Ventura County Fire Department

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Ventura County Fire Department
Ventura County Fire Department seal.png
Department logo[1]
Operational area
Country United States
State California
Agency overview[2]
EstablishedMay 11, 1928
Annual calls32,110 (2018)
Employees583 total (2018)
  • 395 Safety personnel
  • 158 Non-safety personnel
Annual budget$126 million (2012)
Fire chiefMark Lorenzen[1]
EMS levelALS
Facilities and equipment[2]
Engines32 frontline
16 reserve
Trucks3 frontline
2 reserve
Quints1 frontline
1 reserve
Squads2 frontline
2 reserve
Rescues3 frontline
1 reserve
Ambulancesambulances are controlled by AMR
Airport crash1
Bulldozers3 frontline
1 reserve
Light and air2
Official website

The Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) provides fire protection and emergency response services for the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, California, and for seven other cities within the county. Together, these areas compose the Ventura County Fire Protection District in the state of California, USA. The Ventura County Board of Supervisors is the fire district's board of directors. These five elected supervisors appoint the fire chief, and task him with providing fire protection services for the district.

In addition to the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, the department currently provides the following cities with service: Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks.


On May 11, 1928 the Ventura County Fire Protection District (VCFPD) was established. It wasn't for another two years that a 24-hour Fire Warden was placed on duty.[3]

As the population of the county grew, the VCFD grew as well. In 1946 the department added radios to all of their trucks and rose to a total of 34 personnel. Nearly 33 years later in 1969, the department added a second radio frequency and added a full-time dispatch center at Station 31 in Thousand Oaks. Four years later in 1973, VCFD changed their engines from traditional Fire Engine Red to Yellow.[3]


Engine and medic engine[edit]

Ventura County uses two main types of engines. The first is the standard engine, which is often referred to as a "triple-combination pumper" as it has a fire pump, water tank and fire hose. Each engine can deliver 1,500 GPM of water and carry 500 gallons of water. The engines also carry multiple ground ladders and different types of hose as well as various types of firefighting, rescue and medical equipment.[4] The second type of engine is the Medic Engine. The only real difference between the medic engine and the standard engine is that the medic engines are capable of advanced life support (ALS) with a firefighter also being a fully trained Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic. These units have additional equipment on board for specialized emergency responses.[5]

Medic rescue engine/rescue engine[edit]

In the Ventura County Fire Department, a rescue engine is a 2 piece company that is assigned a standard engine and rescue truck. These units always respond together as a single company. The rescue truck carries all of the same equipment that a truck company carries, such as vehicle extrication tools, forcible entry tools and ventilation tools giving the rescue engine truck company capabilities without the aerial device of a truck company.

Ventura County Fire Department has 3 rescue engines, 1 rescue is paired with a BLS engine making the company a Rescue Engine (27) and 2 of the rescues are paired with Medic Engines to make them Medic Rescue Engines (23 & 31).

Each of the Rescue Engines / Medic Rescue Engines serve as the truck company / support company for their geographical region.

These companies are used instead of a large ladder truck with an aerial device because of the type of area they serve, either due to the terrain, making it difficult to operate a large truck company, or a lack of multi-story buildings making an aerial device unnecessary.

Water tenders[edit]

Ventura county fire department has 2 water tenders currently in service, they are water tender 40 and water tender 27. These units are used on brush fires when there is no hydrants available for engines to refill there pumps. They are stationed at station 40 and 27. 27 is much newer than 40, with 40 being an old KME, and the most notable feature of 40 is that instead of being yellow, like most of the other units in the department, it is red.


Ventura county fire department currently has one quint frontline and the one in reserve. What sets these units apart from other truck companies is that they have a pump and carry water. These quints are quints 44 and 144, and are stationed at station 44 in wood ranch. Quint 44 is the one in frontline and is a 2015 rosenbauer commander tractor drawn Quiller (quint+tiller), and the reserve one being quint 144, an American Lafrance rear mount quint, another fun fact is that code3customs made a diecast model of quint 144 when it was rescue engine 40. 144 also served as rescue engine 40, then got the paramedic designation and then was quint 44, and is now in reserve as quint 144. These units respond to calls as if they were and engine and a truck.

