The Fire Department strives to protect and preserve life and property through fire suppression and prevention, education, and emergency medical services. The City's three fire stations are strategically located to provide the shortest possible response time to all areas of the City.
The department responds to thousands of incidents involving fire alarms, emergency medical and public assistance.
Fire personnel is also responsible for maintenance and repair of fire stations, fire trucks and vehicles, and fire apparatus.
Annually, the department inspects the City's target hazards including schools, gas stations, nursing homes and hospitals. The City's 1,400+ fire hydrants are inspected for leakage and general operating condition. Hydrants are also flow-tested and pumped on a cyclical basis.
The Royal Oak Fire Department has been actively involved with CPR education for the community for a number of years. The Department is pleased to offer a variety of classes for its citizens of all ages: is a course designed for high school students. This class is actually taught in the school setting. All enrollees receive a Heartsaver card upon the successful completion of the class.
CPR classes are offered once a month for groups of ten or more.For more information call 248-246-3817. Individuals interested in CPR instruction may also call Sergeant Allen for enrollment in the next available class. Instructors who are certified by the American Heart Association, and are members of the Royal Oak Fire Department teach all of the classes. Our Firefighters/Instructors are anxious to meet you and partner with you as you become a trained and confident citizen of our community, prepared to face a medical emergency so... call today for enrollment in the next available class.
Fire Chiefs of Royal Oak
|William Sullivan||1908 - 4/3/1912|
|William J. Folland||4/3/1912 - 2/10/1913|
|J. Frank Codling||2/10/1913 - 6/1/1924|
|Martin Bishop||6/1/1924 - 11/1/1928|
|Charles Henning||11/1/1928 - 6/13/1954|
|Clyde Wray||6/13/1954 - winter 1958|
|Wilfred Speas||8/13/1959 - 10/3 t/1972|
|Clayton Nicholes||11/3/1972 - 3/1/1976|
|Ronald Nancarrow||3/1/1976 - 5/31/1983|
|William Crouch||6/1/1983 - 5/31/1996|
|Donald Stanford||5/31/1996 - 11/12/1999|
|Richard Strehlke||1/26/2000 - 11/01/2005|
|Wil White||11/14/2005 - 6/4/2010|
|Patrick Mulligan||10/13/2010 - 6/24/2011|
|Chuck Thomas||Current Chief|
Last Updated on 7/25/2011
The Royal Oak Fire Department has been providing Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services since 1995. Before this date we provided Basic Life Support. Our Firefighters are cross-trained as Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. We respond to approximately 3,800 medical alarms each year. Our average response time anywhere in the city is four minutes. Our Paramedics have specialized training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatrics Advanced Life Support and Prehospital Trauma Life Support. Our Staff offers American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training to our city staff and citizens.
Each one of our three Fire Stations responds to medical emergencies with a minimum of one Advanced Life support ambulance and one engine staffed with Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. This response allows us to meet the needs of our patients no matter how critical the emergency is. Our firefighters have extrication tools and training that allows us remove victims from entrapment in vehicular and commercial accidents.
On November 1st, 2000, The Royal Oak Fire Department hosted a Disaster Drill with Dondero High School and Wm. Beaumont Hospital. Ten Fire Departments and one Ambulance Company responded to our simulated call for disaster assistance. We triaged and transported ninety patients and simulated sixty more to other area hospitals. In today’s troubled times we must be prepared to mitigate any disaster whether natural or man made.
The City of Royal Oak Fire Department in partnership with Meijer is offering the File of Life folders to place on your refrigerator in case of a medical emergency where the resident is unable to communicate with emergency personnel. The folders are free to residents of Royal Oak.
The File of Life folder has a magnet with a pouch that will hold important medical information such as medical history, current medications and insurance information that can assist Fire, EMS or Police personnel who respond to the address of a medical emergency where the caller is unable to communicate with first responders.
Having the File of Life available to paramedics and first responders will save time and assist the emergency personnel with patient care. The File of Life folders can be picked up at Royal Oak Fire Station # 1 at 215 E. 6th Street.
City of Royal Oak
Juvenile Fire-setter Program
The Royal Oak Fire Department offers free counseling to Royal Oak families with a juvenile fire-setter. A juvenile fire-setter could be any child or teenager who has been involved playing with matches or lighters, starting a fire, or has an interest in fire. We also offer a program presented by the University of Michigan Burn Center called "Straight Talk". If you are concerned call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (248) 246-3810.
In Home Fire Inspections
The Fire Prevention Bureau offers in home fire safety inspections. We will instruct the homeowner on proper placement of smoke detectors, the importance of a fire escape plan, and point out unsafe conditions in the house. Contact the Royal Oak Fire Prevention Bureau at (248) 246-3810 for an appointment.
