Fire Department



We’re here to help you get the resources you need to stay safe. We handle fire inspections and permits, fire investigation, hazardous materials planning, and more. We make sure your home, public events, and other buildings and structures in our community are safe. We do all we can to prevent harm to our community, but when emergencies arise, we are here to help. 

Department Head

Photo of Fire Chief Brad Brown

Chief Brad Brown

Dr. Brad Brown was sworn in as Chief of the Grand Rapids Fire Department on May 1, 2023.

He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Support Services for the Grand Rapids Fire Department. A 27-year veteran of the fire service who began his career in Greensboro, NC, Chief Brown has been with the City of Grand Rapids for 20 years in various capacities.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department presented their strategic plan to the City Commission.  This plan covers the period from fiscal year 2023 through fiscal year 2025.

Download the Plan(PDF, 640KB)

Looking to request copies of Fire Department records? The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to request copies or access to most City records.

You can make that request by clicking the button below.  To take you to the City's request page.

File a Request

Looking to submit your hazard materials survey? Use our online form.

Bulletin 9

We're here to serve you. So it's important that you know who your fire department leaders are. Our leadership works hard to serve the community. Each of them brings unique experience to their role.

Learn more about the fire department leaders who work hard to serve you everyday.

Smoke detectors installed in your home. For free.

We provide free smoke alarms to homeowners within the City of Grand Rapids. We'll provide you a free home safety assessment. We will install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to help protect you and your family.

All it takes is one call.

Just call 311 or 616-456-3000. We'll let you know if you're eligible and schedule your appointment in one quick call.

Residential Safety Assessment

Apply for permits. Get prepared for your inspection.

We want to make sure you know what permits you need. We also want to help you get prepared for any inspections you need. That's why we have a page of permits and inspections resources.

Permits and Inspections

We want you to be ready for emergencies.

We work hard to keep the worst from happening. But if it does, we want you to be ready. We do a lot to make sure that the City as a whole is ready for emergencies. Still, when natural or other disasters happen, individuals need a plan too.

Emergency Management

International Accreditation

The Grand Rapids Fire Department received international accreditation for the second time on June 14, 2021. That makes us one of 293 accredited fire agencies in the world. Fire service accreditation is administered by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). It requires an embedded culture of quality throughout an organization. Maintaining accreditation is a significant undertaking. It requires the combined best efforts of all members of the fire department. Accreditation necessitates the development and maintenance of several key documents. This includes a Community Driven Strategic Plan, Self-Assessment Manual (SAM), and a Standards of Cover (SOC) deployment analysis.

Why did we want to be accredited?

• Because it is the right thing to do. Conducting a comprehensive assessment and identifying areas where we can improve is a responsible course of action

• Having a detailed evaluation of our department provides a basis for good decision making

• Reassures the citizens we serve and ultimately protect their interests and investments in City services

• Provides a comprehensive internal and external review of the services we provide to the community

• The promotion of excellence in our organization is an initiative that both management and labor are fully committed to. Accreditation is a recognized framework to guide this endeavor

• Accreditation provides assurances to our stakeholders that we are doing a good job. Stakeholders in our organization include the citizens we serve, city governments, businesses, neighboring agencies, and others

• Accreditation allows us to showcase our capabilities and quality. Assessments of our agency have the transparency of external peer review

• Fosters pride within our organization

• Assesses the GRFD’s organizational knowledge, including its business operations

• Assists us in maintaining/improving our ISO rating; and ensures the lowest fire insurance rates possible in the community we protect

• Provides a long-lasting shared knowledge of the organization and provides a foundation for sound succession management

• Brings our membership together to build a better organization

• Evaluates the Department's strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and opportunities for improved service

• Provides a method to analyze the services provided by the Department and how best to deliver those services


The Suppression Division of the Grand Rapids Fire Department is comprised of 11 fire stations with 20 front-line emergency vehicles staffed with trained personnel to limit life and property loss when emergencies occur. Full-time professional firefighters work a rotating 24-hour shift to provide emergency response to calls for fires and special operations such as medical emergencies, industrial rescue, water rescue, confined space rescue, high-angle rope rescue, trench rescue, building collapse, hazardous materials, weapons of mass destruction response, and vehicle extrications within the City of Grand Rapids.

In addition to responding to emergencies, the on-duty fire crews spend time training to maintain and increase their skill levels. They also conduct fire prevention inspections of local businesses, oversee fire drills in our city schools, annually check the operation of each fire hydrant in the City of Grand Rapids, and interact with the community whenever possible.

