About the Owatonna Fire Department
Owatonna Fire Department is a combination fire department - there are full-time firefighters, resident firefighters, and paid-on-call firefighters.
Full-time Firefighters: The minimum full-time staffing for the fire department is one Fire Commander and one Fire Equipment Operator. The duty shift starts at 8:00 AM and are on-duty for 24 hours. Depending on scheduling determined by the Fire Chief, a duty shift may have additional firefighters assigned to any day on the schedule. Fire response starts with a duty shift page to the Fire Commander on-duty. Dispatching is provided by the Rice Steele 911 Center by radio. The Fire Commander determines what additional help is needed to respond to the incident. Off-duty full time staff back up the duty shift when needed. Depending on the type of incident, the Fire Commander can respond with station staffing or page a Day Squad, Night Squad or All Call page for additional help.
Resident Firefighter Program: There are slots for six paid-on-call firefighters that live at the fire station. Resident firefighters are offered a room at the fire station at no cost. Resident firefighters must reside at the fire station twenty nights per month and be available for response. Resident firefighters are asked to make a two year commitment to the resident program. Upon completion, they can choose to remain living at the fire station or move out and become a paid-on-call firefighter.
Paid-on-Call Firefighters: Depending on their availability, the paid-on-call firefighters are assigned to either the Day Squad or Night Squad. Paid-on-call firefighters must respond to a minimum 40% of paged shift calls to remain on the fire department.
All firefighters are required to complete Minnesota Certification Firefighter I, First Responder Emergency Medical Training and Hazardous Materials Awareness training. Firefighters are required to attend a minimum 80% of scheduled training sessions. Firefighters regularly train the second and fourth Monday night each month from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Additional training sessions may be scheduled as needed.
Mutual Aid: Owatonna Fire Department has mutual aid agreements with other area fire departments. Per a request from a mutual aid fire department, Owatonna Fire Department is paged to assist with equipment or firefighters, as needed.
Fire Corp: Owatonna Fire Department also participates in the Fire Corp / Fire Explorer program. This program provides an opportunity for youth to volunteer to serve the community and learn about the fire service. Explorers often continue their pursuit in the fire service by becoming paid-on-call firefighters.
History of the Fire Department, provided courtesy of Leon Ellis, retired full-time OFD firefighter