Ambulance services before 1965 in Alachua County were provided by a number of local funeral homes.
Funeral Homes in the
county advised they cannot financially afford to continue providing ambulance
services. Walt Wilson establishes
Alachua Ambulance Service Inc. the first privately owned business that
exclusively operates ambulance services in Alachua County.
Beazy Stephens purchases Alachua Ambulance
Service, Inc. from Walt Wilson. Alachua
Ambulance Service, Inc., under a sole source contract with Alachua County,
provides ambulance service to Alachua County. Three ambulances (two in
Gainesville, one in High Springs) answer approximately 4,500 calls a year
The Alachua Ambulance Service, Inc. can no
longer operate as a privately owned business. The County formed the Department
of Public Safety as the sole EMS (Emergency Medical Service) Provider for
Alachua County. The 18 full-time and 5 part time personnel become Alachua
The municipal Fire Chiefs in Alachua County negotiate
contracts with the Board of County Commissioners to provide fire service in
unincorporated Alachua County. Ten fire districts are established including the
unincorporated area surrounding the City of Gainesville.
Collection rate for EMS services is
Privatization of the Ambulance Service is
considered by the BoCC. Performance
criteria are established and a Request for Proposals (RFP) is opened. Proposals
are received from the private sector. No one can provide similar service for
less in County subsidy.
The EMS system is enhanced to a Countywide Advanced Life Support (paramedics) transport
system. County begins hiring dual certified (EMS and Firefighter) personnel.
Eight (8) advanced
life support ambulances are located throughout the County. Some units are
co-located in existing fire stations others are located in rental units. Annual
call load is approximately 16,000 with a ratio 2,000 calls per unit.
City of Newberry refuses to renew their fire
services inter-local agreement with the County. County deploys a fire apparatus
to its EMS station (Zone 18) located at Half Moon Station (SR45 between Archer and
The City of Alachua annexes large portions of Alachua
County and offers a partnership with Alachua County for the County to provide
fire service in their corporate limits, as well as unincorporated Alachua
County. The City of Alachua and Alachua
County enter into a long term fire rescue partnership.
A temporary facility is constructed in
Jonesville on CR241. The fire truck assigned at Halfmoon is relocated to the
Jonesville Station. Dual role apparatus are determined to be the most
cost-effective method to provide both EMS and Fire Suppression to an area.
The City of Gainesville requests $675,000 to provide
fire suppression by contract in the unincorporated area.
The Office of Emergency Management is
established within the Department of Public Safety.
The City of
Gainesville nearly doubles their contract cost for fire suppression services
and demands $1.1 million. The City also closes GFR Station # 7 on NW 43 St in
the Northwest urban "fringe".
County purchases equipment and deploys an ALS fire apparatus at NW 34 St. and
U.S. 441 (Engine 33) to provide fire service to the unincorporated area previously serviced
by GFR Station 7.
The City of
Gainesville and Alachua County negotiate a 7-year Fire and First response Agreement.
The Agreement identifies personnel training, equipment standards, and station locations
that would be built by either government over the following seven years.
The County hires
a Fire Inspector to review commercial development plans and conduct on-site
inspections based on the NFPA Life Safety and Fire Prevention codes.
A Fire Master Plan is developed for delivery of
County hires its first E-911 Coordinator.
Fire Rescue Station
19 opens at SW 20th Ave and 43rd Street. Station houses
an ALS engine company, rescue unit, and district chief.
Ambulance Billing Department is transferred to ACFR Support Services Division
from the Clerk of Court (Finance and Accounting). Collection rates immediately
increase by 10%.
Station 16 opens at 1600 Ft. Clark Boulevard. This is a multi-company station
that houses an ALS fire engine, a tower-ladder truck, and a heavy rescue truck.
Station 12 opens at 1200 SE 43 Street. This is a single company station that
houses an advanced life support fire engine.
agreement with the City of Gainesville expires and Alachua County negotiates
Inter-local Agreements with 10 municipalities and independent fireboards. The
"Fire Services Network" is defined in Alachua County.
