Gadsden Fire Department

Mission Statement

The Gadsden Fire Department is dedicated to providing rapid, reliable, and professional emergency services to the citizens of the City of Gadsden. We are committed to protecting lives and property in our community.

We will accomplish our mission through education, fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and other non-emergency activities. We will actively participate in the community, striving to efficiently and effectively utilize all resources at our command to meet the needs of the citizens we serve.

Our Values

  • The public’s trust and the opportunity to serve them
  • A work environment that promotes harmony, respect for each person, and is free from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation
  • Leadership committed to carrying out the city’s and the department’s mission
  • A diverse workforce that reflects the community it serves
  • A highly trained professional work force
  • Team approaches to effectively achieve missions and goals

Station and School Tours

To schedule a tour of any station, call the central office at 256-549-4566 to set up a date and time. We can also have a fire truck come to your school or event. Call the office for more information.

History of the Gadsden Fire Department 

Prior to 1882, fire protection for the City of Gadsden consisted of a loosely organized bucket brigade, generally consisting of whoever happened to be around at the time of a fire and felt inclined to help. There were wells spaced along Broad Street at the intersections of Third, Fourth, Fifth and Court Streets for their use.

Continue reading the history of the Gadsden Fire Department.

Organization and Staffing

The Gadsden Fire Department is structured around a pyramidal, paramilitary style of organization much the same as other metropolitan size fire departments across the United States. The current organizational structure has been in place since 1994. 

There are a total of 125 budgeted positions within the department. Three of the positions are filled by civilian employees (clerical) with the remaining 122 positions being sworn personnel. Below is a brief overview of the levels of positional responsibility within the current organization. 

Fire Chief 

The fire chief is the chief executive officer within the department and represents the first level of command. The fire chief reports directly to the mayor. 

Assistant Chief 

Currently there are five assistant chiefs. They represent the second level of command within the department. Three are assigned to direct emergency operations on 24-hour shifts. Both the training officer and fire marshal also carry the rank of assistant chief and are assigned to a 40-hour work week. 


There are 33 positions of commander within the department. Commanders represent the third level of management. Commanders work a 24-hour shift but have overall responsibility for managing the station facilities on a round-the-clock basis. Commanders are assigned to an engine, truck or rescue unit company on one shift. A staff position, the inspector, also carries the rank of commander. 


There are 33 positions for drivers within the department. Drivers work a 24-hour shift and are responsible for the overall operation of their assigned apparatus. 


The final organizational level within the Gadsden Fire Department is firefighter. Firefighters are the backbone of the organization. Firefighters perform emergency tasks in the suppression and EMS.