Boone County Fire Protection District

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Boone County Fire Protection District
Motto "A Helping Hand"
Established 1964
Staffed Volunteer
Staff 250
ISO rating 5/10
Stations 14
Engines 14
Tankers 9
Rescue Squads 2
Fire Chief Scott Olsen
Board Members Dave Griggs (Chairman)
Shelly Dometrorch
John Sam Williamson
Phyllis Fugit
Keith Schnarre

The Boone County Fire Protection District (BCFPD) provides fire protection and emergency medical services for a large portion of Boone County, Missouri. The BCFPD is the largest volunteer fire department and third largest fire service organization in the state, protecting 492 square miles (1,378 km²) of residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural property and over 50,000 people.

The Fire District operates with a volunteer staff of approximately 250 personnel who annually give over 117,000 hours of volunteer service to the organization, supported by a career staff of 16 people that provide training, maintenance, public safety education and administrative services to the District. The Fire District is governed by a voter elected five-member board (per state statutes) which oversees operations and appoints the fire chief. The fire chief designates such volunteers and career staff authorized by the Board as being essential to carry out the responsibilities of the Fire District.

The Boone County Fire District is an all hazards emergency response agency for the community and is dispatched by Public Safety Joint Communications, Boone County's 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) based in Columbia, Missouri. With an annual operating budget of $3.9 million, the Fire District is designated as a regional hazardous materials response team and has several members that participate as members in the Region F Incident Support Team, a regional incident management team. Additionally, The Fire District operates Missouri Task Force One, one of only 28 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces. This Team is composed of 210 disaster response specialists.


The BCFPD at a working structure fire.

On November 25, 2008, after 38 years of service with the Fire District Stephen Paulsell was asked by the Fire District Board of Directors to accept a severance package and step down as the Fire Chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District. The move came after several controversies marred his tenure as fire chief. Deputy Chief Scott Olsen (Operations and Preparedness Bureau) was chosen to serve as interim Fire Chief until a permanent replacement could be found.[2]

In May 2009, the Boone County Fire Protection District and the Columbia Fire Department updated the territorial agreement which both agencies have operated under for the past 15 years. The previous agreement tasked the Fire District with emergency response to all areas annexed by the City of Columbia that the city was unable to provide service to and provided for annual compensation based on call volume. In 2008, the Fire District responded to over 400 calls within the City limits, totaling $672,000 in compensation. Under the revised agreement, areas that have been annexed by the City of Columbia will receive responses from both City and Fire District units, with overall command of the incident depending on who has jurisdiction. Compensation for the fire district has been set at $350,000 annually, with the amount to increase if more areas are annexed in the future. Both agencies have also entered into an increased level of cooperative training, with joint sessions occurring at both the Columbia Fire Training Academy and the Fire District Training Center.[3][4]

On October 21, 2009, Interim Fire Chief Scott Olsen was selected by the Boone County Fire Protection District Board of Directors to become the new Fire Chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District. Chief Olsen previously acted as the interim chief for eleven months before being chosen in a nationwide search.[5]

Fire apparatus and stations[edit]

The Boone County Fire Protection District operates more than 110 emergency vehicles, and, as such ranks third in Missouri in fleet size behind St. Louis and Kansas City.


The Fire District operates fourteen front-line engines (the fire district does not have a station 11), all of which comply with National Fire Protection Association standards for structural firefighting apparatus. All engine companies are equipped with fire pumps that are rated at 1,250 GPM or above and carry 750 gallons of water. On-board Class A foam capability is standard on most engines. All engine companies carry a full complement of BLS emergency medical equipment, Q-Rae four-gas meters and thermal imaging camera as well.


The Fire District operates eight 2001 Pierce tankers. These units carry 1,500 gallons of water and are set up to handle salvage and overhaul operations as well as supply water during structure fires.

Heavy rescue squads[edit]

The Boone County Fire Protection District operates two heavy rescue squads. One is located at Station 1 in the Columbia area near Lake of the Woods and the other is located at Station 6 in Sturgeon. These units carry a full complement of heavy rescue equipment and meet the NFPA requirements for heavy rescue squads. They are equipped to provide automobile extrication, high angle rescue, trench rescue, ice rescue, swift water rescue, cave rescue, and confined space rescue.