Fire Extinguisher Training
The Fire Prevention Bureau will provide hands on training of proper use of fire extinguishers to small groups (10-15 individuals) and to businesses and their employees. Call (248) 246-3810 for more information.
Fire Safety Literature
The Fire Department provides handouts for fire safety to Royal Oak citizens and their children. Information on smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, exit drills from the home, coloring books, fire helmets, and fire safety stickers for the kids. Please stop by Station # 1 (Sixth and Troy) for information.
Fire Safety Education
The Fire prevention Bureau offers talks to individuals and groups (PTA, Neighborhood Associations, Schools, and Businesses) on fire safety in the home or workplace. We cover importance and placement of Smoke Detectors, Escape plans from your home or business if a fire should occur, what to do if you should have a Cooking Fire, and how to keep your home or business Fire Safe. Need Information? Call (248) 246-3810.
The department sponsors ongoing Fire Safety Education Presentations. If someone would like to schedule a presentation for their business or organization, call the Fire Marshall or Fire Inspector at: 246-3810.
Fire Safety Tips - What every household should know.
Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors / Alarms
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide DETECTORS can alert you to danger in your home in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. To wake up and survive a nighttime fire, you must have working detectors!
You should install detectors in the following areas:
Placement of detectors is very important. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and use these guidelines to help you.
Test detectors once a month, following the manufacturer's directions, and replace batteries once a year, or whenever a detector "chirps" or "beeps" to signal low battery power. A good time to replace your smoke detector batteries is when you reset your clocks for daylight savings time. Never "borrow" a detector's battery for another use - a disabled detector can't save your life.
Make sure children know what an alarm is. Children must know:
Show your child how important these dangers are by testing your alarms every month.
Plan a Fire Drill and Escape Routes
Prepare for a fire emergency by sitting down with your family and agreeing on an escape plan. A well prepared escape plan helps to avoid panic and may save your lives.
Practice makes Perfect
Practice your fire drill and escape routes
Practice the "Stop, Drop & Roll" Method
If your clothes catch on fire, don't run. Instead, stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over with your hands covering your face.
Post Emergency Numbers Near Telephones. Dial "911".
Be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out and place the call to fire authorities from a safe location outside the home.
Cool a Burn.
If someone gets burned, immediately run cool water over the burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Never put butter or grease on a burn. If the burned skin blisters or is charred, seek medical assistance immediately.
Storage of Combustibles.
Fire Station #1: (On the Corner of Sixth Street and Troy Street)
215 E Sixth Street (See a map)
Royal Oak MI 48067
Fire Station #2: (On the NE corner of Woodward Ave and Thirteen Mile Rd)
31000 Woodward (See a map)
Royal Oak MI 48073
Fire Station #3: (On Rochester Rd, South of Thirteen Mile)
3128 Rochester Rd (See a map)
Royal Oak MI 48073
Ph. (248) 246-3830
Services provided by your Fire department by calling: 911
Services provided by your Fire Department by calling: 248-246-3800
The first Royal Oak fire department was organized in William Sullivan's home in 1908. Sullivan was elected fire chief; Harry Anderson, Secretary; and William J. Folland president. Other members included Robert McClure, Ralph Bourgeois, William A. Wheeler, Mark and Lee Halsey, Roy Gass, Freeman Robbins, Edward Roy and Edward W. Joyce. With Arthur L. Lawson ringing the St. Mary church bell whenever a fire broke out, this organization safeguarded the village until the Royal Oak Volunteer Fire Department was organized.
In 1912, the village experienced a disastrous fire which threatened to destroy the business district south of Third Street. Everything was burned from Mrs. Lochbihler's to Codling's. It was a bitter cold night and a strong wind prevailed. Sparks were carried so far that other parts of the village were threatened. The Masonic Temple caught fire in several places. Help was summoned from Detroit but before it arrived the fire was under control through the valiant efforts of the volunteer group. As a result of the fire, merchants got together and formalized the Volunteer Department on February 13, 1913. Membership increased to include Roy Wing, James Allen, William West, Carlos Marshall, Delbert Geyer, Homer Ebling, George J. Scott, Julius Robar, J. Frank Codling, and Harry A. Brace. William Folland was appointed Chief on April 3, 1912. The early meetings were held in the old town hall on the northwest comer of Main and Fourth Streets. Upon the sale of this building, member's homes were used for a time. Peter Sorenson had a blacksmith shop, on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main, it housed the firefighting equipment consisting of one 20 gallon chemical truck-man drawn. The fire chief, William J. Folland, was also police chief, superintendent of water, and street commissioner, all for the salary of $50.00 per month.
