Palm Beach County Fire Rescue

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Palm Beach County Fire Rescue
When seconds count, count on us! [1]
Operational area
Country United States
State Florida
County Palm Beach
Agency overview[2]
EstablishedOctober 1st 1984
Annual calls135,647 (2017)
Annual budget$451 million (2019)
Fire chiefReginald Duren
EMS levelALS
Facilities and equipment[2]
HAZMAT2 (Special Ops)
USAR2 (Special Ops)
Airport crash5
Light and air1
Official website
IAFF website

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue is one of the largest fire departments in the state of Florida. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue provides fire protection, emergency medical services, ALS transport, technical rescue, hazardous materials mitigation, Aircraft rescue and firefighting, Fire investigation, and 911 Dispatching for unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County, Florida and 19 cities under contract.[3]


Palm Beach County Fire Rescue was created on October 1, 1984, when the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution consolidating the existing fire districts in Palm Beach County. Prior to 1984 the following fire districts were in existence, covering mostly unincorporated Palm Beach County: [4]

  • Jupiter-Tequesta
  • Juno Beach
  • Old Dixie
  • Military Park
  • Southwest
  • Trail Park
  • Reservation
  • Del Trail
  • Canal Point
  • Palm Beach International Airport

Chief Herman W. Brice Regional Training Center[edit]

Named after the department's first Fire Chief, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Administration and Training complex is a 40-acre complex that houses Fire-Rescue's Administrative offices, training areas, and an apparatus and support building. The complex includes multiple classrooms & conference rooms, a 6 story training tower, a 2 1/2 story Class A burn building, an emergency vehicle driving course, an extrication training area, Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) props, a 10-acre lake for drafting training, and a field of various full-scale liquefied petroleum (LP) gas props. [5]


The department is made up of 8 battalions which contain anywhere from 3 to 9 fire stations:

  • Battalion 1: 7 stations: serving the north county area (Jupiter, Lake Park, Jupiter Farms).
  • Battalion 2: 9 stations: serving the western county area (Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee).
  • Battalion 3: 7 stations: serving Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, South Palm Beach, Lake Clarke Shores.
  • Battalion 4: 8 stations: serving suburban Boynton Beach, Suburban Delray Beach.
  • Battalion 5: 7 stations: serving suburban Boca Raton (Boca West, Loggers Run, Mission Bay).
  • Battalion 7: 3 stations: serving the Glades area (Pahokee, Canal Point, Belle Glade, South Bay).
  • Battalion 9 (Special Operations): 4 stations: Station 19, Station 34, Palm Beach International Airport (Station 81), and Trauma Hawk.[6]
  • Battalion 10: 6 stations: serving unincorporated West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Springs, Haverhill, Cloud Lake.

Each Battalion is managed by a District Chief, who oversees all 3 shifts in his/her respective Battalion. At the shift level, each Battalion is supervised by a Battalion Chief and EMS Captain. [7]


Engine 28


The department is responsible for 1,813 square miles (4,700 km2), providing services to almost 900,000 residents throughout the county.[8] Along with the unincorporated areas of the county, PBCFR provides services for Belle Glade, Cloud Lake, Glen Ridge, Haverhill, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Pahokee, Palm Springs, Royal Palm Beach, South Bay, South Palm Beach and Wellington.[9]

All line personnel are either dual-certified Firefighter/EMT’s or Firefighter/Paramedics. All Engines, Trucks, Ladders, and Rescues are Advanced Life Support (ALS) units, which means that they are staffed daily with Paramedics. The department’s daily minimum staffing is 295 Firefighters.[10]

Special Operations[edit]

The department has two Special Operations apparatus, located at stations 19 and 34. These multipurpose units function as Heavy Rescues, HazMats, USARs, and Mobile Command Centers on extended operations. Members of Special Operations are responsible for hazardous materials incidents, dive rescue, confined space rescue, and high angle rescue,[11] and they assist the Sheriff's Office's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.[12] Many members are also trained in Trench Rescue, Structural Collapse Rescue, and Vehicle Machinery Rescue (VMR). Each Special Operations station houses an Engine, a Rescue, and a Heavy Rescue. Station 34 also houses the Special Operations Battalion Chief, Special Operations EMS Captain, and the Heavy Rescue Equipment vehicle.[13]

