Emergency Operations

The City of Bellingham Fire Department provides emergent and non-emergent services to the citizens of Bellingham and Whatcom County, and to all others who require our assistance. We are an all-career staff that focuses on the value and safety of people as we strive for excellence in providing service to our neighborhoods and community. We help people every day!


Our eight fire stations are staffed 24 hours a day by at least 32 personnel. Seven stations have crews that cross-staff a Fire Engine and a Basic Life Support (BLS) Aid Unit. One of our stations also cross-staff a Ladder Truck. Another fire station is tasked with cross-staffing the Salish Star Fire Boat for incidents occurring in the Puget Sound and on our waterfront. A command officer, Battalion 1, is our incident commander for any complicated emergency.


Our crews respond to all types of incidents. Emergency medical calls fill our days. However, structure fires, car fires, motor vehicle collisions, mechanical accidents, chemical spills and release, elevator rescue, water rescue, and numerous other emergencies require our problem-solving skills and specialized training. We pride ourselves in being an all-hazards response fire department, and for partnering with specialty teams in mitigating hazardous materials and technical rescue incidents


We provide world-class medical services. All of our firefighters are very experienced EMT’s and approximately one third of our firefighters are Paramedics with thousands of calls under their belts. Our Paramedics provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) services on three Medic Units: two Medic Units are stationed within city limits and the third is positioned at a satellite station outside city limits so we can provide ALS Paramedic care to every region of Whatcom County. We have one Command Vehicle on duty at all times that acts as a resource manager for all ALS Medic Units operating in Whatcom County and also provides ALS medical care when necessary.


We lead the way. We participate in national studies and create our own trials in order to find the best way to effectively and efficiently protect our citizens. Recently, we have implemented a Community Paramedic that acts to prevent 911 use where another agency may be in a better position to provide assistance. The Community Paramedic frees up our responders for emergencies where only we can help.