The Zion Fire Rescue Department currently serves just under 25,000 residents in an approximate 8.2 square mile area. The two primary services provided by the Zion Fire and Rescue Department are fire suppression and pre-hospital emergency medical care. To ensure we can deliver these services, the Zion Fire Rescue Department employs full-time staff supplemented by paid on premise personnel (part-time, working a variety of 12-24 hour shifts) split between four shifts. Each Shift has a minimum staffing of 7 personnel on duty 24 hours a day, 5 at Station One and 2 at Station Two. Between the two stations, the Zion Fire Rescue Department maintains one command vehicle, two engines, one quint with a 105 foot Ladder, and three Advanced Life Support equipped ambulances.
Each report of a structure fire in the city receives a response of the duty crew personnel with a command vehicle, two engines and one ambulance. This response may be reduced or varied if crews are already committed on a previous call. This same response occurs for reported fire alarms in the City, both residential and commercial. In addition to structure fires, a command vehicle, engine and ambulance may respond to fires not involving a structure, odor investigations, utility emergencies, carbon monoxide incidents and a variety of other non-fire and non-ems emergencies.
Each of our ambulances is equipped to run Advanced Life Support (ALS) emergencies. Each request for an ambulance in the city receives a response of an ALS unit from the responsible district staffed with a minimum of two paramedics. If the nature of the call requires additional help, the ambulance crew can request an engine company, also consisting of a minimum of two paramedics for assistance. There are occasions when all three ambulances are committed on a call. In this instance, we have one ALS equipped engine certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health as a non-transport vehicle which can respond on medical emergencies when needed and begin treatment prior to the arrival of an ambulance.
There are many occasions when additional staffing is needed at the scene of an emergency or to cover our stations while all Zion personnel are committed on calls. In this case we may request that available off duty personnel respond to the stations when needed. The Zion Fire Rescue Department also participates in an automatic response program with the four fire departments that surround Zion. The Quad One response includes Beach Park Fire Department, Newport Fire Department, Pleasant Prairie Fire Rescue and the Winthrop Harbor Fire Department. This gives us immediate access to additional equipment and personnel. Finally, for major emergencies, the Zion Fire Rescue Department is part of the statewide Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) that makes available equipment and personnel from all departments in Lake County as well as other counties in the state if needed.