Alachua County and City of Gainesville enter
into an Inter-local agreement for the provision of fire/rescue services. The
Agreement known as the “Designated Assistance Agreement” or “DAA” will remain
in effect for ten years.
The company "Analytica" was hired by the BoCC to
examine and produce a report on service delivery. Consolidation of services
were discussed with the City of Gainesville.
Station 15 located at 8900 SW Archer Rd opens. This station houses an ALS fire engine (Engine relocated from
Station 16) and a rescue unit (relocated from the Half Moon Station).
headquarters moves to their current location at 911 SE 5th St. The
facility was the former administrative headquarters for the Alachua County
Sheriff’s Office and the County Jail.
County Combined Communication (CCC) and Emergency Operations (EOC) open. The
CCC provides centralized receiving point for all 911 calls and emergency
dispatch service for nearly all emergency service agencies in the County. The
CCC is owned by the BoCC and contractually operated by the Sheriff.
serves as central command and the voice of county government during disasters,
managing information and resources to handle large emergencies.
time Public Educator hired. Partnership
with the Alachua County School Board established to teach all elementary school
age children (approximately 15,000) fire and life safety lessons annually.
County becomes the first Storm-Ready designate County in the State of Florida.
Department receives funding for 15.0 entry level firefighter positions to
address overtime staffing issues. This
significantly reduces the unscheduled and mandatory overtime.
ballot initiative to merge Alachua County and Gainesville Fire Departments into
one agency passed by a significant majority
Department receives funding for an additional rescue unit to address call load
capacity. The annual call load had grown to 26,625 calls or 2,663 calls per
Adding the 11th unit resulted in a call load per
unit ratio of 2,420 per unit.
The City of
Archer and Alachua County negotiate a partnership agreement for the staffing
and operation of the City of Archer Fire Station.
EOC is activated for
Hurricane Charlie and Tropical Storms Frances and Jeanne during 2004 Hurricane
Season. This was the first major activation of new EOC.
Department receives funding for an additional rescue unit to address call load
capacity. The annual call load had grown to 29,621 calls or 2,693 calls per
Adding the 12th unit resulted in a call load per unit ratio of 2,468 calls
Wildfire Mitigation Program implemented.
The City of
Archer adopts the MSTU-Fire millage as a mechanism to pay for Fire Rescue
Services within the incorporated area of Archer.
time Public Educator hired to meet program demands from the community.
Designated Assistance Agreement is replaced with a new agreement between
Alachua County and the City of Gainesville for fire/rescue services. This
agreement simplifies the reciprocal billing process and provides for closest
unit dispatching regardless of political boundaries. This new agreement is
titled Fire Services Assistance Agreement (FSAA).
hires a consultant to assess the possibility of implementing a Fire Assessment
as a funding source. The BoCC votes not to implement the consultant’s
Municipalities form the Municipal Fire Authority to negotiate a combined single
fire service agreement. The initiative fails and the Municipal Fire Authority
Groundbreaking ceremony is held for a
replacement station in Jonesville (the initial station was “temporary” when
opened in 1986). This is the first “green” certified fire rescue station.
Ground breaking ceremony is held for a new
Rescue station (#10) located in central downtown Gainesville (across the street
from Headquarters). Station 10 houses two (2) rescue units. Each unit averages
approximately ten (10) responses per shift (3,650/year). This is also a
certified “green” facility.
entered into an inter-local agreement with the City of Gainesville to
functionally consolidate the Public Information Officer Positions and responsibilities. This is the first step toward the possibility
of future functional consolidations between Departments.
The City of
Waldo consented via ordinance to impose
the MSTU-Fire within the corporate limits and merge their fire department with Alachua
budget reductions two positions were eliminated from the Wildfire Mitigation
Program (Supervisor and Senior Planner).
Budget reductions also included a Program
Manager which resulted in the elimination of the Department’s Reserve Program.
further budget reductions, the Wildfire Mitigation Program eliminated. The
prescribed fire element of the Wildland Mitigation Program is reassigned by the
BoCC to the County Environmental Protect Department.
