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A battalion chief is the rank and title of a subordinate fire chief or commanding officer in the firefighting command structure. The title of battalion chief is usually synonymous with firefighting in the United States and Canada.
A battalion chief is the lowest chief officer in a fire department's rank structure, above rank-and-file fire station and fire company officers. A battalion chief commands a firefighting battalion, similar to a military battalion. A battalion consists of several fire stations and multiple fire companies. A battalion chief has command over each fire station's officers and each company or unit's officers, as well as the uniformed firefighters.
A battalion chief is usually under the command of a division, deputy, or assistant chief, who in turn reports to a chief of department, chief engineer, or a fire commissioner. The Detroit Fire Department, the New York City Fire Department, the Chicago Fire Department, the Sacramento Fire Department , CAL FIRE, Philadelphia Fire Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department all have battalion chiefs in their rank structure. In the Boston Fire Department and the Toronto Fire Services, however, the title of district chief is used in place of battalion chief.