Later a ladder truck was purchased. By 1915 the group had grown discontented with the quarters and on October 12, 1915 voted unanimously to give the council a mandate in which to furnish suitable accommodations. If the council did not comply, the group would disband. At the invitation of Mr. Frank J. Hoffman, president, and councilman, a meeting with the volunteers at the blacksmith shop was scheduled. The story of the meeting as told by William J. Folland, "We were ready for them. I removed all of the tables from the club room and tossed all of the horse hoof cuttings that I could find in the fire. Meanwhile the other boys borrowed a half dozen nail kegs. We volunteers were very polite. We all perched on the ladder truck, while the committee got the preferred nail keg seats". He continued, "I'll give president Hoffman credit. He stayed through the meeting, seated calmly on the nail kegs. We boys could hardly stand the stench, but each stuck it out like we were used to it. The result of the meeting was an agreement to build a new fire hall." He further related how the hall, located on the east side of Main Street, north of Sixth, was built, furnished and used. "Two months later, Fire Hall #1, at a cost of $1,700.00, was completed. I have often been asked how it was put up at that price. The volunteers did a lot of the work. I took my street gang off the streets several half days and put the boys on the building. The council paid for the building, but we furnished it with our own funds. We had lots of money those days". "Those whose homes we saved usually presented us with some cash, and the council was fairly liberal in its contributions. Our treasury was further augmented by the fines of the members. It cost twenty five cents to miss a meeting. Fines for not addressing the chair ranged from ten cents to one dollar. During heated discussions the treasury might be increased by $10.00. The furnishings were high class. The table behind which the president presided in recent years is now used by the City Commission."
Many of the wives in the old days, then young brides, recalled hubby's excuse when he wanted an evening out. "I've got practice with the volunteers." Mother Folland knew the right answer when one of the wives called up, "I think he's down at the fire hall". "That excuse covered up a lot of evenings out when the boys never showed up at the hall." Chief Folland chuckled when some time ago he recalled the good old days of the volunteers.
Sometime later the village council purchased an old Jeffrey truck with a fifly-foot extension ladder and an Acme truck with a twenty-four foot ladder.
In 1922 a new Gamewell fire alarm and police signal system was installed in the fire hall. Eleven street alarm boxes were installed, which caused the number of the box to be printed on ticker tape at the fire hall. The boxes were also equipped with police signal lights, and when officers at headquarters wished to get in touch with a patrolman, the lights on his beat would be turned on. A fire siren would blow the number of the box from which an alarm had been turned in. Boxes were installed in the three public schools and two local banks as master alarm boxes. An emergency wire was also connected with the Detroit and Ferndale Police departments. Prior to this time the first alarm was sounded by the bell on the old St. Mary's Church on the corner of Fifth and Main. The first horse to appear after the alarm was hitched to the ladder truck and the firemen left their active employment to man the truck as it rushed down Main Street. The owner of the horse received $2.00.
The Village of Royal Oak became a city in 1921. In 1922 the city decided to replace the Volunteer Fire Department with a paid department. Members of the Volunteer Department voted to share their station and equipment with the paid department. Equipment included an early Ehrens Fox pumper, firehose and ladders.
Late in 1922, an order was placed for a 1923 American LaFrance pumper. It was a Model #75 rated at 750 gpm. The six-cylinder truck had right hand drive, chain power transfer, mechanical brakes and an exhaust whistle. This was the ModeI-T era. Construction of the Ford plant in Highland Park meant many jobs for Royal Oak residents and made it possible for Royal Oak to grow as a city.
A few "paid" men were hired, among them George Cook, Frank Winter, Ora Rutledge, Fred Gerds and Dave Gearhardt. In 1924, the decision was made to have a paid, trained man run the Fire Depadment. Martin Bishop, retired battalion chief from Detroit was hired. He served from June 1924 until November 1928.
After many meetings of the City Council, City Manager and Mayor, it was decided to build a new fire station. The Northwood Development Company, partially owned by H.Llyod Clawson, agreed to furnish a site and to provide the services of their architects to design the station. Northwood Fire Station was located on Webster, near Crooks Road, and cost $65,000.00. It opened in 1928, for many years being by far, the best city owned building. Lieutenant George Cook was put in charge and Lieutenant Frank Winter his second in command. The 1923 LaFrance was sent to Northwood, as well as a new 1928 Dodge truck, which the City bought as a booster truck. Five firemen were assigned to each unit. The Gamewell system and telephone were connected and some old furniture was brought in from City Hall. The station was put into service. A fire district was worked out, Northwood answering alarms west of Rochester Road, from Catalpa to Fourteen Mile Road, and all alarms north of Catalpa to the city line, and all alarms west of Woodward from Webster to Fourteen Mile.
There were few telephones in the city and residents were told to call the Police Department to report fires. The police would then contact the Fire Department. A tapper was installed in the Police Station and a telephone was connected to the Fire Station. The police would tap four times which rang a bell in the Fire Station. Then the firemen would pick up the telephone and get the location of the fire.