In addition to the main engines, Ventura County also has reserve engines which are older engines kept as backups or for use on major incidents. Two of the department reserve engines are provided by the Office of Emergency Services.[6]

Wildland fire engines[edit]

Ventura County has 11 Type 3 wildland fire engines that are specifically designed for fighting wildland fires. One feature that sets these engines apart from the standard engines is their ability to pump water from a 500-gallon tank while on the move. This allows firefighters to make a running attack on the fire. This feature is called "pump and roll"[7]


Air Unit Fire Support Bell HH-1H

Ventura County has four Helicopters that are jointly used by the VCFD and the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.[8] The fleet of helicopters is made up of four different Bell UH-1 Hueys, one each of the HH-1H, UH-1H, Bell 205B and Bell 212.[9] Each Huey can carry up to nine firefighters, can fly up to 100 miles per hour, and features a 375-gallon water tank that can be used to make drops onto fires. In September 2019 Ventura County incorporated three UH-60 helicopters for firefighting use. The surplus helicopters, obtained from the U.S. Army, are referred to as Firehawks and have been modified for crew transport, patient transport, and to carry water-dropping belly tanks. They provide increased speed (160 miles per hour) and water carrying capacity (1,000 gallons) over the existing fleet.[10][8] In addition to fire fighting missions, the Hueys and Firehawks are used for search and rescue, emergency medical services, marijuana eradication and surveillance.[9]

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Units (ARFF)[edit]

The Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting units are designed to fight large flammable liquid fires, specifically aircraft fires. They are also utilized on gasoline fires in refineries or tanker trucks on the highway. The engines carry 1,500 gallons of water and is fitted with a pump capable of 1,250 GPM. Two hundred gallons of foam concentrate is also carried on board.[11]


To aid in fighting wildfires, VCFD has multiple bulldozers. The dozers, as they are known, travel as a three piece unit consisting of the dozer itself, a tractor-trailer that transports the dozer which callsigns are "transoprt and a tender that carries tools for servicing the dozer in the field.[12]

Fire boat[edit]

The VCFD has a 38-foot fireboat stationed at the Channel Islands Harbor. It is outfitted with a 1,000 GPM water cannon.[13]

Emergency operations[edit]

Bolded stations serve as quarters for the various Battalion chiefs in the VCFD. There are 5 Battalions in the department, each commanded by a Battalion Chief. Station 54 is also the headquarters for the departments special operations activities.

Battalion 1[edit]

Headquartered at Station 54, Battalion 1 services the Camarillo and Somis areas as well as the department's Special Operations activities. Special operations include dealing with hazardous materials, urban search and rescue, water rescue and specialized fire fighting activities such as shipboard and aircraft emergencies.[14] Battalion 1 consists of Stations 50,52,54,55 and 57.

station # Equipment Address City Location
  • Engine 50
  • Crash 50
  • Hazmat 50
  • Squad 50
  • Foam 50
  • Utility 50
  • two decon trailers that are at the RTC
189 S. Las Posas Rd. Camarillo Camarillo Airport
  • Medic Engine 52
  • Engine 152
  • squad 52
5353 Santa Rosa Rd. Camarillo Mission Oaks
  • Battalion 1
  • Engine 54
  • Truck 54
  • USAR 154
  • USAR 54
  • USAR officer
  • OES swiftwater 10
  • OES swiftwater trailer
  • UTV 54
  • Water rescue trailer
2160 Pickwick Dr. Camarillo Camarillo
  • Engine 55
  • Engine 155
  • Brush Engine 355
403 Valley Vista Dr. Camarillo Las Posas
  • Engine 57
  • Brush Engine 357
  • Light & Air 57
3356 Somis Rd. Somis Somis

Battalion 2[edit]

Headquartered at Station 23, Battalion 2 services the Ojai Valley area as well as parts of the north coast.[15] Battalion 2 consists of Stations 20,21,22,23 and 25.

station # Equipment Address City Location
  • Engine 20
  • Patrol 20
12727 Santa Paula-Ojai Rd. Santa Paula Summitt
  • Medic Engine 21
  • Engine 121
  • Utility 21
  • Brush Engine 321
1201 E. Ojai Av. Ojai Ojai
  • Engine 22
  • Brush Engine 322
  • Utility 22
466 S. La Luna Av. Meiners Oaks Meiners Oaks
  • Medic rescue Engine 23
  • Battalion 2
15 Kunkle St. Oak View Oak View
  • Engine 25
  • Engine 125
  • Water Rescue 25
  • OES Water Tender 12
5674 W. Pacific Coast Highway Ventura Rincon

Battalion 3[edit]

Headquartered at Station 30, Battalion 3 services the area of Conejo Valley.[16]Battalion 3 consists of Stations 30,31,32,33,34,35,36 and 37.

