The Fire Division provides fire prevention and suppression, emergency medical, technical rescue, and hazardous materials mitigation services. The City is served by one engine/rescue unit, one ladder truck and three medic units, operating from two station locations. The division responds to approximately 4,500 incidents each year.
All services are delivered by 50 firefighters and paramedics over three, 24-hour shifts, in partnership with an administrative team that includes the Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, the Fire Prevention Office, EMS/Training Office, and support staff. Each year, Fire personnel undergo live fire and rescue training exercises, continuing education to maintain firefighting, EMT, paramedic and inspection certifications, and field exercises as part of the regional hazardous materials team.
The division provides a variety of health and safety programs, designed to educate and help residents take steps to assist the public with EMS, CARES, Fire Prevention, station and truck tours, and public speaking requests.
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Each year, approximately 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital setting in the U.S. Nearly 90% prove fatal, and the chance of survival decreases by 10% per minute without CPR. The PulsePoint mobile application empowers citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Should someone in a public place experience a cardiac emergency, the app will alert CPR-trained, registered citizens who are in the vicinity simultaneously with the dispatch of paramedics. The app also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
The free app is available for download on iTunes and Google Play. After download, click the menu pull-down button, select “Agencies” and search for “Upper Arlington Fire.” Next, select “Settings” from the same menu to turn notifications on for CPR. Call 614-583-5100 for additional details, including CPR training opportunities.
Knox Box is a mini, lockable steel vault that provides firefighters and paramedics access to keys for entry to a residence or business in an emergency. Only the UA Fire Division can access boxes in Upper Arlington. The vault is installed by the resident or business owner on the structure’s exterior near the entry. In an emergency, the dispatcher tells first responders if a Knox-Box is onsite for easy building access, without forcing a door or damaging the building.
Contact Fire or call 614-583-5100 if you wish to purchase a Knox Box or would like more information.
The File of Life is a health information system that allows emergency personnel to respond more effectively when called to a resident’s home. The File of Life kit contains a medical data form, a magnetized pocket and a File of Life return postcard. Residents complete the form detailing their personal medical and emergency contact data. The form is placed in the magnetic pouch and affixed to the outside of the refrigerator. UA Fire and Medics are trained to look for the File of Life when they are called to an emergency situation. The registration postcard is returned to the UA Commission on Aging once the File of Life is complete.
The File of Life is free and available at the UA Fire Division, UA Senior Center and the UA Commission on Aging or can be mailed to the home by calling the UA Commission on Aging at 614-583-5326.
The File of Life is made possible through a grant from the Upper Arlington Community Foundation and the Upper Arlington Rotary Club.
TEXT TO 911
Franklin County’s Emergency Communications Centers—including the City’s provider, NRECC, at the City of Dublin—now offer a Text to 911 feature, enabling residents to send a text for assistance if necessary.
This new option should only be used under certain circumstances:
- If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.
- If you are unable to speak due to an injury.
- If you are in a threatening situation and a voice call would increase the threat.
- If mobile phone reception is poor.
If you do need to send a text for emergency assistance, type in the numbers 911 in the “to” field. Then type a brief but informative message that includes your location and the type of emergency. Then press “send.”
The City’s emergency dispatching provider, NRECC at the City of Dublin, has enhanced the level of service our emergency responders can provide to residents by becoming a Smart911TM agency.
Smart911TM is an online tool enabling residents to create a household “Safety Profile” that is directly shared with NRECC dispatchers in the event that you call 9-1-1 for assistance. Once registered, should an emergency occur at your home or to a family member whose information and phone number is included in the Safety Profile, dispatchers will immediately have access to information that could prove invaluable to first responders and, ultimately to those in need of assistance.
When you register your household with Smart911TM, you decide what information to include in your Safety Profile. It can be:
- Details about your home, such as the number and location of bedrooms.
- Details about your family members and any medical conditions or special needs.
- Details about your pets, so that emergency responders can be prepared and better positioned to rescue them if necessary.
How to Register
Register for Smart911TM by clicking here, or download the Smart911TM app on the Apple Store or Google Play. Your Safety Profile is private and secure, and you control what information is made available to emergency 9-1-1 dispatchers.
Permits that are processed by the Fire Division must be obtained for the following:
- Fireworks Exhibits
- Hydrant Permits
- Open Burn
- Service Station
- Tents (Any tent or membrane structure over 400 square feet, unless the tent is open on all sides, in which case up to 700 square feet is allowed without a permit.)