Phil Mains and Jack Hoekstra were hired. The next event was to build an addition on the back of Fire Station #1. It was to be a kitchen and eating room. It was built by Phil Mains, a carpenter, and other paid firemen.
For many years after the establishment of a regular department, there was still a Volunteer Fire Department, although, except in times of extreme emergency, it was mainly a social group.
In November, 1928, Charles Henning, a former volunteer, a U.S. Navy man having served on a battleship in World War I was hired as Chief. He served as head of the department until June 1954. Also in 1928, three new fire trucks were purchased, a Seagraves pumper, a Seagraves service truck and a Dodge booster. The pumper was a 1000gpm centrifugal pumper. The service truck contained all kinds of equipment, and many wood truss-type ladders, the longest being 55 feet. The Dodge booster truck carded 175 gallons of water, a 300 gpm centrifugal pump, a booster line in a basket, a few soda acid extinguishers, and some tools.
The Depression years did not spare the city of Royal Oak. Taxes could not be collected, all departments had to cut budgets, equipment began to fail regularly, retiring police and firemen were not replaced.
The outbreak of World War II found the Royal Oak Fire Department ill prepared. The trucks were getting very old. The Seagraves and Dodges built in 1928 were thirteen years old, the 1923 LaFrance #75, even older, and its radiator leaked badly. A pail of water was kept next to the front of the truck. When an alarm would come, the driver would have to fill the radiator before leaving the station. The Bendix assembly on the starter would sometimes lock up. When it did, one of the guys would jump on the crank to break it loose. Driving the old LaFrance was considered the worst job in the fire department during World War II. One new truck had been ordered, a Ford - it was never delivered. Ford production had been entirely diverted to war production.
All the trucks were in pretty sad condition by 1941. There would be no new trucks until 1947. Many good men were lost to other jobs due to very Iow wages. Starting salary during this era was $2,200.00. One of the many constraints of the day was the rationing of gasoline. Firefighters received "A-cards". This entitled them to two gallons of gas per week. A requisition for more gas could be approved if it was essential to the war effort, but Chief Henning would not requisition more and it was "make-do" with what they had.
After the end of the war a great many new homes were built. This brought the city more tax money to work with. The city found that $100,000.00 had been saved during the war years, so a new city hall was built. Two new fire trucks were ordered from American LaFrance and were to be 500 gpm pumpers. One was to replace the old LaFrance #75 at Station #2 and one was to replace the 1928 Dodge at Station #1. These trucks were finally delivered in 1947.
In December 1953, Station #1 finally moved from the cramped quarters at the northwest corner of Main and Sixth to a large new headquarters at Sixth and Troy Streets. A new station was designed to be built at Rochester and Lawrence, just south of Thirteen Mile Road. The new station was completed in 1954. Stanley Schumaker and Philip Mains were promoted to Lieutenants and took command of new Fire Station #3. A four-wheel drive, 750 gpm pumper was purchased and sent to Station #3. The new station was assigned a fire district covering the area bounded by Gardenia, Campbell, Main and Fourteen Mile Road. Four men were assigned to each unit.
The city was growing fast. There were fewer grass fires and more house and car fires. Station #2 had to send a truck to all house fires in the north area. It was about this time that the city bought a 75 foot Peter Pirsch aerial ladder truck. This truck was sent to Station #1. The old Seagrave service truck was sold to the owner of the Oak Drive-in Theatre. For several years it was an attraction for young movie goers.
A new hospital was badly needed in the city. A fifty acre farm at Thirteen Mile Road and Woodward was offered at a very reasonable price for the purpose of constructing what has become William Beaumont Hospital. A fire station was needed nearer the hospital. The City owned land on the northeast corner of Thirteen Mile and Woodward. By the end of 1954, the City had constructed Fire Station #4.
Clyde Wray served as Chief from June 1954 until the winter of 1958 when he was forced to take a leave of absence because of illness. Wilfred Speas was named acting Chief at this time and, in August 1959, was named Fire Chief. He served until October 1972, when he retired.
Late one night in the summer of 1967, an urgent call for assistance came from the Detroit Fire Department. They had more than 100 fires going with no equipment or manpower to respond to at least 30 of them. Chief Speas summoned City Manager Ed Shafter, who in turn convened a special meeting of the City Commission. By 2:00 am the following morning a plan of assistance was worked out. A truck was dispatched to the Detroit Fire School grounds on Lonyo. A retired Detroit Lieutenant was stationed on the roof of the school. He would scan the horizon and direct a truck from the school to any fire that appeared to be spreading.
In November 1972, Assistant Chief Clayton Nicholes was promoted to Chief, retiring in March 1976. He was followed by Ronald Nancarrow who served as Chief until May 1983. It was during the Nancarrow years that the Department first began responding to medical runs with trained Emergency Medical Technicians.
