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 About the Operations Division

The West Orange Fire Department table of organization consists of 88 career fire personnel whom are all certified firefighters by the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety. Additionally, all members are certified by the New Jersey Department of Health as Emergency Medical Technicians.  These professional firefighters/officers operate from five fire stations located in five separate districts of the community, enabling rapid response to any given destination. There are four tours / shifts, each directed by a Deputy Chief.  The department staffs three engine companies, one ladder company, and two rescue/ambulance companies.  Our firefighters maintain and advance their skills and proficiency through daily training on all apparatus and equipment. In 2015, the West Orange Fire Department responded to 5,933 incidents.


Responsibilities include:              

  • Emergency response to building fires, vehicle fires, wildland/brush fires and general fire alarm activations and investigations
  • Emergency response to vehicle crashes, victim extrications, hazardous material incidents
  • Emergency response to structural collapses
  • Emergency response to confined space rescues, outside/inside gas leaks, lock-in/lock-outs, water evacuations/pump outs, utility wires down, elevator emergencies, carbon monoxide investigations, public assists, lift assists, etc.
  • Response to medical emergencies and/or transports to the hospital
  • In-service inspections of all commercial establishments and multiple dwelling properties
  • Preplanning of special hazard areas
  • Fire drills and special inspections in all school buildings
  • Maintenance of fire apparatus, firefighting equipment, and fire stations
  • Inspection of breathing apparatus and fire extinguishers
  • Community relations and in-service fire safety education

The readiness of our 1,250 gallon per minute modern fire pumpers is essential to providing adequate protection for our community.  The on-duty tours utilize these fire engines for immediate response. WOFD maintains additional full-capacity pumpers in ready reserve status for response to multiple alarms, use during adverse weather conditions, and as a fill-in when front-line apparatus is being serviced or repaired.  All West Orange Fire Department engines are fully equipped with hundreds of feet of attack hose and 5-inch large diameter supply hose.  In addition, all engines carry the Hurst “Jaws of Life” (utilized to extricate trapped vehicle occupants), and a full complement of modern firefighting and rescue equipment.

The 100-foot aerial ladder, responds to all structure fires, extrications, building collapses and technical rescues within the township.  The modern devices and versatile equipment on the aerial ladder enable firefighting personnel to perform their duties of rescue, ventilation, forcible entry, and other activities to systematically mitigate any incident.  The ladder truck is also equipped with a large air cascade supply unit.  This unit provides immediate refilling for the firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatus at fires and hazardous material incidents.  In addition, the truck is equipped with hydraulic and gas powered saws and rescue tools needed to perform the many support functions of a truck company. WOFD maintains an additional full-capacity aerial ladder in ready reserve status for response to multiple alarms, use during adverse weather conditions, and as a fill-in when front-line apparatus is being serviced or repaired.  


Rescue Ambulances
Staffed by firefighting personnel, the primary function of the staffed ambulances of WOFD is to provide basic life support (BLS) services. The ambulances and personnel are also equipped and capable to respond to incidents, i.e. structure fires, in the event additional staffing is required on the fireground.  WOFD maintains additional full-capacity ambulances in ready reserve status for response to additional EMS calls, multiple alarms, use during adverse weather conditions, and as a fill-in when front-line apparatus is being serviced or repaired. WOFD works in coordination with local hospital-based advanced life support, “ALS” agencies (a.k.a. Paramedics) to provide the highest level of pre-hospital care to the residents of the township.


WOFD values training as a top priority.  The knowledge, skills and abilities of a firefighter and/or fire officer do not develop without a commitment to training and education.  To properly prepare firefighters for a career that puts them in some of the most challenging environments imaginable, the training office coordinates Firefighter I and Firefighter II training for all new personnel prior to any involvement on the fire ground.  In order to maintain a constant state of readiness, personnel must remain proficient in the skills necessary to perform the services offered.  WOFD conducts daily training of personnel on issues including, but not limited to, fire ground strategy and tactics, search and rescue, vehicle extrication, emergency medical services, firefighter survival, building construction, utility emergencies and hazardous materials.  The training office also coordinates all the mandated PEOSH and State of NJ training including “Bloodborne Pathogens” and “Hazard Communication” for all personnel. The Training Officer serves as the Safety Officer and chairs the Safety Committee.


Hazardous Material Decontamination Task Force
WOFD serves as a member agency of the UASI and Essex County “DECON” Task Force(s).  As a task force member, WOFD responds with other mutual aid partners to perform mass decontamination at hazardous material releases.