ST. PAUL — As COVID-19 begins to impact fire departments across the state, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (DPS-SFMD) is working with fire service leaders to ensure Minnesota’s 776 departments are able to keep their communities safe should firefighters become ill or need to quarantine.
The DPS-SFMD has created a statewide Fire Department Mutual Aid Status Map to monitor fire department service levels. Fire department status information is updated each weekday. More information about the map is on the SFMD website.
The Plato Fire Department went out of service earlier this week and is currently the only department to do so because of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is a serious illness that can affect anyone, including firefighters,” State Fire Marshal Jim Smith said. “We are working with fire service leaders to make sure they have what they need to continue doing what they do best: keeping their communities safe.”
Fire departments have local mutual aid partners they can turn to if necessary to help provide fire, medical and other emergency services. The DPS-SFMD is ready to send additional help through the Intrastate Mutual Aid Plan if necessary.
The plan has been used twice in 2020. The first incident was the Northern Metal Recycling fire in Becker in February. More recently, the St. Paul Fire Department asked for assistance from other departments during the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death at the end of May. DPS-SFMD staff collected logistical information, located 27 pieces of equipment and help coordinate 97 fire crews.
Learn more about the statewide mutual aid plan in this blog post.
“We are prepared for
situations like this,” Smith said. “There are robust plans in place to continue
the delivery of emergency services promptly and safely.”
the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 10 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
the State Fire Marshal Division
The mission of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the State Fire Marshal Division from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state.