Brush trucks[edit]

Each brush truck is designed and operated with two primary missions in mind. The first is for wildland fire response. As such they carry 300 gallons of water with Class A foam capability and a wide assortment of fireline tools. Their second use is as primary medical response unit for the stations that have them. Basic life support equipment carried includes: medical bag and AED, KED, OB kit, spinal immobilization kit and long spine board/Stokes basket. Eight of these units are deployed around the county.

Specialty units[edit]

Air 15
Command 2
  • Rescue Boats - The Fire District operates five boats of various sizes and configurations for rescue and recovery operations on the Missouri River, small streams and static bodies of water throughout Boone County.
  • Air Truck
  • Command 1
  • Command 2
  • Hazardous Materials Squad (Hazmat 514)

Fire stations[edit]

The Boone County Fire District maintains 14 fire stations, a training center, and a headquarters facility. All Fire District stations are constructed in a modular fashion so as to facilitate additions in future years and minimizing expenses. All Boone County Fire District stations are also equipped with living quarters where volunteer firefighters actually reside. Many volunteer firefighters are students who, in exchange for their services as fire apparatus operators, live in the fire stations at no charge. This facilitates a rapid response of equipment without the expense of paying full-time people to staff the facilities.

The training center, located at Prathersville and Highway 63, consists of a four story burn tower with pitched roof ventilation prop, a vehicle extrication area, and the Missouri Task Force One rubble pile.

Station[6] Engine Tanker Bruch Truck Rescue Squad Other
Station 1 - Lake of the Woods and I-70 E-101 T-105 G-106 S-104 Boat 107
Station 2 - Rocheport E-201 G-206 Boat 207
Station 3 - Hallsville
E-301 T-305 G-306 Boat 307
Reserve T-309
Station 4 - Harrisburg
E-401 T-405 G-406 Reserve T-409
Station 5 - Prathersville and Highway 63 E-501 T-505 G-506 Hazmat 514 MCI unit
Reserve T-509
Station 6 - Sturgeon
E-601 T-605 G-606 S-604
Station 7 - Dripping Springs and Highway 63 E-701 Reserve T-709
Station 8 - Rock Bridge E-801 T-805 G-806 Boat 807
1954 White parade engine
Station 9 - Midway and I-70
E-901 T-905 G-906 Reserve E-908
Reserve T-909
Station 10 - Centralia E-1001 T-1005 G-1006
Station 12 - Route WW
Station 13 - Route E E-1301
Station 14 - Vawter School Road and Scott Blvd E-1401 Reserve E-1408
Station 15 - Deer Park and Highway 63
E-1501 T-1505 Command 2
1958 Chevy parade engine
Air 15
USAR 2215
USAR 2216
USAR 2217
District Headquarters - 2201 I-70 Drive Northwest
Command 1
Decon trailer
Wildland trailer
Training Complex - 5225 Roger I. Wilson Memorial Drive


Additionally, the Fire District is known nationally for its many innovations. Among these are its volunteer firefighter recruitment, retention and residency program; Missouri state certified contextually formatted training; and public safety education, which received the 1996 International Association of Fire Chiefs Championship Award for Excellence for its Survival Kids Program.[7]

Several Fire District personnel are actively involved in far reaching national and international emergency service programs, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Fire Service Training Association. Currently, three members serve on FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue Response System Incident Support Team and six members serve on Missouri's Statewide Fire Mutual Aid Incident Support Team (Region F IST).

In November 2009 the Fire District purchased new software that will increase preparedness for large-scale incidents. The E-Sponder software will use mass notification tools such as cell phones, email, pagers, and global social media forms like Facebook to alert personnel about ongoing incidents. The software can also be used for personnel accountability on large structure fires and GPS to track grids that have been searched during search and rescue operations.[8]

FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force[edit]

Missouri Task Force One, whose members are from fire departments all over the state, is deployed every year nationwide whenever called upon. Recent deployments include:[9]

Federal deployments[edit]

State deployments[edit]


  1. ^ "Boone County Fire Protection District". 1970-07-11. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  2. ^ Gassen, Jared. "UPDATE: Paulsell, fire district board come to retirement deal". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  3. ^ "An Ordinance - Council Bill No. B 60-09". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  4. ^ Willman, Matt (2009-11-17). "Firefighters participate in man-down training session". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Boone County Fire Protection District". Bcfdmo.coma. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  7. ^ "SurvivalKidsPage". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  8. ^ Jackson, Jodie (2009-11-19). "Software quickens response | The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, Missouri". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  9. ^ "Boone County Fire Protection District". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  10. ^ "Nine rescued, 1 killed in building collapse - Jun 27, 2006". 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 

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