About Our Department
Provide a safer community for the McFarland area while providing value-added services to the members of the McFarland Community.
Provide leadership and support to enable the McFarland Fire and Rescue Department to accomplish its Mission.
Provide the highest level of emergency response consistent with identified community needs and expectations.
Provide challenging training and education that is current and effective, enabling the McFarland Fire and Rescue Department to accomplish its Mission.
Proactively improves life safety, minimizes losses, and reduces the risks from fire through; education, application of codes, and investigation.
Establish community partnerships that complement and enhance the services we provide.
Prepare and maintain the documents, facilities, equipment, and trained personnel to effectively manage and support all incidents/disasters no matter how big or small.
The McFarland Fire and Rescue Department responds to a wide variety of emergency situations, including:
- Grass fires
- Medical emergencies
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Severe storm emergencies
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Structure fires
- Traumatic emergencies
- Water and ice-related emergencies
To respond to these varied emergencies, the Department's full-time and paid on call Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) staff a variety of apparatus for the varying type of incidents the department responds to.
The Department also engages in an aggressive fire prevention program with the McFarland schools and other community groups, by giving station tours, public CPR training, Home Safety Visits, and other events such as Fire Prevention Week activities and our annual Open House. We also conduct fire inspections, enforcing state and local fire codes, and arson investigations. The Department partners with the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) for materials used in fire prevention and safety education activities.
Services to Other Agencies
The Department works closely with the Police Departments and Civic Departments in providing emergency services and supplies back-up mutual aid to surrounding departments when called upon. The workload of the Department is impacted by the incidence of vehicle accidents that occur on the stretches of U.S. Highway 51 and county trunk highways that are within our response area and the variety of challenges posed by serving rural areas without hydrants. The Public Protection Charge (the cost to up-size our Village water system), determined by the Public Services Commission (PSC) to compensate the Water Utility for providing standby fire protection capacity, is included in the departmental budget.
Public Protection Classification
The McFarland Fire and Rescue Department went through an audit by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) in 2010, which ranks fire departments via a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. The "Public Protection Classification" (PPC) derived from this rating schedule directly affects the rates companies charge for fire insurance in a given community. The PPC is based on equipment, water system, training, and available personnel for fire response. The classification ranges from 10 to 1, with 1 being the best, and can have a significant impact on the fire insurance rates paid by residents and businesses.
We are pleased to report that our ISO classification improved from a Class 4 to a Class 3 for the Village of McFarland and a class 8B for the two townships. There are 45,504 fire districts in the United States. Of that, 42 are Class 1, 310 are Class 2 and 1180 are Class 3. Our Class 3 ranking puts us in the upper 3% of fire departments nation-wide, a fact that makes our Department and our Water Utility very proud.
The Full-time staffing of the Department is:
- A Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief
- An Administrative Captain
- A Fire Inspector/Public Education Specialist
- Six A-EMTs that work rotating 24- and 48-hour shifts
- A Confidential Administrative Assitant shared with the Administration Department
The Department also relies on an extensive organization of about 65 paid-on-call firefighters, EMTs, and officers who are paged to respond to calls. The combination of membership ensures the Department is able to respond promptly and appropriately to requests for service.
The Fire and Rescue Department is funded mainly from the Village property tax levy and contracts with area townships. In addition, we receive "2% dues" which is collected on insurance policies by the State and distributed annually to fire departments that participate and properly document fire protection inspections of public buildings in their respective districts. Lastly, monies are collected for fire protection system plan reviews, fuel storage tank inspections, and highway incident responses.
The Department budget is also supplemented by public donations and by fundraising events (Pancake Breakfast, Donation Newsletters, etc.) conducted by the members through the McFarland Fire & Rescue Association (501c3).
We are very grateful to the Village Board, Village officials, and the citizens of McFarland for their support of our mission and to allow the McFarland Fire and Rescue Department to exist and to continue protecting the lives, property, and environment within the communities served from fires, disasters, and emergency incidents through education, prevention, and emergency response.