- Underground Storage Tank Removal
- Private Fire Main (contractors building new complexes that require installing a fire hydrant)
FIRE STATION 71
FIRE STATION 72
The public is invited to visit any UAFD fire station. Walk-in tours are welcome but for larger groups, we ask that you schedule a tour with our Fire Administration Office. Please keep tour groups to a maximum of 15 individuals. Tours are available 10:00–11:30 am, 4:00-5:30 pm or 7:00-9:00 pm. Please call 614-583-5100 to schedule your tour.
Since 1930: An Annotated History of UAFD
Upper Arlington Fire Division personnel take great pride in their heritage. Across the decades, all have shared a commitment to providing the best possible safety and emergency services.
(1) The Village of Upper Arlington was formed in 1918. Incorporation brought with it various responsibilities, such as holding elections, housing village offices and providing fire protection. It was not until November 5, 1929, that voters of Upper Arlington approved the acquisition of a site and construction of a new building. On February 4, 1930, plans were laid for construction of a municipal building that would serve as a base of operations for firefighters, police officers and other workers.
(2) In 1930, Upper Arlington’s bid for its first fire truck was awarded to the Seagrave Company, which supplied one 600-gallon “Seagrave Special Triple Combination Pumping Engine” with standard equipment for the price of $8,750.
(3) On November 5, 1930, the Village Safety Committee appointed William S. Bucklew as assistant fire chief, Sam L. Foster as lieutenant, and John Throckmorton and Charles R. Scott as firefighters. Monthly salaries consisted of $140 for the assistant chief and $115 for the lieutenant and firefighters. The personnel were trained, the truck delivered, and by December 1, 1930, the Upper Arlington Fire Division was in service (Scott went on to serve as fire marshal for the State of Ohio from 1952-1957).
(4) Within a year, it was apparent more help was needed. At this time, the division began employing students from The Ohio State University as firefighters. The students received lodging at the fire station, plus 50 cents per day.
(5) In 1938, the Upper Arlington Commission awarded the Seagrave Company a contract for a new triple combination suburbanite fire truck to augment the village’s existing firefighting equipment. The Commission appropriated $10,000 to cover the cost of the new truck and accompanying fire hose.
(6) April 4, 1954 marked a great accomplishment for the division. Under the direction of Sam Foster, who served as fire chief from 1942 to 1960, UAFD’s 11 personnel hosted the first house burning for the purpose of testing and training in the central Ohio area. Approximately 800 firefighters, along with 20,000 spectators, turned out to watch the demonstration of a new technique called fogging, in which a fire is smothered with a fine mist of water instead of directing solid streams of water at the base of the blaze. Only 612 gallons of water were used during this test run. It was estimated that 16,200 gallons would have been used with the straight stream method.
(7) April 7, 1955 was a tragic day for the Fire Division. Lieutenant Jack C. O’Donnell, a 35-year-old third ranking officer, became the first Upper Arlington firefighter to die in the line of duty. He became ill after fighting a house fire and never recovered. His death was caused by heart failure due to smoke inhalation and over exertion.
(8) The second Upper Arlington fire station (and police substation)—Station 72—was opened on December 27, 1959 on Reed Road. The station was dedicated to Fire Chief Samuel L. Foster, who at the time headed a staff of 21 personnel assigned to seven emergency apparatus.
(9) In 1965, UAFD had expanded its firefighting force to 29 personnel and one canine. Sparky the Fire Dog was added to the division to help spread fire prevention information. He was taken around to shopping centers and classrooms where he helped in the teaching of important safety messages.
(10) Groundbreaking on a third fire station on Coach Road—Station 73—occurred on August 30, 1971. The new station was built to serve the northwest area of the City, including residents who were part of the 1969 annexation of 500 acres north of McCoy Road. The cost for the new firehouse was $256,000.
(11) By 1972, the City had grown to 9.5 square miles with a population of 40,000. City offices were expanding as well, with construction of the Municipal Services Center (MSC) on Tremont Road. Following the opening of the MSC, the Fire Division’s administrative and fire prevention offices were moved from the original city hall at 2095 Arlington Avenue. The older building, following adoption of a new regional apparatus and station numbering system, became Fire Station 71.
(12) Over the years, UAFD personnel participated in a series of competitive meets that tested their skills and abilities in first aid and emergency care. In 1974, the division was awarded the world championship trophy by the International Rescue and First Aid Association.
(13) UAFD was one of the pioneers in the use of educational methodology to minimize fire problems in the community. Its juvenile fire setter intervention program and its school fire safety education program are considered as models by fire services across the United States.
