East Pierce Fire & Rescue Operates Six Divisions:
Financial, Human Resources, and Information Technology Departments
EPFR’s Administrative Division is comprised of the Human Resources, Information Technology Department, and Financial Department.
The Human Resources department provides personnel services for all divisions and officials of the district by managing people-related concerns and needs, including all staffing needs, labor and employee relations, benefits administration, performance management, policy development, occupational injury/illness claims, and employee leave. HR is also responsible for ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations.
Information Technology consists of an Information Systems Manager who keeps all computers, printers, and copiers in working order across the district – plus, keeps the network and phone systems running.
Information Technology is also responsible for the firefighters’ electronic tablets for patient care reporting and documentation during EMS calls. Vital health information can be transmitted wirelessly from the tablet to the hospital, saving precious time, especially for patients experiencing a cardiac event, stroke, or trauma. Mobile Data Terminals, used in fire and EMS vehicles, provide maps and updates as the firefighters respond to 9-1-1 calls.
The finance department provides comprehensive accounting, budgeting, payroll administration, debt management, investment, financial reporting, and internal control services for the district. Financial reports can be found on our Resources page.
Emergency Medical Services Division
Emergency Medical Services
The Emergency Medical Services Division provides clinical direction, medical oversight, and support for the department’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) operations. EMS performance is analyzed through a quality improvement (QI) program. EMS Division staff work with the Training Division to coordinate and deliver EMS-related education and training. Insurance and billing information is used to bill health insurance companies and other third-party payers.
To handle the increasing EMS call volume, EPFR deploys six fire engines and four medic units (paramedic ambulances) with a combination of firefighter-EMTs and firefighter-paramedics at our six staffed stations. All full-time firefighters are cross-trained as either emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics and are able to respond to both medical emergencies and fires.
Mobile Integrated Health
Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) represents one of the most progressive evolutions in the delivery of community-based care by sending EMS providers within their current scope of practice in an expanded role through the use of non-emergent resources in the pre-hospital setting.
Community Resource Paramedic
The Community Resource Paramedic assists frequent 9-1-1 callers and patients with unmet, chronic medical conditions. The Community Resource Paramedic helps patients navigate a complex health-care system, connecting them with resources and case managers who often can provide services to assist these “at-risk” patients. This program helps improve the quality of life for patients and helps them continue to live safely, and independently, while reducing 9-1-1 calls, keeping fire/EMS units available for other medical emergencies.
Behavioral Health Specialist
EPFR’s Behavioral Health Specialist’s connections and in-depth knowledge of Pierce County’s mental health system help fill the gap our residents often encounter when attempting to access care.
No Out-Of-Pocket Ambulance Expense To Residents
Since 2004, East Pierce Fire & Rescue has provided emergency ambulance service to district residents with the goal of providing improved clinical care at no “out-of-pocket” cost to fire district residents. The district does bill, on the patient’s behalf, private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance providers.
For district residents, insurance co-pays are “written off” against the EMS levy, providing hospital transportation at no “out-of-pocket” expense to the individual patient. We estimate that district residents save between $900,000 and $1,200,000 each year from this program, which is underwritten by the EMS levy.
Fire Prevention and Emergency Management Divisions
Fire Prevention Division
The Fire Prevention provides inspections and fire investigation within the cities of Bonney Lake, Edgewood, Milton, Sumner, and the Town of South Prairie.
The fire district is responsible for determining the origin and cause of all fires that occur within the jurisdiction. The majority of the investigations are conducted by East Pierce Fire & Rescue’s investigators or with assistance from the Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Visit the Fire Prevention page for information on code enforcement, new construction/tenant improvements, Knox Box Rapid Entry Systems, and submitting reports.
Unlike most emergency response, Emergency Management involves preparing for disaster before it occurs. Since effective emergency management relies on the integration of emergency plans at many levels, the Emergency Management Division works closely with trained personnel from local police and sheriff’s agencies and various city, state and federal departments.
During a disaster, members of a regional team activate the emergency operations center (EOC) at the East Pierce headquarters station in Bonney Lake. The EOC manages incidents and resources for the residents in the East Pierce Fire and Rescue jurisdiction, including Sumner, Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps, Edgewood, Milton, South Prairie, Wilkeson and the Ridge Communities. The EOC tracks resources, manages responders and moves needed supplies to the affected areas.
The Logistics Division supports the day-to-day operations through the acquisition and maintenance of fire and EMS vehicles, equipment and facilities, and the procurement and distribution of supplies and materials necessary for the fire department to function.
Logistics coordinates the complex operation of supporting 11 facilities, 80 emergency response and support vehicles, and 175 employees cost-effectively and efficiently.
Operations and Training Divisions
The Operations Division oversees training, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and technical rescue response for the communities served by East Pierce Fire & Rescue.
East Pierce Fire & Rescue is a combination department utilizing both career and volunteer firefighters to handle a wide variety of emergencies. Career firefighters and paramedics are automatically dispatched to calls throughout the 153 square miles that are protected by the district. If unstaffed volunteer stations are located closer to an incident, they will also be dispatched to the scene.
While on duty, the firefighters participate in training, public education events, vehicle and equipment maintenance, and other routine activities.
The district’s headquarters fire station houses emergency response personnel in addition to the administrative offices for the district. This Division is split into three shifts, each headed by a Battalion Chief, who is assigned to the headquarters station.
East Pierce Firefighters maintain and improve skills and abilities through on-going training overseen by the Training Division.
All career and volunteer personnel must undergo annual firefighting and emergency medical classes and drills. Training and education is crucial in keeping critical firefighting and medical skills current.
The Training Division is responsible for assessing training needs, developing a training calendar and curriculum, providing instruction and record keeping. It also conducts evaluations of probationary personnel and crew-based training drills.
This Division conducts on-duty training for personnel and provides instructors and specialized classes for Officer Development, Incident Command, Tactical Operations and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Assuring that all East Pierce career and volunteer firefighters meet mandatory training requirements is vital for the well-being and safety of our personnel and successful fire operations.