The Operations Section provides a multi-dimensional approach in managing the wide array of emergencies that a citizen, or our county as a whole, may face through three specialized divisions—the Fire Rescue Division, Fire Rescue Communications, and the Marine Rescue Division.
Operations, Fire Rescue
The Fire Rescue Division handles all calls for emergency medical services and events involving fire suppression activities; all of these calls together constitute the bulk of the emergency responses. Additional emergencies may include specialized rescues (confined space, trench, high-angle), motor vehicle accidents, extrications, hazardous materials incidents, and disaster scenarios. When not on emergency responses, personnel assigned to this division conduct a multitude of “preparation” activities, including equipment testing, station details, annual hydrant inspections, commercial pre-fire planning, and many hours of training. With response areas separated into nine geographical districts, personnel are divided between three 24 hour shifts.
Fire Rescue Communications provides for the immediate and appropriate response of fire rescue units for all citizens and visitors of St. Johns County, including the City of St Augustine Beach, the Town of Hastings, and the City of St. Augustine (EMS and automatic aid responses). Communications is staffed with certified Emergency Medical Dispatch personnel who work twelve hour rotating shifts. Additionally, most of the Communications Specialists are registered members of the Incident Dispatch Team (IDT) and are trained to be deployed to disasters on a state or national level. Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) is used to keep track of and maintain information for each call and all of the emergency units responding.
Operations, Marine Rescue
The Marine Rescue Division is a specialized group within Operations that manages water related rescue events and seasonal lifeguard training/staffing throughout St. Johns County. With 42 miles of Atlantic coastline, the Intercoastal Waterway, and the St. Johns River to consider, the Marine Rescue and Fire Rescue divisions work together in a unified approach to handling these complex emergencies. Additionally, this division holds an annual Junior Lifeguard Summer Program and is responsible for many CPR courses taught by personnel certified as American Heart Association Instructors.