On January 1, 2010, the Cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove entered into a joint exercise of powers agreement for organizational management of fire protection, fire prevention services, emergency medical services, and community emergency preparedness. This cooperative sharing agreement created an organization that is recognized as Heartland Fire & Rescue, an ISO Class 1 Fire Department.
The Heartland Fire & Rescue management team is inclusive of a Fire Chief, a Deputy Fire Chief, three Division Chiefs, five Battalion Chiefs, a Fire Marshal, a Deputy Fire Marshal three Fire Inspectors, an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and four Administrative Support staff. This single management team is a shared expense amongst the three Cities. This unique cooperative fire services agreement provides cost containment opportunities, while maintaining local control. This combining of management responsibilities of three neighboring Cities ensures a high level of fire and emergency medical services delivery, and maximizes resource utilization by eliminating management redundancies that are experienced as separate organizations.
Heartland Fire & Rescue is comprised of eight fire stations. Staffed daily are nine Advanced Life Support (ALS) First Responder Engine companies, with one being a certified Medium Rescue, two ALS First Responder Truck companies, one ALS Type III Brush engine, and one Operational Battalion Chief. The Ambulance transport system is currently a combined system of Fire Department and contracted agency ambulances. The joint powers agreement of Heartland Fire & Rescue serves a population of over 186,000 and responds to approximately 22,000 calls for emergency services each year. Over 130 proud, professional, dedicated men and women make up this fantastic organization.
Heartland Fire & Rescue is a founding member of the Heartland Communications Facility Authority. This Authority provides dispatch services for multiple agencies who make up the Central Zone departments. Heartland Fire & Rescue is also a founding member of the Heartland Fire Training Facility Authority. This organization provides training and a shared training facility with the partners of the Central Zone.
The mission of Heartland Fire & Rescue is to provide safe communities through exceptional, professional service.