Fire & Rescue

Fire and Rescue FleetAn ISO Class 3 Rated Community

The Defiance Fire and Rescue Division provides fire prevention, fire suppression and responds to medical emergencies within the City of Defiance and Defiance Township.

Fire Emergency

If you have a fire at your house:

  • Get out of the house immediately.
  • Do not go back in.
  • Call 911 from a neighbor's house and wait for the Fire Department.
  • Advise the 911 operator of anyone who may still be in the house.
  • Advise the 911 operator of any hazards which may exist such as ammunition, flammables such as gasoline in the garage, etc.

Make sure that you have a pre-arranged place to meet other family members after they have left your house. Download the Home Escape Plan (PDF) and Escape Plan Grid (PDF).


On August 19, 1872, Defiance's elected officials approved an ordinance to organize the community's first fire company, Liberty Company Number 1, under the direction of Chief Engineer John F. Deatrick, Sr. and a handful of dedicated volunteers.

Fast forward 150 years and the Firefighters of the City of Defiance are still dedicated to saving lives and protecting property. The members of the Defiance Fire and Rescue Division provide fire prevention, fire suppression and respond to medical emergencies within the City of Defiance and Defiance Township. In addition, the Fire Division is contracted to provide emergency medical services (EMS) to Noble Township.


The department is currently staffed with 26 career firefighters (with two being the Fire Chief and Assistant Chief) and 6 part-time firefighters. The career firefighters are separated into three platoons with 8 personnel per shift working 24 hours on with 48 hours off. The shifts have a minimum staffing of 6 personnel with one being an officer.

Fire Prevention Bureau

The Assistant Fire Chief is in charge of the Fire Prevention Bureau. It is the goal of the bureau to inspect every commercial building once per year. In order to meet this goal, line firefighters assist the Assistant Chief in performing fire safety inspections. Not only does this help with preventing a fire, but in the event that a fire does occur, the firefighters are familiar with the building because they have been in the structure when visibility was optimal.

Fire Safety

The Division takes a pro-active approach to fire and life safety. Effort is directed toward prevention activities with the purpose of making all buildings safe and the community more safety conscious.

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The fire suppression, technical rescue and emergency medical services continue to require up-to-date training by the staff. Each firefighter is required to obtain continuing education credits to maintain their certifications per the State of Ohio. The Division trains daily to ensure that when an emergency arises they are prepared to answer the call.


Dial 911 for emergencies only!

Emergencies are:

  • Serious medical problems (i.e. chest pain, seizures, bleeding)
  • Any type of fire
  • Life threatening situations

All other situations are considered a non-emergency. Dial the agency's listed telephone number, 419-782-2771, for non-emergencies.

Do Not Program 911 Into Your Speed Dial

Programming the number invites accidental dialing. This needlessly burdens the dispatchers with non-emergency calls.

If 911 Is Dialed in Error, Do Not Hang Up!

Stay on the telephone and explain to the dispatcher that you dialed in error and there is no emergency situation. If you hang up without explaining, officers will be dispatched to the caller's location.

In Case of an Emergency, Be Brief & Specific

"I'm reporting an auto fire" or "I'm reporting a medical emergency" are examples of brief and specific explanations. Stay on the line with the dispatcher until the dispatcher instructs you to hang up. The dispatcher may keep you on the line to obtain further information or ask additional questions until emergency personnel arrives.

Let the Dispatcher Ask Questions

Dispatchers have been trained to ask pertinent questions that will prioritize the incident, locate the area, and send out the appropriate assistance.

Department Updates


Apparatus replacement has taken place over the past six years with the purchase of two new EMS squads, one in 2016 for $197,973, and one in 2019 for $200,942. A new engine was delivered in May, 2018 at a cost of $471,298; $200,000 of which was funded through a State Grant submitted by the City of Defiance and Defiance Township. One older EMS squad and one older engine were sold. A third squad is being replaced in late spring of 2023 at a cost of $254,305.

The next major apparatus replacement will be T-230, a 1988 aerial platform with 31 years of service. Estimated cost to replace this vehicle is $1.5 million with over a one-year delivery date. Grant applications have been submitted to FEMA to assist with the purchase.