One of the missions that the Grand Rapids Fire Department enjoys providing to our visitors and citizens is that of Emergency Medical Service. Our department is licensed with the State of Michigan as a Medical First Responder Agency with 22 licensed apparatus, all of which carry Automated External Defibrillators (AED),  and 212 medically licensed providers.

Prevention and Investigation

The Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB) is a principal component of the Grand Rapids Fire Department's efforts to protect against loss of life and property in our city. The FPB focuses its efforts by proactively enforcing the City's Fire Code to ensure that existing commercial buildings remain fire-safe, by educating both the business community as well as the community at large in fire safety procedures and practices, and by providing technical expertise to the City's Development Center and Building Inspections Division on life-safety systems installed in new and remodeled buildings.

Our responsibilities also include responding to fires to identify the origin and cause of accidental and intentionally set fires in order to prevent future fires. To determine fire origin and cause an examination and excavation of the fire scene is conducted. The fire scene is documented, evidence is collected, and interviews of owners, occupants, bystanders, witnesses, victims, and informants are conducted. We design fire safety education around the fire origin and cause that we obtain.


On Tuesday July 31, 2012 the Grand Rapids Fire Department unveiled its new live fire training facility. Located on city property at 2125 Butterworth SW, this multi-story building was designed and constructed entirely by fire department personnel; but not without an enormous amount of support from other city departments and the community that they serve.

Utilizing transformation funds, the GRFD will have for the first time in its history a facility dedicated to training under the most realistic conditions they face on a daily basis. The building was assembled and customized by our firefighters to meet the needs of the department. With the skilled labor provided by our personnel as well as equipment and kind donations from other City departments and the private sector, the entire project was constructed for approximately 20% of the cost of a new building.

Strategic Planning

The Strategic Planning Division provides assistance to the fire department in terms of planning for both short and long term decision making and associated operational changes. This will be accomplished through a broad variety of insights and viewpoints utilizing various means such as historical data, projected performance, risk benefit analysis and comparison to the best practices of the fire service.

Building and Fleet Maintenance

The Maintenance Division of the Grand Rapids Fire Department is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of 70 vehicles and 11 Fire Stations The Fire Department fleet consists of a wide range of vehicles, the front-line fleet consists primarily of pumpers, squads, rescue engines, quints, and command vehicles. The fleet also has vehicles that respond to a wide variety of more specialized emergency responses. These additional units range in size from tractor trailers for operations such as Hazardous Materials responses, to boats for river rescue operations.

The Fire Department has recently completed several projects to help decrease our energy use. These projects help not only with cost savings but also allow us to reduce our carbon footprint. The projects include geothermal heating at two of our stations and also lighting upgrades.


Our offices are located on the second floor of the LaGrave Avenue Fire station at 38 LaGrave SE by using the entrance on Weston Street SE. We will be happy to assist you when visiting our office. If you are in need of a fire report, fire prevention information, have a billing or any other type of question we will do our best to see that your needs are met. Thank You for visiting our website, we look forward to assisting you on your next visit.

Serve your community. Become a firefighter.

Interested in becoming a firefighter? We're working to build a department that reflects the community we serve. So we encourage anyone interested to consider applying.

Think a career as a firefighter is for you?

Fire Department Recruitment

Youth Fire Academy

This is a program designed to show high school students what we do in the fire service. It is a one week program during the summer months for students aged 15-18 to experience a sample of the full Fire Academy all new hires go through. During FYA, students learn skills such as:

  • using self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • search and rescue drills
  • use of fire hose and extinguishers
  • hands-only CPR

Students also participate in physical fitness activities and build teamwork and memories for a lifetime! We are hopeful that we will be able to safely gather in Summer 2022 to restart this program which has been suspended during the COVID pandemic.

Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

The GRFD works with the Grand Rapids Public Schools JROTC program to hold regular sessions presenting firefighting activities. This exposes the students to the life and duties of firefighters as they are considering different fields of service.

Explorer's Program

This volunteer program is new to the GRFD. It pairs up a group of youths/young adults aged 14-21 with instructors from the department to share information about firefighting as a career, experience some of the training firefighters engage in, and build positive relationships between participants and mentors.

Cadet Program

The Cadet Program is currently being designed. It will offer paid internships with GRFD. Cadets will work with fire administration and suppression personnel and engage in training and physical fitness activities. Cadets will be able to use their experiences to help decide if a career in the fire service is for them and can build experience if they choose to apply for open GRFD positions. Interested applicants should use the form below to receive notice when the application process opens.

Click here to view form.