Airport Operations[edit]

The PBCFR is responsible for providing aircraft rescue and firefighting for the Palm Beach International Airport, one the 50 busiest airports in the United States. The station which is located near the center of the airport grounds, is home to 13 pieces of specialized fire fighting equipment.[14]

These apparatus include:

Trauma Hawk[edit]

The Palm Beach County Fire Rescue partners with the Palm Beach County Health Care District to operate the Trauma Hawk Aero-Medical Program.[19] The Trauma Hawk program, established in November 1990, replaced the use of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office helicopters to medevac critically injured patients to area hospitals.[19] At the Trauma Hawk Station, located at the south west corner of Palm Beach International Airport, the department has two Sikorsky S-76C helos.[20] The air ambulances are identically equipped and can carry two patients each and up to four medical attendants if needed.[20] Each helicopter is staffed with a pilot, a registered nurse (RN) and a paramedic. The nurses and paramedics are Palm Beach County Fire Rescue employees while the pilots are Health Care District employees.[19]

Support Services[edit]

Training & Safety Division[edit]

The Training & Safety Division is responsible for the training and education new Recruit Firefighters, existing Firefighters, and support personnel. Areas of training include:[21]

  • Recruit Academy: All newly-hired firefighters attend a recruit academy, consisting of fire and EMS training, before working in the field.
  • Company Officer Training: Officer Development Academies (ODAs) provide new Lieutenants, Captains, and Chief Officers with essential job knowledge and skills to effectively operate in their new supervisory positions.
  • Driver Operator Training: Driver Candidate School (DCS) provides the basic fundamental knowledge and skills to operate pumping apparatus. Additional training classes to operate specialized apparatus are also offered.
  • EMS Training: Annual EMT & Paramedic training covers basic and advanced medical skills (i.e. Airway Management, EKG Interpretation, Medication Administration) and Regional Protocol reviews.
  • Fire Training: Annual firefighter training includes Live-Burn, Search, Safety & Survival, Fire Suppression, Forcible Entry, and Ventilation training.
  • Specialty Training: Specialty units receive continuing training in Hazardous Materials (HazMat), Dive Rescue, and Technical Rescue / USAR.


In the 1980’s, Palm Beach County became the second in the nation to implement enhanced 911 phone system, which provided critical information regarding the location of the emergency. In addition to a staff of over 40 communications personnel, a Fire Operations Officer (FOO) is assigned to the Alarm Office at all times. The purpose of the FOO is to provide technical assistance to dispatch during multi-company operations.[22]

The department also provides dispatch services for 13 municipalities: Atlantis, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Gulf Stream, Highland Beach, Jupiter Inlet Colony, Mangonia Park, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Shores, Riviera Beach, Tequesta and West Palm Beach.[23]

Investigations Unit[edit]

Working under the Office of the Fire Marshal, the fire/arson investigators are responsible for investigating the cause & origin of fire/explosion scenes, preserving scenes, and collecting evidence. The Investigations Unit responds to all areas that are serviced by the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, in addition to, those areas serviced by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. The investigators are sworn law enforcement officers, which gives them the ability to make arrests, carry firearms, and present cases State Attorney's office for prosecution of any bomb/fire/arson crimes. Investigators are also members of the Palm Beach County Bomb/Arson Task Force and are all professionally qualified to provide expert witness testimony in both criminal and civil cases.[24]



  1. ^ "Palm Beach County Fire Rescue". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b "FY2018 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  3. ^ "About Us". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
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  9. ^ "Area's Served". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Apparatus List". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Special Operations". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Station 81". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Air Stair 1". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Dragon 1". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Foam 81". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Support 81". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  19. ^ a b c "Trauma Hawk". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Station Trauma Hawk". Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
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Coordinates: 26°42′N 80°3′W / 26.700°N 80.050°W / 26.700; -80.050