A look inside the Minot Fire Department

One of our goals at the Minot Fire Department is to continue to educate the citizens of Minot on our mission and to take advantage of more community outreach opportunities. We are excited for our partnership with The Minot Daily News that includes a new weekly version of incident reporting as well as a monthly column.

I am frequently asked if my office is located on 31st Avenue Southwest. There is much confusion when I tell residents that the fire station on 31st Avenue Southwest is home to the Minot Rural Fire Department, which is a completely separate organization from the City of Minot Fire Department. Over the years, the community has grown south beyond the rural fire station’s location, which is why the station is within city limits. The two departments have both auto and mutual aid agreements, but are standalone entities with different primary jurisdictions.

The City of Minot Fire Department includes 68 full-time personnel and one part-time fire marshal. There are four administrative staff positions, including the fire chief, assistant chief, training officer, and an administrative assistant. Our Prevention Bureau consists of a fire marshal and two fire inspectors. The department also has a full-time fleet mechanic responsible for maintenance of all the department vehicles and equipment. The Fire Control Division is broken down into three battalions with 20 personnel per shift. Each shift has one battalion chief, four captains, and 15 firefighters. The three battalions are on a rotation, working an average of 56 hours per week to protect the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Minot Fire Department operates out of four fire stations strategically located throughout the City. Each station covers a designated response area depending on the type of call and the number of resources needed to mitigate the situation. We are responsible for responding to emergency calls of any nature. All of our personnel are trained not just in fighting fires, but to the level of emergency medical technician (EMT) as well as hazardous materials response, aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF), and technical rescue.

Our department covers more than the City of Minot for hazardous materials and technical rescue; we are the primary responder for the northwest region of the state. Technical rescue is comprised of the following disciplines: Structural collapse, confined space, trench rescue, high and low angle rescue, auto extraction, swift water, ice rescue, and dive rescue. Our department maintains certification in ARFF and provides protection to the Minot International Airport. We also support the Minot Police Department SWAT team, providing EMTs as a tactical emergency medical support team and we are part of the Northwest Regional Bomb Squad.

The mission of the Minot Fire Department is “trained, maintained and ready.” To maintain proficiency within the different disciplines, the members of our Fire Control Division collectively complete an average of 25,000 hours of training every year. The greatest dangers to your firefighters are the high-risk/low-frequency events (train derailments, hazardous materials spills, trench collapse etc.) where we have the least amount of experience in. This is when we rely on our training, which is imperative for the successful outcomes.

Again, we appreciate the opportunity to share information about our department with readers of The Minot Daily News. Next month we will focus on our Fire Prevention Division, and its role in keeping the citizens of Minot safe.