Chief William Crouch served from June 1963, until his retirement in May 1996. While he was Chief, the Department instituted an Advanced Life Support, Paramedic program and began transporting patients in city owned ambulances in April 1995. In addition to the three ambulances, Chief Crouch oversaw the purchase of three Sutphen Engines and a 75 foot Sutphen ladder. A successful door-to-door firefighter millage campaign enabled the purchase. It was during this same time that the Department hired its first female firefighters.
Chief Donald Stanford was appointed Chief in June 1996, and served until October 1999, when he retired. During his time, the Department acquired a new Pierce Saber engine, a fourth Ford/McCoy Miller ambulance and talks began about replacing the aging Fire Station #3. Upon his retirement, Assistant Chief Richard Strehlke was named acting Chief, then appointed Chief in January, 2000.
Royal Oak Michigan - The Early Years
Royal Oak Twigs and Acorns
Michael Pennanen, Firefighter May 2002
The Royal Oak Fire Department Honor Guard was formed in the wake of the tragic losses of September 11, 2001. This elite team proudly represents the department, IAFF Local 431, and the City of Royal Oak throughout the local area. The Honor Guard has served as representatives at the annual Blue Mass honoring Fire and Police at the Church of Shrine of the Little Flower, lead parades on Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and even a funeral to honor a fallen brother firefighter.
On September 30, 2003, the Royal Oak community suffered the tragic loss of its Fire Marshal Larry Zimmerman. The Honor Guard stood as constant guards at his casket at the funeral home as a final salute. On October 4, 2003, members of the Honor Guard carried Fire Marshal Zimmerman from St. Mary church and placed him atop a fire engine caisson and lead the slow procession down Main Street to his final resting place. The flag, adorning his casket, was sharply folded, and presented to his wife, Cathy.
The Honor Guard also conducts an annual tribute to the victims of September 11th on that date at fire station #1.
This organization is comprised of an all volunteer squad representing firefighters, as well as the department's officer corps. Training is conducted monthly, and has been conducted alongside fire departments from several local cities, the Royal Oak Police Department, as well as our own bagpiper, Firefighter Brian Gothard. To request the presence of this elite unit, please call Firefighter Jeff Strock through the Royal Oak Fire Department main telephone number (248)246-3800.
Last Updated on 3/19/04
The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection - a badge of honor. Its story is hundreds of years old. When a courageous band of crusaders, known as the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for possession of the Holy Land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple, but horrible device of war; it wrought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters of the Cross. The Saracens' weapon was Fire.
As the Crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, glass bombs containing naphtha attacked them. When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracens hurled a flaming tree into their midst. Hundreds of Knights were burned alive. Others risked their lives to save their brothers in arms from dying painful deaths. Thus, these men became the first fire fighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow Crusaders who awarded each hero with a badge of honor a cross similar to the one Firefighters wear today.
Since the Knights of St. John lived for nearly four centuries on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the Cross-became known as the Maltese Cross.
The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter that wears this cross is willing to lay down his life, just as the Crusader sacrificed their lives for their fellow men so many years ago.
The Maltese Cross is a Firefighter's Badge of Courage, a ladder-rung away from death.
Last Updated on 8/6/2009
The mission of the Royal Oak Fire Department is to protect the lives and property within the City of Royal Oak by reducing the effects of fire, medical emergencies, hazardous materials incidents, technical rescue emergencies, and disasters. Our department will provide a proactive highly trained professional emergency service for the city to conduct Fire Prevention, Fire Inspection, Fire Investigation, Fire Suppression, Advanced Emergency Medical Treatment and Transport, Mitigation of Hazardous Materials Accidents, Technical Rescue Response, Public CPR and Fire Safety Education.
