Operations & EMS

Fire Operations is the largest division in the Oceanside Fire Department. Three shift-platoons of over 100 sworn personnel are on call from eight neighborhood firehouses throughout the city. They respond to fires, medical responses, disasters, and rescue situations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The platoons are managed by on-duty, line battalion chiefs who coordinate daily staffing, logistics, and serve as the Incident Commander on large emergencies. They may also be called on to be Strike Team leaders for larger scale out-of-city emergencies or disasters.




Truck and engine companies are staffed with a minimum of one company officer, one engineer, and one firefighter/paramedic. Ambulances are staffed with a minimum of two firefighter/paramedics.

Operations also manages EMS response, transport and management. This includes EMS budget, billing, quality assurance, and exposure control.

Specialized units such as Wildland, Rescue, and Urban Search & Rescue also fall under Operations.







Emergency Medical Services

The minimum response standard for 911 medical emergencies in the City of Oceanside is to arrive within five minutes, 90% of the time. To best serve the citizens of Oceanside, Emergency Medical Services are integrated into every other function of the fire department. Every truck, engine, and wildland (brush) company is staffed with at least one paramedic and one EMT-I, (most times two paramedics,) and every ambulance is staffed with two firefighter/paramedics. As a result, 12 paramedic units cover Oceanside’s 42 ½ square miles.

With Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, transporting ambulances have the benefit of remaining inside the city limits much of the time. This allows for an increased availability due to shorter transport and back-in-service times.

The primary designated trauma center for the City of Oceanside is Scripps La Jolla, with Palomar Hospital in Escondido serving as a secondary resource. Due to their distance aero-medical services are typically utilized in cases requiring their services. This assures the best, most timely patient care for victims.

EMS is managed by an Assistant Training Officer (ATO)/Nurse Educator who is responsible for quality assurance, the testing and hiring of new recruits, acting as a liaison with area hospitals, leading the EMS Task Force, establishing EMS policies and procedures, and various specialty training.  For information regarding HIPAA policies, please visit our HIPAA page here.

An ATO in the Training Division is also assigned to EMS. The Training ATO is responsible for continuing education, license and certification management, employee health (tuberculosis and hearing tests,) liaison with County EMS, and Disaster Medical Planning.