UC Davis Fire Department Annual Report 2013-14


The following are excerpts from the 2013-14, UC Davis Fire Department Annual Report.  To view the full report and graphics – please click here.


2013-2014 was a year of hard work and collaboration for the UC Davis Fire Department. In September, a boundary drop with the City of Davis Fire Department cleared the way to improve service to both communities through closest unit dispatching. As campus and city populations both increase, our ability to best serve those requesting service has improved through quicker, more globally strategic, deployment of resources.

January 1, 2014 marked the start date for shared fire management between the City of Davis and UC Davis Fire Departments. Under this collaborative agreement all chief officers work together to manage both agencies and look to find efficiencies in process and service delivery where possible.

We continue to formalize regional partnerships with fire departments throughout Yolo County to strengthen the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium, which delivers in-demand training from California’s most sought-after instructors. This Consortium increased the frequency of multi-agency exercises, standardizing practices and formalizing interagency partnerships.

It has been a very busy time here at UC Davis Fire, but we look forward to many exciting new initiatives on the horizon and, as always, we thank you for the opportunity to serve!


UC Davis is recognized as one of the nation’s top-tier public research universities. As such, the UC Davis Fire Department provides dedicated, selfless service to reduce the impacts of emergencies on instruction and research.

Our commitment to students, faculty and staff is evident in the comprehensive variety of programs and services we deliver:

  • Following the highest standards in life safety, our organization delivers all-hazard emergency response to the campus and neighboring communities, including response to medical emergencies, fires, hazardous materials releases, and natural disasters.
  • We engage in strategic community interactions with students, faculty and staff to reduce risk, prevent injuries, and help prepare for emergencies. Providing outreach through a number of annual events such as Fire Day on the Quad and Picnic Day are examples of the ways we work to mitigate risks through public education.
  • Our nationally-recognized Student Resident Firefighter Program weaves our organization into the fabric of the University. The program teaches firefighting skills to a select group of qualified students who live and work at the campus fire station while pursuing their four year degrees. Student firefighters receive hands-on training and professional experience in all aspects of fire and emergency services. Participation improves the students’ career opportunities upon graduation, should they choose to continue in the profession.
  • UC Davis is the lead agency for Yolo County’s Multi-Agency Hazardous Materials Response Team whose role is to eliminate the immediate threat of exposure from the release of biological, chemical or nuclear agents. By participating in this cooperative effort, the cost of response is shared, allowing the University and all residents of the county to receive the highest quality service at a reasonable cost. With our institution’s many research and educational laboratories, this program is essential to the well-being of the campus community and the protection of its critical infrastructure.


The UC Davis Fire Department, established in 1917, has witnessed nearly a century of changing trends in the fire service. Originally established by the dean of the College of Agriculture to mitigate fires on the University Farm, today the UC Davis Fire Department responds to a wide array of calls for service, including: technical rescue, medical emergencies, hazardous material releases, and of course, fires.

Fires no longer dominate our calls for service, and other call types have increased as the University has expanded its community population and use of campus space for research and academic pursuits. The Fire Department has responded by realigning resources to meet the University’s changing needs.

A look at our annual calls by type indicates that almost 50 percent of our calls are medical in nature. As such, our firefighters spend a commensurate amount of time training on medical-related continuing education, hands-on exercises, and skills testing.

While fires and hazardous materials calls make up a significantly smaller proportion of our call volume, these types of incidents are considered low frequency but high risk, and thus make up the bulk of remaining training time.

As the campus population continues to grow, it is likely that we will continue to see an increased need for fire-related services throughout the campus community. Through collaboration, outreach, education and awareness, the UC Davis Fire Department hopes to continue the steady reduction in avoidable calls for service, while remaining ever-ready for campus emergency incidents.

While fires and hazardous materials calls make up a significantly smaller proportion of our call volume, these types of incidents are considered low frequency but high risk, and thus make up the bulk of remaining training time.