Our mission will include,
Fire Department News Releases, Updates and Reports
May 22, 2013: Update for week ending May 18, 2013
May 17, 2013: Update for week ending May 11, 2013
May 10, 2013: Update for week ending May 4, 2013
May 3, 2013: Update for week ending April 27, 2013
April 25, 2013: Update for week ending April 20, 2013
April 16, 2013: Update for week ending April 13, 2013
April 10, 2013: Update for week ending April 6, 2013
March 23, 2013: Update for week ending March 23, 2013
March 14, 2013: Update for week ending March 14, 2013
March 7, 2013: Update for week ending March 2, 2013
February 27, 2013: Update for week ending February 23, 2013
January 16, 2013: Update for week ending January 12, 2013
January 9, 2013: Update for week ending January 5, 2013
January 3, 2013: Update for week ending December 29, 2012
December 27, 2012: Update for week ending December 22, 2012
December 19, 2012: Update for week ending December 15, 2012
December 12, 2012: Update for week ending December 8, 2012
December 5, 2012: Update for week ending December 1, 2012
November 28, 2012: Update for week ending November 24, 2012
November 20, 2012: Update for week ending November 17, 2012
November 15, 2012: Update for week ending November 10, 2012
November 7, 2012: Update for week ending November 3, 2012
October 30, 2012: Update for week ending October 27, 2012
October 24, 2012: Update for week ending October 20, 2012
October 16, 2012: Update for week ending October 13, 2012
October 12, 2012: Update for week ending October 6, 2012
October 3, 2012: Update for week ending September 29, 2012
September 25, 2012: Update for week ending September 22, 2012
September 11, 2012: Update for week ending September 8, 2012
September 4, 2012: Update for week ending September 1, 2012
August 28, 2012: Update for week ending August 25, 2012
August 21, 2012: Update for week ending August 18, 2012
August 15, 2012: Update for week ending August 11, 2012
August 9, 2012: Update for week ending August 4, 2012
July 19, 2012: Update for week ending July 14, 2012
July 12, 2012: Update for week ending July 7, 2012
June 27, 2012: Update for Weeks ending June 16 and 23, 2012
June 12, 2012: Update for week ending June 9, 2012
June 7, 2012: Update for week ending June 2, 2012
May 29, 2012: Update for week ending May 28, 2012
May 22, 2012: Update for week ending May 19, 2012
May 16, 2012: Update for week ending May 12, 2012
May 9, 2012: Update for week ending May 5, 2012
May 1, 2012: Update for week ending April 28, 2012
April 24, 2012: Update for week ending April 21, 2012
April 16, 2012: Update for week ending April 14, 2012
April 10, 2012: Update for week ending April 7, 2012
April 3, 2012: Update for the week ending March 31, 2012
March 28, 2012: Update for the week ending March 24, 2012
March 20, 2012: Update for the week ending March 17, 2012
February 9, 2012: Update for the week ending February 4, 2012
February 1, 2012: Update for the week ending January 28, 2012
January 25, 2012: Update for week ending January 21, 2012
January 19, 2012: Update for week ending January 14, 2012
January 11, 2012: Update for week ending January 7, 2012
January 4, 2012: Update for week ending December 31, 2011
December 28, 2011: Update for week ending December 24, 2011
December 22, 2011: Update for week ending December 17, 2011
December 15, 2011: Update for week ending December 10, 2011
December 8, 2011: Update for week ending December 3, 2011
November 30, 2011: Update for week ending November 26, 2011
November 23, 2011: Update for week ending November 19, 2011
November 17, 2011: Update for week ending November 12, 2011
November 14, 2011: Update for week ending November 5, 2011
November 3, 2011: Update for week ending October 29, 2011
October 26, 2011: Update for week ending October 22, 2011
October 20, 2011: Update for Oct. 9 through Oct. 15
October 12, 2011: Update for Oct. 2 through Oct. 8
October 1, 2011: Update for Sept. 25 through Oct. 1
September 29, 2011: Update for Sept. 18 through Sept. 24
September 26, 2011: Update for Sept. 11 through Sept. 17
September 15, 2011: Update for September 4 through September 10
September 8, 2011: Update for August 28 through September 3
September 1, 2011: Update for August 21 through August 27
August 30, 2011: Update for August 14 through August 20
August 19. 2011: Update for August 7 through August 13
August 11, 2011: Update for July 31 through August 6
August 4, 2011: Update for July 24 through July 30
July 27, 2011: Update for July 17 through July 23
July 22, 2011: Update for July 10 through July 16
July 14, 2011: Update for July 3 through July 9
July 8, 2011: Update for June 26 through July 2
July 5, 2011: Update for June 12 through June 25
June 10, 2011: Update for May 29 through June 4
June 2, 2011: Update for May 22 through May 28
May 13, 2011: Update for May 1 through May 7
May 9, 2011: Update for April 24 through April 30
April 28, 2011: Update for April 17 through April 23
April 21, 2011: Update for April 10 through April 16
April 15, 2011: Update for April 3 through April 9
April 8, 2011: Update for March 27 through April 2
March 30, 2011: Update for March 20 through March 26
March 25, 2011: Update for March 13 through March 19
March 21, 2011: Update for March 6 through March 12
March 11, 2011: Update for February 27 through March 5
March 4, 2011: Update for February 20 through February 26
February 23, 2011: Update for February 13 through February 19
February 18, 2011: Update for February 6 through February 12
February 11, 2011: Update for January 30 through Fenruary 5
February 4, 2011: Update for January 23 through January 29
January 26, 2011: Update for January 16 through January 22
January 21, 2011: Update for January 9 through January 15
January 12, 2011: Update for January 2 through January 8
January 10, 2011: Update for December 26 through January 1
December 25, 2010: Update for December 1 through 25
The procedures and policies we use are proactive and current with the industry standards. This is in the best interests of the city and the safety of our firefighters and citizens. Most people that die in a fire die from smoke inhalation, not the fire. A full response with adequate fire suppression personnel is their best chance for survival. Below is an explanation of how our department operates and why.
