Preserving the Past, Protecting the Future. Founded in 1889, just eight years after the first class was held at was then known as the Storrs Agricultural School, the University of Connecticut Fire Department (UCFD) has protected the University’s infrastructure, academics, research and population as it has grown from a small rural college to a nearly 40,000 person “city” ranked continually within the top 20 public colleges and universities in the United States. UCFD’s main goal is to provide fire protection and other critical public safety services to the UConn community, which includes students, staff, faculty, visitors and neighbors. The Department continually educates the University in fire, life safety and disaster preparedness, as well as serves as the primary unit responsible for enforcing public safety codes. This effort requires dedicated, professional uniformed personnel who have sworn an oath to maintain the Department’s mission and values.
Professional Operations 24/7. UCFD consists of three divisions: Fire Operations, Fire Administration and the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector’s Office (FMBIO).
The Fire Operations Division, known as “Station 22,” is located within the Public Safety Complex at 126 North Eagleville Road on the Storrs campus. The Operations Division is comprised of four platoons with up to six personnel, including a Captain, Lieutenant and Firefighters. All personnel are state certified in fire suppression operations, technician-level hazardous materials operations and are licensed Emergency Medical Technicians providing ambulance transport services.
is responsible for planning, budget and oversight of the Department under the direction of the Fire Chief.
The FMBIO consist of the Fire Marshal’s Office, the Building Inspector’s Office and the Life Safety and Security Systems Unit. The FMBIO has a total of seventeen personnel:
- Deputy Chief Supervisor
- Captain/University Fire Marshal
- Deputy Fire Marshal/Lieutenants
- Fire Inspectors
- Building Officials
- Life Safety and Security Systems Specialists.
This office is responsible for code compliance and issuing of building permits for new construction and renovation projects. They also provide public fire safety education and planning assistance. The fire marshals are responsible for all fire investigations at Storrs and all University owned properties. This division provides the life safety systems program, coordination and maintenance of critical life safety and security systems in University owned buildings, with the exception of the Health Center. (https://fmbio.uconn.edu)
Reliable Emergency Response When Seconds Count. Responding to over 3,000 calls for service annually, UCFD response times exceed the national standard, providing highly skilled professionals on-scene when life safety is at risk. UCFD’s presence on campus provides a rapid response to emergency calls.
Fire Suppression – UCFD responds to approximately 100 actual fires annually, which include mutual aid fires, building fires, cooking fires, car fires, dumpster fires and other various fire emergencies. This number does not reflect the number of incidents that do not occur due to the extensive fire prevention measures in place.
Emergency Medical Services- Between the four on-campus ambulances, UCFD responds to over 1,000 medical emergencies per year to provide basic life support and emergency transport services to the campus.
Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Incidents – HazMat incidents comprise approximately 100 emergency response calls per year. These incidents range in size and complexity from small incidents, such as a motor vehicle fluid leak, to larger scale incidents in our laboratory buildings. All UConn Fire Department personnel are certified at the Hazardous Materials Technician level and trained for site specific hazards. This level of training provides for a rapid response to hazardous materials incidents on campus without having to wait on other agencies, such as the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. This is instrumental in providing a rapid, high level of service for unique building hazards, such as the chemistry, pharmacy and biology buildings. UCFD is also a member of the Connecticut Eastern Region Response Integrated Team (CERRIT) team, a multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplined, all hazards response team that was formed in 2003 to address emergency incidents that occur within New London and Windham Counties. The Department is equipped with complex and comprehensive metering equipment, proper protective clothing, decontamination equipment and various other items to assist in a safe and effective hazardous materials response.
Additional Emergency Services and Technical Rescue. The remainder of the calls for service range from responses to motor vehicle accidents, elevator entrapments, false alarms, malicious alarms, special rescue calls and other hazardous conditions. Our firefighters are trained in technical rescue, which allows us to provide specialized rescue to the entire campus community. UCFD routinely provides technical rescue services, such as confined space and rope rescue, for construction projects, facilities and maintenance.
Fire Marshal/Building Inspector. The Fire Marshal and Building Inspector’s Office (FMBIO) ensures that the University has safe places to live and learn. This initiative starts from the inception of a new building project, throughout construction process and continues for the life of the building. The FMBIO is responsible for code compliance on all university owned properties, statewide, for buildings and construction projects which are not under the jurisdiction of other Connecticut agencies. The FMBIO issues the appropriate building permit for every new construction or renovation project after reviewing construction documentation and assessing code compliance. The Fire Marshals conduct fire investigations for all UConn owned property, and in turn make the university safer by applying the findings to better practices and new fire prevention education programs.
The Fire Marshal’s office provides fire safety and prevention outreach programs that include annual training for resident advisors (RAs) and hall directors on campus, attending open houses for incoming students and parents, and any other special-request fire prevention programs.
The Life Safety Systems unit, test and maintains fire protection and notification systems. The campus is protected by networked modern fire alarm systems which contain over 70,000 detection points, including smoke, heat, and air duct detectors, manual pull stations, and sprinkler monitoring points. These addressable detection points report to the dispatch center with an exact building name, address, and location within the building. Public Safety Emergency Communications can enable, disable, silence and reset of alarm points. When activated, UConn’s life safety systems enhance response times by providing UCFD responders with the location of activation.
Enterprise Emergency Management. The UConn Fire Department participates in a leadership role with the Office of Emergency Management by providing a liaison that oversees emergency planning, preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery and daily Office business. Initiatives include:
- Executive Policy Group Member
- Emergency Operations Center, Emergency Operations Team (16 activations last year)
- Emergency Operations Plan, Continuity of Operations/Business Continuity
- Support for evacuation, sheltering, mass casualty
For more information, visit: http://oem.uconn.edu/
Sustaining Leadership, Demanding Excellence. UCFD provides equipment, personnel and expertise through mutual aid agreements with the local towns and cities neighboring the main campus at Storrs and through regional agreements state-wide.
The Fire Departments that serve the areas adjacent the Storrs Campus lack the resources to provide primary fire services to the campus. That is not a reflection upon their competence in any way. Local departments are primarily volunteer fire companies and do not have the time and resources available to be intimately familiar with the layout, processes, hazards, systems and dynamics of a complex university. Although the fire companies in adjacent communities will always assist with any significant fire or related incident, it is unrealistic to expect these off-campus agencies to become familiar with the unique issues of risk on the campus.
University of Connecticut Fire Department
Public Safety Complex, Storrs Campus
126 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3165
Storrs, CT 06269-3165
Phone: (860) 486-4925
FAX: (860) 486-4179
All Emergencies Dial 911
The mission of the UConn Fire Department is to protect the lives, property and the community while respecting its values and cultures.
We are committed to the maintenance of a safe place in which to learn and live, and the development of a culturally conscious department that will match the diversity of the UConn community.
Our commitment to our community is never ending and always evolving.
The University of Connecticut Fire Department’s vision is to be a world-class emergency response team by meeting the following goals:
Create a vision of operational excellence
- Become accredited
- Comply with NFPA standards
- Comply with OSHA standards
- Meet the highest achievable standard
Create an environment that is conducive to operational excellence
- Maintain a supportive work force
- Commit to self-evaluation of performance
- Have open and respectful communications
- Respect others’ beliefs and ranks
- Work as a team
Foster a reputation for operational excellence
- Promote honest and meaningful relationships
- Encourage open and honest feedback
- Recognize operational excellence
- Market our success
- Benchmark similar programs