ALL FIRE OR RESCUE EMERGENCIES should be called in as 911.
This will, in most cases, enable the dispatcher to know the location where the call is originating. Fire or Rescue will be dispatched to the requested location. We ask that people remain on the line if 911 is called accidentally. A police officer will be dispatched, regardless, to insure that there are no problems. All non-emergency and other calls for the fire department should be made to our business line 440-585-1202.
What are the fire department’s hours of operation?
The fire department is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The department is staffed by part-time firefighters, except for the Fire Chief who is full time. The fire station is manned by six firefighters around the clock. We provide fire suppression service, emergency medical service, fire prevention and public education services. We respond to approximately 2,300 calls for assistance annually. Our primary response vehicles consist of two pumpers, one aerial truck and two advanced life support ambulances.
Our manning strength of 72 firefighters is determined by city ordinance. This includes the Fire Chief, 5 Captains, 8 Lieutenants, and 57 firefighters. The Department is comprised of 5 Divisions: Emergency Operations, Emergency Medical Services, Facilities and Equipment, Communications, and Fire Prevention. The Fire Chief is assisted by a full-time Administrative Assistant. Our organizational charts are available here. You can also review the Willowick Fire Department 2016 Annual Report.
The Willowick Fire Department provides emergency medical services (EMS) around the clock to the citizens of Willowick. These services include both basic and advanced life support for trauma and other medical emergencies. Thirty-seven of our fifty members are certified Paramedics and the other thirteen are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s). We operate two fully-equipped ambulances and responded to 1,683 calls for medical assistance in 2012. Our average response time is three to four minutes depending on factors such as weather conditions, time of day or being committed to other emergencies.
In order to maintain our certifications, Paramedics and EMT’s must complete specified hours of continuing education, depending on their certification level. Required continuing education can range from between 48 and 80 hours annually.
In January, 2010, The Willowick Fire Department implemented fully automated dispatching thanks to a grant received from the Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Each primary response vehicle is equipped with a Mobile Data Terminal (MDT). When an alarm is received through the Willowick Dispatch Center, the on-duty dispatcher simply enters the address and nature of the emergency into a software database. At this point, a computer generated voice notifies the Fire Department of the nature of the call and the apparatus due to respond. Firefighters can then enter the apparatus and check the MDT to ascertain the exact location and nature of the call. Additionally, a mapping screen can be brought up showing the quickest route to the call location. A global positioning system (GPS) tracks the exact location of the response vehicle as well as the speed of the vehicle. Apparatus operators can log their enroute, on-scene and inservice times by simply using the touch screen capabilities on the MDT’s.
Color and Honor Guard
The Willowick Fire Department Color and Honor Guard was formed in early 2005 to honor the memory of Firefighter Ed Sufilka who was killed in a tragic accident while vacationing in Australia in December of 2004. This is an all volunteer unit of the Fire Department whose mission is to honor our fallen brother and sister firefighters and to honor the flag of the United States.
We train on a regular basis in areas such as flag etiquette, facing movements and marching. Three of our members, Lt. Stan Muraski, Lt. John Kraus and Firefighter Joe Tennyson have attended the prestigious National Fire and Public Safety Honor Guard Academy in Connecticut.
Training and financial assistance was provided by the American Legion Post 678 and the VFW Post 3863.
Willoughby-on-the-Lake became the Village of Willowick in 1923 with a population of approximately 300 people. There is little early information regarding when the fire department was first established. Some of the information indicates it was established as a volunteer department in 1929.
In 1934, the first police station was in a 3 story house at the intersection of Lakeshore Blvd. and Vine St. and part of the Village Hall. In 1948, a building was constructed at 31230 Vine St. which housed the City Hall, Police and Fire Depts. The Fire Department moved into its current location at the Municipal Safety Center at 30435 Lakeshore Blvd. in December of 1976.