The Sheboygan Fire Department is dedicated to serving all who live, visit, work, and invest in the City of Sheboygan through excellence in fire protection, rescue, emergency, and non-emergency medical services, code enforcement, and education, at the highest professional level in a compassionate, ethical, and cost effective manner.
The Sheboygan Fire Department will continue to provide response times consistently within the guidelines of NFPA 1710, with up-to-date emergency vehicles/equipment and an adequate number of highly trained personnel, focused on saving lives and preventing property damage. A movement towards a regional based fire protection/shared services system would stabilize the cost of fire/EMS protection for the citizens of Sheboygan, drastically reduce response times and fire/EMS protection in the neighboring communities, and increase the availability of timely resources for the entire area. This cooperative effort would bring together local governments, citizens, firefighters, and EMS personnel working together towards a common goal of saving lives, property, and community assets, while protecting the investments and employment base of private enterprise.
As the City of Sheboygan grew in size and complexity over the past 150 years, the Sheboygan Fire Department grew with it. By 1969, the staffing of the Sheboygan Fire Department had reached 90 sworn fire department personnel. In 1969, the Sheboygan Fire Department protected 9.5 square miles and responded to 551 incidents. In 1975, the department was reorganized to 88 sworn fire department personnel and the downsizing of the department began. The department remained at that level until it was reorganized in the late 1980s to 77 sworn personnel. In late 2005 and early 2006, the Sheboygan Fire Department reduced the sworn fire personnel to 75 personnel following the deletions of a Deputy Chief and Fire Inspector positions. In 2008, three additional firefighter/paramedic positions were added to effectively implement Sheboygan’s new paramedic ambulance service.
The City of Sheboygan has continued to grow over the past 30 years. This expansion has included many housing developments, two industrial parks, a major lakefront development, new annexations, and new projects. The Sheboygan Fire Department’s staffing, on the other hand, has continued to drop. At our current levels, the Sheboygan Fire Department staffing levels have dropped about 18% since 1969. In 2002, our Department responded to approximately 2,400 incidents and protected 14.5 square miles, which is an increase in protection area of over 50% and more than a fourfold increase in incidents responded to. By 2007, the Sheboygan Fire Department will be responsible for protecting over 15 miles of area, over 2 billion dollars worth of assessed property value and nearly 51,000 residents. In 2007, our department responded to in excess of 2,900 incidents and the relative number of responses within our community appears to be growing annually. Since 1975, the number of job responsibilities has increased extensively. Today, we are responsible for providing services in the following areas:
- Basic Firefighting
- Vehicle and Industrial Extrication
- Advanced Emergency Medical and AED First Responder Services
- ALS and BLS Ambulance Response and Transport
- Fire Company based building inspections
- Hazardous Materials Response
- Trench and Confined Rescue Response
- Low Angle Rope and Specialty Rescue
- Fire Company based fire extinguisher training for business
- Education for public/private schools, groups, civic groups, and minorities
- Fire Company based fire exit drill observation and evaluation for all City of Sheboygan schools and city owned/occupied buildings
- Waterfront fire boat fire protection and rescue services
- Ice/Fast Water rescue services Wisconsin Regional Collapse Rescue Team
- Station, vehicle, equipment maintenance, and repair
- Emergency management services, organization, and coordination