About the Division
Our Changing Role
The role of a Fire Department has changed over the years. The division that responds to alarms is typically called Suppression. This title came when it was simply a Fire Department. As times have changed, so has LFD.
Firefighting is still a major focus and because of that we also receive training in multiple areas. The employees of LFD pride themselves on the broad response capabilities. This job requires teamwork. This team exists to save lives and protect property. Everyone takes pride in a job well done.
We grade ourselves not by how good we did on our last run but how good we will be on the next one. This keeps us looking for the latest ways to address the multitude of situations we face daily.
All Lansing Firefighters are cross trained in EMS (Emergency Medical Services). Firefighters have to be a minimum of an Emergency Medical Technician at LFD but many are licensed as Paramedics.
LFD operates four ambulances at the paramedic (advanced life support) level. This medical training is not just used while riding the ambulance; crews rotate between ambulance and fire rig duty each shift.
How does this rotation assist firefighters in performing their duties? It is hard to list all the benefits. It can simply start with fires. If a firefighter performs a rescue they do not have to turn the person over for care, they can initiate it themselves. In trench collapse, vehicle extrication, or building collapse, firefighters can provide care when others would not be able to reach a patient.
Hazardous Material Response
Lansing Fire also responds to hazardous material (Haz-Mat) incidents. Several specialty areas get involved during a Haz-Mat event. Arriving fire rigs determine the level of hazard and call appropriate resources. The Haz-Mat and medical training assist in determining health threats involved. Haz-Mat teams operate at different levels of certification. LFD operates at the Operations Level (many incidents are able to be handled at this level instead of having to call in outside resources that might have to travel long distances). They also participate in Michigan's RRTN program and may be called upon to travel to a Haz-Mat site outside of Lansing.
The examples continue right on to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Lansing Fire is the lead agency and operates the Emergency Management Division. During any major incident, an impact and threat assessment is determined. Resources are coordinated and acted upon. This can include determination of need for local, statewide and national resources. EMD personnel are active in pre-planning. This includes frequent contact with businesses, media, and multiple community organizations. Should action need to be taken, they are ready to coordinate resources and insure release of public information as fast as possible.
The fact remains that firefighting is still a high risk profession. No one knows that better than someone who chooses to run into burning buildings to protect others. We continue to always prepare for the next run.