Department of Fire Rescue

BSO's Department of Fire Rescue originated in October 2003 when all operational and administrative responsibilities were transferred from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The department operates five battalions in 22 different locations throughout the county and includes 17 engines, 7 aerials, 1 Industrial fire truck, 3 aircraft fire-rescue crash trucks, 1 helicopter, 23 ALS transport units and a cross-staffed brush truck, chemical fire suppression truck and foam tanker.

With more than 700 professional and highly-trained operations, support and administrative personnel, the department provides fire suppression, fire protection, emergency medical services and educational programs for most unincorporated areas of Broward County and to the municipalities of Weston, Pembroke Park, Cooper City, Lauderdale Lakes, Dania Beach and Deerfield Beach through contract agreements. Additionally, the department serves Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades.

22 stations for fire suppression and Advanced Life Support medical rescue operate in various locations in the county, fifteen as engine companies and five as aerial companies. There is also an Air Rescue station located at the Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport.

Fire Rescue also administers the Hazardous Materials, Air Rescue, Everglades Rescue and the Technical Rescue teams, each addressing unique and frequently complex and dangerous public safety situations. These teams operate countywide.

To contact the Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, please cal (954) 831-8200.

The Department of Fire Rescue has prepared a helpful information package for victims of fire damage. Download the After The Fire package (this is a PDF file and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Click here for a description of how medical information about you is used and disclosed by The Department of Fire Rescue and how you may obtain this information (Notice of Privacy Practices).

Click on the links below for additional information:

Command Staff
Fire Rescue Operations
Fire Rescue Regional Services
History of Fire Rescue
Fire Rescue Cadets
Fire Rescue Reserves
Safety Alerts
BECCA Program

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Joseph R. Fernandez

Fire Chief Joseph R. Fernandez
Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services

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Joseph R. Fernandez was appointed to lead the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services on June 9, 2016. As Fire Chief and Executive Director, he is responsible for the strategic guidance of the 735-member department that provides a multitude of specialized services to the third most populous county in Florida. Chief Fernandez began his fire rescue career with the City of Miami Department of Fire Rescue in 1985. During his 27-year career with the City of Miami, he rose through the ranks to the position of Assistant Fire Chief. He also represented the agency as its Public Information Officer (PIO) and was certified by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute as a graduate of its Advanced PIO Program.

Chief Fernandez has extensive experience in the disciplines of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. For 14 years, he served as Miami’s Emergency Manager and was responsible for the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations for various declared disasters including Hurricane Andrew.

On July 2003, Chief Fernandez was appointed as the administrator of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Miami Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). During his five years as UASI Administrator, he was responsible for creating the governance and strategic model that brought together state, local and federal first responder agencies from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties to cooperatively execute the planning, organizing, training and equipping of South Florida’s emergency service providers.

As part of his domestic security duties, Chief Fernandez also served as Task Force Leader of Florida Task Force 2 (TF-2), which is part of the FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue Response System. Chief Fernandez was deployed as Task Force Leader (TFL) of FL-TF-2 during FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In January of 2010, Chief Fernandez led the team’s response to FEMA’s international response to the earthquake in Haiti. During the deployment to Haiti, FL TF-2 was responsible for the rescue of seven individuals that were trapped for days in the rubble of collapsed structures in Haiti.

Chief Fernandez has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University and completed a Certificate Program in Executive Development and Leadership from Florida International University. In 2009, Chief Fernandez completed the coursework for a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Chief Fernandez’s thesis research focused on the “Key Characteristics of Homeland Security Governance” and is pending final approval.

In April 2010, Chief Fernandez retired from the City of Miami and accepted the position of Fire Chief for the City of Dania Beach – Broward County’s oldest fire department. Chief Fernandez led the department until its merger with Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue on January 29, 2011 where he held the rank of Deputy Chief over Fire Rescue Operations.