The Tulare County Fire Department celebrated its 15th anniversary on July 1, 2022. We have 26 stations throughout the county that are staffed with Tulare County employees and one community-staffed station in Kennedy Meadows. We have applied for the SAFER Grant, which will allow for an additional 12 full-time positions. This will enable us to provide the communities in Tulare County with the prompt and caring service they are accustomed to from our department.
We average 15,000 calls for service per year. As an agency, we respond to all calls within the county of Tulare. This means that we respond not only to fires, but also to medical aids, vehicle accidents, public assistance requests, and hazardous materials incidents. Our Emergency Dispatchers receive calls for several other local agencies and dispatch calls for those agencies in addition to the calls for our department. This year we were able to open the new co-located Tulare County Dispatch Center. The Tulare County Fire Department and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office are now under one roof. This will help communication to flow as seamlessly as possible during emergencies. The Tulare County Dispatch Center is now in the same building as the Emergency Operations Center, as well. This is a huge achievement for the County and will make it much easier to manage large-scale events.
The Fire Department trains employees to respond to Hazardous Materials, Swift Water, Low Angle Rope Rescue (LARRO), and Technical Rescues, in addition to the more “typical” calls that the firefighters see each day. In 2021, the department also received pet oxygen masks for each station so that we may care not only for the people within the county but the family pets, as well. Our department currently has 62 apparatus that it uses to respond to emergencies. We have seven water tenders, two trucks, two rescue units, 16 Type 6 Patrols, and 35 engines.
In addition to responding to the emergency needs of the citizens of Tulare County, our department also focuses on providing public education through a variety of events each year. These events include holding Youth Fire Camps to introduce children to the firefighting career through engaging learning opportunities. We attend school events and teach children what to do in emergencies at their own homes or schools. Our department personnel can be seen in almost every parade held within Tulare County. This makes the communities aware of our presence, and attendees look forward to seeing the lights and hearing the sirens in non-emergency situations. Kids and adults alike love to see the “big red engines” as they light up the parade routes!
Friends of Tulare County accepts donations on behalf of the Fire Department, via its website at: https://friendsoftularecounty.org/english/programs/tulare-county-fire-department/. The Tulare County Fire Department utilizes specialized tools for firefighting, personal protective equipment, and other items to support its mission. Your donation can assist the Fire Department in purchasing essential equipment, as well as providing funds to help with emergency services for both residents and firefighters during fire outbreaks and other disasters the Fire Department assists on, contributing to the safety and well-being of all county residents.
Featured below are fire fighters speaking with children at Rocky Hill Elementary and the Tulare County Dispatch Center Grand Opening at the Fire/Sheriff Department Headquarters on Akers ((l-r): Supervisor Shuklian, Sheriff Boudreaux, Shelby Skrinde (TCSO Dispatch Supervisor), Gloria Simoes (TCFD Dispatch Supervisor), Chief Norman, Board of Supervisors, Chairman Eddie Valero, Supervisor Townsend, CAO Jason Britt, and General Services Agency Director Brooke Sisk.
Rocky Hill Elementary Tulare County Dispatch Center Grand Opening