The Fire Suppression Division Engineer
The Engineers are the cornerstone of all fire suppression operations. They have the primary responsibility of driving the fire engines, with all the necessary equipment, to the scene of an emergency and operating the pump during a fire. During a structure fire, the Engineer is solely responsible for the pumping operation of his fire engine with the primary objective of getting water out of the hydrant, through his pump, through the hose, and to the nozzle as fast as possible. All Engineers with the Department are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and are usually the first to arrive on the scene.
To become an Engineer, you must be Fire Fighter II certified, either via an accredited fire academy or individual Fire Fighter II courses and hold a current Michigan EMT license at the Basic-EMT level (see below). It takes approximately 3-6 months to complete the necessary requirements for Fire Fighter II certification or graduate from a fire academy.
Engineer / Paramedic
The Engineer/Paramedic mission is 2-fold. The first is to provide Advanced Life Support emergency medical care where needed on all medical emergencies. The second is to lead the initial attack and to perform search and rescue during all structure fires. The Engineer/Paramedics are generally assigned to one of the rescue vehicles, but can also assume the responsibilities of an engineer on an engine if the need arises.
To become an Engineer/Paramedic, you must have completed the qualifications for Engineer (see above), and hold a current Michigan or National Paramedic license (see below).
Lieutenants' roles are primarily that of leadership. They are generally the officers in charge of the rescue vehicle and the rescue crew. During small to medium scale incidents they direct operations and are responsible for scene management. Lieutenants do take an active role in patient care and function as the team leader of the attack crew on the fire ground. Senior Lieutenants will assume the responsibilities of the Shift Captain during the Captain's absence. Most Lieutenants hold a Paramedic license and operate as the senior medical authority on all medical incidents.
To become a Lieutenant, you must have at least 5 years seniority in the Department, have been an Engineer for at least 5 years, be Fire Officer I certified and you must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 10-12 years to reach the rank of Lieutenant.
The Captains are the division leaders. They oversee the daily functions performed by the fire fighters and assume the roll of Battalion Chief in his absence. The Captains execute the orders of the Battalion Chief and assure Department and Division policy is strictly adhered to. Daily administrative tasks such as scheduling changes, daily roster preparation, duty assignment changes and vacation scheduling all fall under the responsibility of the duty Captain. The Captain also acts as the intermediary in the chain-of-command between line personnel and the Battalion Chief - shift issues and problems are generally solved by the Captain.
To become a Captain, you must have been a Lieutenant for at least 2 years, be Fire Officer II certified and must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 15-20 years to ascend to the rank of Captain.
The Battalion Chiefs are the division supervisors. They are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the fire suppression division. Their duties include administrative functions such as duty assignments and personnel scheduling, vacation and overtime processing, stock and inventory control, training coordination, and they act as the final authority on all division policies and procedures. At the scene of all structure fires and major emergencies, the Battalion Chief assumes the role of Incident Commander and the Director of Operations.
To become a Battalion Chief, you must have been a Captain for at least 2 years, be Fire Officer II certified and must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 18-23 years to ascend to the rank of Battalion Chief.
Emergency Medical Licensure Basic EMT
Basic EMT is an Emergency Medical licensure level. A person holding a Basic EMT license is trained and authorized to practice emergency medicine at the basic life support level under the direction and authority of the regional medical control physician. Basic EMT skills include CPR, basic cardiac and airway management, basic soft-tissue and musculo-skeletal stabilization and basic bleeding control.
To become a Basic EMT, you must attend an accredited Emergency Medical school, complete a minimum of 194 clinical hours and successfully pass a State or National exam. It takes approximately 3-6 months to become a licensed Basic EMT.
Paramedic is also an Emergency Medical licensure level. A person holding a Paramedic license is also trained and authorized to practice emergency medicine at the Advanced Life Support level under the direction and authority of the regional medical control physician. Paramedic skills include Advanced Cardiac Life Support, such as IV therapy, drug administration, defibrillation and cardioversion, advanced airway management including endotracheal intubation, advanced musculo-skeletal stabilization and advanced patient management.
To become a Paramedic, you must be a licensed Basic EMT, attend an accredited Emergency Medical school, complete a minimum of 550 clinical hours and successfully pass a State or National Exam. It takes approximately 8 -12 months to become a licensed Paramedic.
Fire Prevention Division Fire Inspector
The Fire Inspectors are responsible for all fire prevention and fire safety activities in Waterford and hold the rank of Lieutenant. They perform annual fire inspections and preincident surveys on all large commercial buildings and perform site-plan reviews on all new construction plans related to fire codes, fire safety, and fire prevention. They also conduct fire safety seminars throughout the Waterford school system to make young school children aware of the dangers of fire.
To become a Fire Inspector, you must have at least 5 years seniority in the Department, have been an Engineer for at least 5 years or be a Lieutenant, be Fire Officer I certified, attend the Michigan State Fire Inspector's Course and you must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 12-15 years to reach the rank of Fire Inspector.
The Fire Marshal is the head of the Fire Prevention Division and the Fire Investigation Unit. The duties of the Fire Marshal also include the organizing of fire inspections and the preincident planning of the sites in the Township that have hazardous materials. He is also responsible for the enforcement of local, state, and federal fire codes and oversees the site-plan review process for all new commercial construction within the Township.
To become Fire Marshal, you must have been a Fire Inspector for at least 2 years or be a Captain, be Fire Officer II certified, attend the Michigan State Fire Inspector's Course and must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 18-23 years to ascend to the rank of Fire Marshal.
Management Deputy Fire Chief
The Deputy Fire Chief assumes a management role sharing the responsibilities of the overall operation of the Department with the Fire Chief. The Deputy Chief is primarily responsible for the efficient and safe operation of both the Fire Prevention and the Fire Suppression Division and is the head of the EMS operations in the Township. He is also involved in budgetary issues and takes charge of manpower, vehicle and equipment procurement.
To become Deputy Fire Chief, you must have been a Captain or Fire Marshal, be at least Fire Officer III certified and must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 20-25 years to ascend to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief.
The Fire Chief is the final authority on all Fire Department issues. His primary responsibilities include the efficient management of the $6.5 million operating budget, the establishment of all Departmental policies and procedures, financial and fiscal resource analysis, public relations, and inter-departmental liaison with neighboring agencies. He is also responsible for ensuring that the Department is always in full compliance with local, state, and federal regulations regarding the occupational safety, and medical and legal obligations of those under his command.
To become Fire Chief, you must have been Deputy Fire Chief, a Battalion Chief or Fire Marshal, be at least Fire Officer III certified and must successfully pass a written and oral exam. It takes an average of 23-27 years to ascend to the rank of Fire Chief.