Skip to content.
HomeE-ServicesCity GovernmentLiving & WorkingDoing Business
You Are Here: Home > City Government > Departments & Divisions > Fire > Operations Division

Operations Division

The mission of the Operations Division is as follows:

  • Protect all of the City's citizens and visitors and their property during emergencies by extinguishing all fires, responding to emergency medical calls and the mitigation of all hazardous conditions.
  • Stabilize and mitigate critical incidents outside of ordinary emergencies such as ice and water rescue, technical rescue and hazardous materials incidents.
  • Provide the highest quality professional development training sessions to all personnel, allowing for the safe and efficient discharge of duties by members of the Worcester Fire Department.


The WFD is part of a GE 800 mhz trunked radio system used by the city. The department uses GE MPA portable radios. Each radio is assigned 16 different talk groups the WFD uses. There is an admin group on which the majority everyday radio traffic is handled. The department also has 3 operations groups to which incidents can be switched per the incident commander. (This is mandatory on all reported structure fires); this allows an incident its own operations channel. Fire Prevention, Training and Maintenance each have their own talk group. The WFD is dispatched out of the Emergency Communications Department at 9-11 Lincoln Sq. where all 911 calls are answered using an E-911 system. Calls are then transferred to the appropriate dispatchers. Call receipt and dispatching at Communications is automated with a CAD system.

Emergency Medical Service (EMS)

The department is fully trained as first-responders for EMS. Equipment carried on the apparatus besides normal first aid equipment includes oxygen, airway management kits, OB kits, collars and splints, suction devices, and backboards. The trucks respond in conjunction with Worcester-UMass EMS, a full paramedic ambulance service run by the state from University of Mass Medical Center in Worcester. The service runs 3 ambulances for the city and is backed up by private service. The WFD now has about 30 EMT's and that number is increasing annually. The trucks are dispatched with the ambulance and sometimes the police, if needed. One thing is for sure, the citizens of the City of Worcester receive some of the speediest and best EMS care in the country if they call for it. The WFD also provides basic life support training (BLS) to the community and is one of the largest certifying agencies in central Massachusetts, training in excess of 3500 people annually in first aid and CPR.

In addition, all companies are now equipped with semi-automatic external defibrillators (SAED) in order to provide the critical early response for CPR/defib cardiac care.

Hazmat Team (Hazardous Materials)

The Hazardous Materials Team is made up of 16 certified Hazmat Technicians. Although we rely on the State district 3 Hazmat team for equipment, our own technicians can advise incident commanders on appropriate actions to take during an incident, pending the arrival of the District 3 state team when necessary.

Scuba Rescue

This team is made up of 16 divers, four in each working shift. The divers are all Certified Public Safety Dive Rescue Specialists and are also trained in air bag lift operations, crime scene recovery, swift water rescue and recovery, and under ice rescue. They respond with their apparatus and equipment as a part of a scuba alert response. The primary response is a strategic placement of rescue suits and surfboards throughout the city for quick response to water or ice emergencies. The scuba truck is a former city ambulance that was converted by members of the Department for the team. The department also has a 13 foot Boston Whaler boat and has hard-wire communications for the divers.

Technical Rescue

These are teams that were formed for Confined Space and High Angle rescue. Members of Rescue 1 and ladder companies are already trained for these types of emergencies. In addition, the department is in the process of training 32 fire fighters, four 8-man groups, to specialize in these types of operations.

City Government
© 2017 | Copyright City of Worcester, MA | All Rights Reserved. | Login | Disclaimer | Site Map