About the Somerville Fire Department

The Fire Department’s responsibilities include fire prevention and education, emergency medical response, hazardous materials mitigation, water rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, health issues such as carbon monoxide detector investigations, investigation of a variety of building systems issues, response to biohazard incidents, and acts of domestic terrorism.

The Fire Department is divided into 7 units including, Fire Suppression, the Training Division, Fire Prevention Bureau, Flammable Liquid Compliance Unit, Public Education, Fire Investigation Unit, and Emergency Management, all of which join forces to promote safety in a city with the highest population density in the state of Massachusetts.

  • Suppression

  • Fire Prevention Bureau

  • Fire Investigation

  • Training

  • Emergency Management

  • Become a Firefighter

The Fire Suppression Division, commonly referred to as the Firefighting Division, has the awesome responsibility of protecting the public from fire as well as many other types of emergencies. Besides fires, the response to medical aid requests and vehicle accidents constitutes a large portion of the daily response activity.

Visit the Fire Prevention Bureau's homepage to:

  • View a schedule of permitting and inspection feeds
  • Find permit applications and requirements
  • Learn about fire prevention laws in Somerville
  • And more

The Fire Investigation Unit is responsible for determining the cause of fires and assists in the investigation of other related incidents. Strong, aggressive investigations will decrease the number of incendiary fires as well as accidental fires. The identification of the cause and circumstances of how a fire occurred will often prevent a similar incident from happening again. The information that is discovered may be used for a new fire prevention and/or public education program to prevent an incident. The fire investigation unit does prosecute individuals responsible for incendiary fires and threats to burn property.

The Public Education Unit works closely with the school age population to increase their knowledge of what to do before an emergency occurs. The goal of the Public Education Unit is to train our young folks in what to do before, during, and after an emergency occurs. Before an incident, they are taught lessons such as checking and testing smoke detector, escape route planning, and behavior that may cause fire.

The Training Division is a very important component of department operations. Properly trained, a fire department can control and contain almost any situation with minimal damage and loss of life. Training in fire tactics is important; however, a firefighter must be trained in many other areas in order to control the situations that are encountered in day-to-day operations. For example, constantly being updated in medical procedures, hazardous materials response and bio terrorism–the list goes on and on. We make every effort to train to meet the needs of the community as the all hazard service.

The Emergency Management Division is responsible for the coordination of all the resources of the City of Somerville to avert or combat the effects of any disaster, either natural or man-made. Emergency Management may be remembered as the Civil Defense Department of a previous era. Emergency Management coordinates resources before, during and after an incident. Several of the primary responsibilities include updating the city’s Comprehensive Emergency Plan as well as overseeing the Local Emergency Planning Committee. Emergency Management ties the city to many state and federal resources that would be immediately available in the event that an incident exceeds our local capabilities.

Hazard Mitigation

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

The state holds a civil service exam every two years to become a firefighter. Click here for more information on getting started.