Fire fighting is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Fire doubles in size every 20 seconds with temperatures rising to over 1800 degrees. Smoke is so thick that you can not see your hand in front of your face. Firefighters are wearing approximately 70 pounds of gear and have to crawl while pulling hose and carrying equipment. The stress and exertion levels are high, and although in good shape, exertion comes quickly. Interior attack and rescue teams need to be rotated. The success of a good fire department comes from good training, good equipment, physical fitness, and enough firefighters on the scene to perform this dangerous job safely and efficiently.
Our department utilizes the Incident Command System. This system organizes tasks and responsibilities like any well run business. In the past, firefighters would free lance, doing whatever function they felt like at a fire scene. This system was disorganized with no accountability on the fire ground. Firefighters who were lost during operations were not missed until it was too late and the efficiency of the firefighting operations was poor. Due to increased liability and a need to be more accountable with how we use our personnel and equipment, operational changes needed to be made.
Due to approximately 100 firefighter deaths per year the NFPA and OSHA mandated changes in fireground operations. Incident Command, Personnel Accountability, Two In Two Out (Rapid Intervention Team), and Safety Officers were made required standards that would increase firefighter safety and improve firefighting operations. NFPA standard 1500 addresses Occupational Health and Safety including fire ground Incident Command, Rapid Intervention Teams, and Communications. NFPA standard 1521 addresses the Safety Officer. NFPA standard 1561 addresses Emergency Incident Management System. NFPA standard 1710 addresses the number of personnel required to meet these improved standards and safety for firefighting personnel during firefighting operations. When the required positions are filled there are a minimum of 14 firefighters needed on scene. MIOSHA part 74 addresses Fire Fighting Operations and the duties of the employer. MIOSHA part 554 addresses Bloodborne infectious Diseases and protective gear. MIOSHA part 42, 92, 430 addresses Hazard Communications. MIOSHA part 451 addresses Respiratory Protection. The Department policies are developed based on MIOSHA regulations and NFPA standards.
The Royal Oak Fire Department takes pride in the fact no firefighter has ever died in the line of duty. The fire loss records indicate the majority of fires in Royal Oak are contained to the room and contents and few citizens have died. The Department feels this is due to the quick response with the right number of professional firefighters trained and equipped to do the job.
NFPA also calls for 4 Firefighters per truck; so more people reach the scene ready to make entry, protect property, and conduct the other jobs necessary for fire ground operations. Although our department can not place 4 firefighters per truck, we meet the standard by placing the required number of personnel on the scene by sending additional apparatus. Keep in mind that all apparatus are in service by radio and as soon as the Incident Commander has determined whether there is a fire or not, these apparatus can be called upon to respond quickly to other emergency calls.
Below is a description of the procedures used during fire responses;
- The officer reviews the information provided from dispatch and determines the nature and extent of the situation.
- All apparatus will respond safely and efficiently to any area in our city within 4-6 minutes. All personnel will be equipped in full turnout gear with members assigned to make entry wearing SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus).
- The officer will establish command, conduct the initial size-up of the situation, deploy the other apparatus, and assign personnel. The officer will establish needed water supply and determine what other resources may be needed such as Police, DPS, Utilities, or other Fire/EMS units (which may require the use of mutual aid).
- The Incident Commander will assign someone to maintain the accountability board during fire suppression operations. This person will keep account of all personnel working the scene.
- The Incident Commander will assign a member to be the Safety Officer. This person is responsible for overseeing the operations for safety. The Safety Officer calls for a PAR (Personnel Accounting Report) every 20 minutes. All members will then report back via the portable radio to report in. If an employee doesn't respond, then the RIT Team knows where the employee had been assigned to work and where to start their search. All fire suppression operations continue while the search is conducted.
- The driver of each apparatus in operation at the scene remains with their vehicle. They are responsible for pump pressures and maintaining an uninterrupted water supply. This person will also assist with bringing additional equipment from the apparatus and replacing the breathing bottles of the team members from the search and rescue or fire suppression crews.
- A team will set up the PPV fan (positive pressure ventilation) to push the smoke and gases out of the structure. The ladder truck may be utilized for this operation to open the roof with saws to give the smoke and gases an avenue to escape the structure. This is critical for the safety of our personnel and any occupants that have not been found and brought out to safety yet. Each team requires a minimum of two personnel.