Target Solutions

Target Solutions is a powerful online training management system, which allows fire service employees to train using dynamic online courses and innovative technology applications. The goal of Target Solutions is to achieve total firefighter training compliance as well as track employee training records while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

The West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium uses Target Solutions to assign 6-week blocks of training to its members including UCDFD, Davis Fire Department, Woodland Fire Department, and West Sacramento Fire Department. These blocks, which are strategically planned throughout the year, help ensure that our firefighters are compliant with regulations from several state and federal agencies, including ICS and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. This means that shift captains and battalion chiefs can keep the department on track, and guarantee the safest and highest quality service possible.

This decentralized training system allows firefighters to provide better service to citizens because it keeps different fire companies available in their respective districts. From January 1 through June 26, 4015 hours of training were recorded on Target Solutions. 826 of those hours were from courses Target

Solutions provided. A breakdown of the hours trained is shown on the right.

West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium

Founded in 2012, the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium’s (WVRFTC) mission is to provide standardized training, and coordination to prepare for regional emergencies. The Consortium is currently led by Deputy Chief Mike Taylor, and serves the UC Davis Fire Department, City of Davis Fire Department, West Sacramento Fire Department, and the Woodland Fire Department.

The WVRFTC has been a venue for Yolo County fire departments to create a training program that will develop the most effective response to community emergencies. Since its inception, there has been noticeable growth in the efficiency of response coverage, as well as continuity of county operations.

The WVRFTC has successfully coordinated multiagency drills, monthly regional training, and provided state fire officer certified classes at reduced cost. The Consortium also facilitated a free speaker series in which established professionals in the fire service spoke about their careers, allowing future leaders in the industry to learn from their experiences.

This year, Target Solutions, an online record keeping system, has continued to develop the tracking efficiency of completed training by each member of the Consortium. Using this program, shift supervisors receive routine updates automatically charting the progress and deficiencies of those they oversee. The Consortium is now generating money through

South Bay Regional Fire Academy through training hour tracking, which allows WVRFTC to relieve each partnering agency of their current Target Solutions annual cost.

The WVRFTC has also partnered with South Bay Regional Fire to provide funding assistance for upcoming training, and also with the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) to train city and county employees to work in Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) and other disaster response. West Valley plans to collaborate with OES to deliver specific training in logistics, finance, and more. The advisory committee for the Consortium accomplished all the goals that were set for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

In the future, the WVRFTC plans to continue the evolution of a cohesive training program. It has many plans to enhance its records and management system, and standardize departmental training opportunities.

Shared Management Agreement

January 1, 2014 the City and the University entered into a Shared Fire Management Agreement that shares one fire chief, two deputy chiefs and three division chiefs, who collectively oversee the management and operations of both fire departments.

While the two entities technically operate separately, as this is not a full merger of the two departments, city and campus leaders believe this shared-management structure will ensure that the two operations work collaboratively to provide optimal fire service to both communities.

The agreement comes on the heels of a boundary drop in September between the two departments which allows the closest available resource to a call for help to respond regardless of geographical area. This has provided a significant increase in the level of service to both communities.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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    1. Fire Chief Trauernicht (DFD/UCDFD)

      Davis Progressive,

      As the one who leads the shared fire management team, I can tell you that what I have learned from the last 10 months is that this concept’s success doesn’t rest with any one person.  It firmly rests on strong and public support from elected officials, city staff, campus and city leadership, and the very vocal support of the community.

      There are many challenges to the successful execution of this agreement that rely completely and totally on the above list of supporters increasing their vocal support of what is happening.

  1. Gunrocik

    My thoughts exactly.  Its a win-win for everyone but Boss Weist.  If he starts quoting that absurd democratic machine letter that claims that public safety is not a priority of UC Davis, it will be obvious this hire was made at the behest of the machine.

  2. nvn8v

    I hope everyone takes the time to read the full report.  it’s quite well done. There’s a lot of innovative things going on at UCDFD that hopefully the City side looks at implementing.

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