The Merced County Fire Department is a full service fire department providing emergency services to all unincorporated areas of the County through a network of fire stations, personnel, and equipment. This network is comprised of twenty stations and a fleet of approximately eighty vehicles.
The department is administered and suppression personnel are provided through a contract with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). Support personnel are Merced County employees.
The department also provides fire protection to the Cities of Gustine, Dos Palos, and Livingston through agreements with these cities.
The Fire Department Battalions
The department is divided into four battalions, each administered by a Battalion Chief responsible for that battalion. These battalions are numbered 16, 17, 18, and 19, and the stations within each start with a 6, 7, 8, or 9 to differentiate their respective battalions.
The Battalion Chiefs are in turn supervised by a Division Chief, who reports to the Deputy Chief and the Merced County Fire Chief, who is also the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit Chief of the California Department of Forestry.
The department also includes a Fire Prevention Bureau, Mobile Equipment Management, and the County Coordinator of the State Office of Emergency Services.
Fire Department Staffing
The fire stations are staffed 24 hours a day by a full-time career Fire Captain or Fire Apparatus Engineer and emergency response is augmented with over 300 Paid Call Firefighters ("PCFs" or volunteers). These PCFs are organized into engine companies by the station’s response area within which they reside.
Station response areas vary from 16 to 325 square miles and the service area of the department is over two thousand square miles.