- Saving lives are our first priority. Search and Rescue teams will immediately be deployed to look for occupants and bring them out to safety. This will require the use of the Thermal Imaging Camera that allows us to see through the smoke for victims. Each team requires a minimum of two personnel.
- A Rapid Intervention Team of two or more personnel must be established and stage (stand ready). This team is held in reserve to effect rescue in case our own members become trapped or lost.
- Teams will be deployed to search for the seat of the fire and extinguish it. Multiple teams may be necessary depending on the extent of the fire spread. If the fire has extended into the walls, then tools to open the walls or ceilings will be used. Each team requires a minimum of two personnel.
- A team may be assigned to man a hose line to protect adjacent buildings or to evacuate neighboring buildings.
- This is the procedure of protecting the occupants property from further damage. This may require tarping belongings, furniture, carpeting, etc. This takes place during extinguishment if personnel and time permit.
- This is the clean-up stage of the fire suppression operation. Removing any smoldering materials and looking for hidden hot spots. This has to be done carefully so evidence useful to the fire investigation for determining the cause is not destroyed.
This is when all equipment is picked up and returned to the apparatus. Hoses are drained and rolled. Back at the station, the hose is washed and placed into a hose dryer. Equipment is cleaned, refueled, checked, then returned to its place on the apparatus.
The Fire Department is responsible for providing emergency services to our city of 11.78 square miles with a population of over 60,000. The current staffing for the department is 71. There are 5 staff officers (Chief, Asst. Chief, Marshal, Inspector, and EMS Coordinator) and 66 fire suppression personnel (3 shifts of 22). The run total was 4,668 in 2002. This is due to the increased medical care and transport we now provide to our citizens.
The Department policies and procedures follow accepted industry standards. These policies and standards ensure the safety of our personnel while doing a highly dangerous job.
|55||S. Schumaker||4/16/1929 8/31/1929|
|74||C. Nicholes||8/28/1947 3/8/1954|
|75||F. Braendle||12/30/1936 8/1/1944|
|76||J. Engle||late 1940's|
|77||W. Hubner Jr||10/24/1947|
|92||W. Nancarrow Jr||9/9/1946|
|116||R. Gunsch Jr||8/4/1953|
|124||E. Grabowski||mid 1950's|
|127||N. White Jr||5/5/1955|
|142||C. Conn Jr||6/19/59|
|151||W. Grandchamp Jr||9/14/1959|
|160||E. Grabowski Jr||10/10/60|
|228||D. Stehlin Jr||4/21/85|
|237||C. Thomas Jr||4/13/1987|
|240||D. Ham Jr||9/14/87|
|246||J. O'Connell III||8/22/88|
|139||W. White Jr||9/12/88|
|253||R. Ulleny Jr||4/15/91|
|268||G. Mohney III||3/12/1994|
Last Updated on 3/21/2013
Time Line taken from 12/23/99 Daily Tribune Article and Other Sources
1908 The Royal Oak Fire Department, comprised entirely of volunteers, is organized, at the home of undertaker William Sullivan.
1912 A fire on Main Street destroys the block between Third and Fourth Streets.
1917 George Kerry's barn on Crooks Road catches fire and burns to the ground. The loss is valued at $400.
1917 Two policemen are appointed to make regular rounds because of a string of robberies. They are also to watch for fires and keep men and boys from blocking sidewalks and making rude remarks to women and girls.
1922 The Gamewell fire alarm system is installed throughout the city.
1924 A permanent trained, paid fire department is established, Martin Bishop is named Chief.
1927 Northwood Fire station #2 opens at the comer of Crooks and Webster.
1935 Royal Oak Fire Fighters join the International Association of Fire Fighters (I.A.F.F.) and the Michigan State Fire Fighters Association (M.S.F.F.A.).
1935 Station #1 being remodeled, Fire Department works out of the Farmers Market.
1952 Headquarters station moved from Sixth and Main to new station at Sixth and Troy.
1953 Royal Oak adds two new fire stations. Station #3 is at the corner of Rochester Road and 13 Mile Road; Station #4 is at the corner of Woodward and 13 Mile Road.
1962 100' Ladder truck put into service, 12 men added.
1963 The old Stauch farm house, facing 12 Mile Road on the present site of the Red Run Golf Course is burned down as a practice exercise for the Fire Department.
1967 Royal Oak assisted Detroit Fire Department during riots, National Guardsmen help man trucks.
1980 Mason Chrysler-Plymouth burns
1980 Royal Oak closes fire station #2 and eliminates 18 positions.
1983 Two large fires in 400 block of S. Washington.
1988 Riggers fire, L9-12 damaged.
1989 Gamewell system discontinued and removed.
1994 Advanced Life Support incorporated into Fire Deparment services.
2001 135’ Bronto articulating aerial truck purchased for $966,296.00
Last Updated on 1/30/03