years in the local pre-schools.

Elementary School Fire Safety Education

Fire Safety at this level is based on the E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drills in the Home) programs. Behaviors include, but are not limited to:  Stop, Drop, and Roll, playing with matches, crawl low under smoke, calling 911, kitchen fire safety and testing and maintaining smoke alarms.

Fire Station Tours

We open our doors to interested groups and schools that want to view our fire stations. An age appropriate fire safety message is included in all fire station tours. Every visitor leaves with a better understanding of fire safety and fire department operations.

Fire Extinguisher Training

Having a fire extinguisher on the wall of your office is a good thing, but do you know how to use it? Is it the right type? Do you know what it's there for? The Public Education staff of the Porterville Fire Department will help provide the answers to these and other important questions about fire extinguishers. Our Fire Extinguisher Training Program is a digital, interactive, hands-on program that's fun, exciting and informative. This hands-on class is also offered to local businesses. Different types of fire are discussed, as well as how to choose the correct fire extinguisher. Using the P.A.S.S. technique (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep), participants are instructed on proper and safe use of extinguishers. Our realistic, self-generating digital flames respond directly to the trainee’s actions. The self contained system can be safely operated where live fire training is not possible.


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