Due to lean
budget years and budget reductions the Fire Protection Public Education Program
was eliminated. This was a nationally recognized program that reached 15,000
students annually. This was one of the only programs nationally with a
Due to budget
reductions the Public Information Office shared between Alachua County Fire
Rescue and Gainesville Fire Rescue is eliminated.
Local Mitigation Strategy, which is the planning document that identifies
hazards in each of the jurisdictions in the County.
number of Rescue Unit responses continues to increase. Over the last 10 years
our responses have increased an average of 4.4% per year. In 2011 we exceed
36,000 responses. The ratio of responses per unit is at an all-time high of
3,000 responses/Rescue Unit. (Fire/EMS Master Plan)
number of Fire Unit responses also continues to increase. Over the last 10
years our responses have increased an average of 7.13% per year. In 2011 we
exceeded 15,700 responses. (Fire/EMS Master Plan)
Efforts of Emergency Management Section resulted
in Alachua County receiving “Storm Ready” re-designation for the third time.
achieved Countywide addressing via inter-local agreements with municipalities
except the City of High Springs.
County becomes one of the first Emergency Alert System (EAS) Authorized
Alerting Authorities under the new Integrated Public Alert and Warning System
(IPAWS) in Florida.
partners with Sheriff’s Office and the University of Florida on the use of the
County’s rapid emergency notification system, CodeRed.
In a cooperative venture
between the BoCC and the Alachua County
School Board, the Department’s first training facility is opened at Lofton High
In an effort to address
the changing advanced medical transportation needs the BoCC approved the funding
to implement a Critical Care Transport Unit. This unit specializes in the care
and transportation of critical care patients. The unit is devoted to long and
medium distance transfers for critical care patients.
The 2012 Fire/EMS
Services Master Plan update is adopted by Board.
Completed a significant
capital project with the installation of emergency power generators in six Fire
ACFR selected for the Assistance
to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response
(SAFER) award. This Award provides funding for twenty two (22) entry level
firefighter positions to increase the minimum daily staffing at our rural
stations in the cities of Archer, Hawthorne, and Waldo.
Station 25 from Grove Park to the newly renovated fire station in Hawthorne.
Department achieves the Insurance Service Organization’s (ISO) Hauled Water
Certification. This allows property owners with improved property that is
located within five miles of an ACFR operated Fire Station but not within 1000
feet of a fire hydrant to benefit from the Department’s Public Protection
Classification (PPC) class 3 rating.
Bariatric units become a part of the ACFR fleet to safely transport patients.
As a result
of the increase in call volume, the Alachua County Board of County Commissions
authorizes an expansion of the Critical Care Peak Load Division with the
purchase of 3 Rescue. The Critical Care units operate on staggered shifts, 13
hours a day, 6 days a week. All units are fully equipped at the Advanced Life
Support Level and staffed with Critical Care Paramedics.
County Board of County Commission approves the use of projected fund balance to
support maintaining the 3 person staffing in rural areas for the remainder of
In October 2017, the department renumbered many stations to prevent confusion with the duplication of station numbers.
Station 8 became Station 41
Station 9 became Station 33
Station 10 became Station 30
Station 12 became Station 60
Station 15 became Station 81
Station 16 became Station 23
Station 17 became Station 24
Station 19 became Station 80
Station 20 remained Station 20
Station 21 remained Station 21
Station 23 became Station 40
Station 25 became Station 62
Station 27 became Station 82
Construction of Alachua
County Fire Rescue Station 33 at NW 34 Blvd Gainesville.
County Fire Rescue Station 40 at Waldo opened August 25th, 2017
Services Branch completes phase 3 of construction at the Loften Training
Alachua County Fire
Rescue receives a Certificate of Waiver which provides authorization from the
Federal Aviation Administration to operate an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The Department begins operating one of the
first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in Public Safety Programs in North Florida.
Alachua County Board of
County Commissioners vote to exit the Fire Services Assistance Agreement with
the City of Gainesville.
Three person staffing
in rural areas becomes the standard.
Alachua County Fire Rescue placed Engine 25 in service. Engine 25 will be located in the Hague area once a suitable site has been located.
Harold Theus named as the new Fire Chief for Alachua County Fire Rescue.