The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is currently divided into 2 major Divisions: Emergency Operations and Support Services. Each of these Divisions are commanded by an Assistant Chief who oversee several subdivisions.
Emergency Operations is commanded by Assistant Chief Brian Fennessey, who commands four subdivisions: Operations, Emergency Medical Services(EMS), Special Operations, and Lifeguard Services. All subdivisions within Emergency Operations are commanded by a Deputy Chief, with the exception of Lifeguard Services, commanded by a Chief Lifeguard.
Operations is the largest subdivision within the SDFD and is commanded by 3 Deputy Chiefs, with 1 on duty per shift. These Deputy Chiefs command the 7 Battalions within the department, including all SDFD Fire Stations and Apparatus.
Support Services is commanded by Assistant Chief Ken Barnes, who commands five subdivisions: Training/Education, Logistics, Communications, Fire Prevention, and Professional Standards. Fire Prevention and Logistics are commanded by Deputy Chiefs, while Training/Education and Professional Standards are commanded by Battalion Chiefs. Communications is supervised by a Program Manager.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department currently operates out of 47 Fire Stations, location throughout the city in 7 Battalions. Each Battalion is commanded by a Battalion Chief per shift. For medical transportation, the department contracts with San Diego Medical Services, or SDMS. The SDMS operates 46 Medic Units in various fire stations throughout the city. Its personnel are also housed throughout the city's fire stations. SDFD Fire Station 44 is home to two Hazmat response units responsible for the assessment all such incidents throughout San Diego County. The department also operates the city's two fire helicopters, known as Copter 1 and Copter 2.
The SDFD also operates a Communications Center and Apparatus/Equipment Maintenance Facilities.
Boat/Ship Fire Response: 3 Engines, 1 Truck, Heavy Rescue, 1 Battalion Chief
Wildfire/Canyon Rim Fire Response: 5 Engines, 1 Truck, 2 Brush Units, 1 Water Tender, 2 Battalion Chiefs
Low Staffing Issues
The San Diego Fire Department is somewhat understaffed compared to comparable fire departments. For example, the fire department has about one firefighter per 1469 residents, compared to one fire fighter per 421 residents in San Francisco. Currently, the San Diego Fire Department is the lowest paid department in southern California. In comparison with other major cities with populations over 1 million, such as Los Angeles, the starting pay for City of San Diego Fire Fighter is around $46,000.[clarification needed]