station # Equipment Address City Location
  • Engine 30
  • Battalion 3
  • Brush Engine 330
  • Squad 30
  • Day Engine 85
325 W. Hillcrest Dr. Thousand Oaks Civic Center
  • Medic Engine 31
  • Rescue 31
  • Rescue 131
151 N. Duesenberg Dr. Thousand Oaks Westlake
  • Medic Engine 32
  • Engine 132
  • Utility 32
830 Reino Rd. Newbury Park Potrero
  • Engine 33
  • Brush Engine 333
  • Patrol 33
33 Lake Sherwood Dr. Thousand Oaks Lake Sherwood
  • Medic Engine 34
  • Engine 134
  • Utility 34
  • Hazmat officer
  • ground support trailer
555 E. Avenida de Los Arboles Thousand Oaks Arboles
  • Engine 35
  • Truck 35
  • Command 11
  • OES Reserve Engine 344
751 Mitchell Rd. Newbury Park Newbury Park
  • Medic Engine 36
  • Engine 136
  • Utility 36
855 Deerhill Rd. Oak Park Oak Park
  • Engine 37
  • Light & Air 37
2010 Upper Ranch Rd. Thousand Oaks North Ranch

Battalion 4[edit]

Headquartered at Station 41, Battalion 4 services the areas of Simi Valley and Moorpark .[17]Battalion 4 consists of Stations 40,41,42,43,44,45,46 and 47.

station # Equipment Address City Location
  • Medic Engine 40
  • Engine 140
  • Water Tender 40
  • Utility 40
  • USAR 40
  • USAR cache trailer 1
4185 Cedar Springs St. Moorpark Mountain Meadows
  • Engine 41
  • Truck 41
  • Battalion 4
1910 Church St. Simi Valley Church Street
  • Engine 42
  • Engine 142
  • Brush Engine 342
295 E. High Street Moorpark Moorpark
  • Medic Engine 43
  • Brush Engine 343
  • Patrol 16
5874 E. Los Angeles Av. Simi Valley Yosemite
  • Quint 44
  • Quint 144
  • Day Engine 86
  • Truck 140
1050 Country Club Dr. Simi Valley Wood Ranch
  • Engine 45
  • Engine 145
  • Dozer 14
790 Pacific Av. Simi Valley Pacific Street
  • Engine 46
  • OES Engine 397
3265 Tapo St. Simi Valley Tapo Street
  • Medic Engine 47
  • Truck 147
  • Utility 47
2901 Erringer Rd. Simi Valley Big Sky

Battalion 5[edit]

Headquartered at Station 51, Battalion 5 services the areas of the Santa Clara River Valley, El Rio and Port Hueneme.[18]Battalion 5 consists of Stations 26,27,28,29,51,53 and 54.

station # Equipment Address City Location
  • Engine 26
  • Squad 26
  • Engine 126
536 W. Main St. Santa Paula West Santa Paula
  • Rescue Engine 27
  • Rescue 27
  • Water Tender 27
  • Dozer 12
  • Utility 27
  • Rescue 127
613 Old Telegraph Rd. Fillmore Fillmore
  • Medic Engine 28
  • Brush Engine 328
  • Patrol 16
513 N. Church St. Piru Piru
  • Engine 29
  • Brush Engine 329
114 S. 10th St. Santa Paula Santa Paula
  • Day Engine 83
  • Day Engine 84
  • Battalion 5
3302 Turnout Park Cr. Oxnard El Rio
  • Medic Engine 53
  • Water Rescue 53
304 N. Second St. Port Hueneme Port Hueneme
  • Engine 56
  • Patrol 56
  • Engine 356
11855 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu Malibu


VCFD is under the auspices of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, who appoint the Fire Chief. Reporting directly to the Fire Chief, the Deputy Fire Chief oversees the five bureaus within the department:

  • Emergency Services Bureau
  • Support Services Bureau
  • Administrative Services Bureau
  • Fire Prevention Bureau
  • Business Services Bureau

Bureau of Emergency Services[edit]

This bureau provides fire suppression, emergency medical care, hazardous materials response, Urban search and rescue response, swift water rescue response, and the Fire Training Section. Under the command of an assistant chief, the bureau composes all of the fire stations, as well as the Fire Training and Emergency Medical Services Sections.


  1. ^ a b "Chief's Message". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Ventura County Fire Department Annual Reports". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "History". Ventura County Fire Protection District. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "Engine" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "Medic Engine" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  6. ^ "Reserve Engine" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Brush Engine" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Copter" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Air Unit". Ventura County Sheriff. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Childs, Jeremy (September 5, 2019). "New helicopter lifts capabilities for Ventura County Air Unit". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  11. ^ "Crash Rescue" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Dozer" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "Fire Boat" (PDF). Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Station 54". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Station 23". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  16. ^ "Station 30". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  17. ^ "Station 41". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  18. ^ "Station 51". Ventura County Fire Department. Retrieved September 10, 2019.

External links[edit]