(14) On Christmas Eve in 1980, UAFD responded to the most tragic fire in the City’s history. Two adults and four children perished in a house fire at Kenny and McCoy roads.
(15) To meet the needs of larger fire apparatus, as well as safety and personnel issues, Fire Station 71 was gutted and underwent a $1 million renovation in 1991.
(16) On September 11, 2001, four UAFD personnel responded as part of Ohio Task Force 1’s federal urban search and rescue task force to the collapse of the World Trade Center. Arriving in New York early the next day, task force personnel worked for 10 days with other rescuers from across the United States at the site of the largest terrorist attack ever committed on American soil.
(17) UAFD celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005 with a yearlong series of activities. The capstone was the reacquisition of the City’s original 1930 Seagrave fire engine (known as “Engine 1”). The truck was restored to running condition through cooperative fund raising efforts by Local 1521 of the International Association of Firefighters, the City of Upper Arlington, and private community benefactors. Engine 1 made its proud public debut at the 2005 Fourth of July Parade. It is displayed in a dedicated public exhibit gallery at Fire Station 72.
(18) Back in 1992, UAFD was one of the first departments in the nation to implement a mandatory physical fitness training program. Following the 2007 annual health and fitness evaluation, Mt. Carmel Health identified the Fire Division as the “fittest” of all the fire departments they tested. This included the division achieving the lowest average body mass index and body fat ever in its history.
(19) 2008 was marked by a groundbreaking ceremony for construction of a new Fire Station 72. City Council previously authorized issuance of $6 million in bonds to construct the new facility on Reed Road, replacing existing stations 72 and 73.
(20) In 2009, the Fire Division partnered with a local private social service agency to integrate a service coordinator as an alternative resource for the community. Dubbed “STAY UA” (Services to Age in Your Upper Arlington), this was in direct response to the continuing influx of incidents in which residents were calling 9-1-1 for non-traditional EMS. The main goal of STAY UA is to facilitate keeping older adults and residents with disabilities safely in their homes. The success of this innovative program was recognized in 2010 with receipt of the Columbus Business First “Healthcare Heroes Innovator Award,” and in 2011 with the International City Management Association’s “Community Partnership Excellence Award.”
(21) Following a year-long construction project, a brand new Fire Station 72 opened in 2010. The firehouse was built as a shared-services facility, with emergency response and administrative personnel from UAFD stationed there, as well as police support services. Continuing a past practice, an indoor police firearms qualification range was included in the lower level of the facility. That same year, the original Station 72 was demolished, and outdoor recreational amenities installed over its original footprint. The year of its opening, Station 72 was featured on the cover of the national fire service magazine Fire Chief, for being named a winner of the publication’s annual “Station Design Style Award.”
(22) In 2013, the City administration gave the fire chief approval to move all UAFD support personnel from the Municipal Services Center to Station 72. To accommodate the space requirements, all police support services personnel (except the training sergeant) were moved to the MSC as the Police Division took over the offices formerly occupied by the Fire Division.
(23) A major explosion in 2015 in a residential area on Sunningdale Way completely destroyed one house and severely damaged several others. The blast was heard and felt for miles, and subsequent investigations traced the cause to ignition of free-flowing natural gas in the destroyed home. In addition to UAFD, a large number of employees from City departments played an important part in the initial response, cause-and-origin determination, and the recovery and re-building efforts.
(24) The UAFD table of organization underwent major changes during 2015-16. The rank of emergency operations shift commander was changed from battalion chief to captain. The PIO position was eliminated and a new deputy chief position added.
(25) 2017 saw the launch of a pilot community paramedicine program. Dubbed “CARES” (Community Assistance, Referrals, & Educational Services), it was initiated to complement the existing STAY UA service coordinator program. In recognition of the adoption of these non-traditional fire department services, the Ohio Department of Public Safety awarded UAFD its “Ohio EMS Agency of the Year” designation.
(26) Also in 2017 came the decision by City Council and the City administration to close the existing in-house police and fire 911/dispatching center at the MSC. This was the culmination of a multi-year study that originated in 2012. The City completed the transfer of all 9-1-1 and public safety dispatching services to the Northwest Regional Emergency Communication Center (NRECC), operated by the City of Dublin, in early 2018.
Donate & Volunteer (2)
Volunteer forms are available to fill out on the Upper Arlington Website. Volunteering is event-based and will occur on specific dates. Fill out your name and information and a member of the Parks and Rec. staff will contact you with an available event. Volunteer forms can be found here.