Fire & Emergency Services
Our mission is to provide professional service and exceptional care to our community.
An environment that generates highly motivated individuals by being well trained, equipped, and supported. Our purpose will be measurable with organizational values and leadership that reinforces our mission.
Do One More Thing
Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services cares about your safety! For information on how you can be better prepared for an emergency, please review the City's Emergency Preparedness page for helpful tips and resources.
About the Department
Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services is an “all risk” agency, meaning the organization responds to emergencies such as medical aids, structure fires, wildland fires, vehicle collisions, hazardous materials incidents, technical rescues, and public service assists. Responding to about 3500 calls per year, the Fire Department operates from two fire stations with 5 fire engines, 3 command vehicles, a ladder truck, a 4X4 ambulance, and a technical rescue unit. The department operates with a total of 23 full-time personnel. The full-time staff includes 19 firefighters, the Fire Chief, a Battalion Chief of Community Risk Reduction, a Battalion Chief of Operations, and an Administrative Assistant. Of the 19 firefighters who staff the engines, 13 are Paramedics. The Department serves and protects approximately 30,000 people and 26.7 square miles.
The Atascadero Fire Department was first established as an all volunteer department in 1915. As construction began on the Administration Building, community leaders bought a model-T Ford truck equipped with a soda acid water tank to use as a fire truck. Later, Lew Cole was hired to be on duty during the dry summer months only. Cole owned his own fire truck and was in charge of arriving at the scene of fires to direct volunteers as they arrived. Volunteers were paid $1.00 per fire.
In 1922 the Atascadero Fire Protection District was founded on the heels of a disastrous 5,000-acre wildland fire near the Eagle Ranch property. Originally the district was 7 square miles in area with a population of less than 3,000. On February 4, 1926, Atascadero’s first paid fire department was established. The original firehouse was built the following year at 5815 Traffic Way. It followed a traditional design with two engine bays on the ground and living quarters upstairs. It still stands today and serves as a mixed-use residential/retail structure.
The Fire District dissolved in 1979 when the department became an official part of the newly incorporated City. It has since grown from one fire station to two, from 10 to 21 paid members, and a staff of 12 reserve firefighters.
In 2022, Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services celebrated 100 years of service to the citizens of Atascadero. Throughout the year department members donned centennial badges, commemorative belt buckles, and wore t-shirts specifically designed to celebrate the milestone anniversary.
The administrative staff for Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services is comprised of the Fire Chief, Fire Battalion Chief of Operations, Fire Battalion Chief of Community Risk Reduction, and an Administrative Assistant. The administration office is located within City Hall at 6500 Palma Ave.
How do I get a burn permit?
In partnership with the Western Fire Chiefs Association, Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services is utilizing the Outdoor Debris Burn Permitting System to provide a user-friendly, free, online way for residents to obtain important information.
The online system allows staff to see burn locations on a daily basis, immediately notify users of changing conditions, message important fire safety information, ensure that those planning a burn are aware of the rules and regulations and that the right jurisdiction is being notified of the planned burn.
If you live outside of the city limits, contact the San Luis Obispo County Fire Department at (805) 543-4244 or other department with jurisdiction over your property for burning regulations and information.
Can I have a recreational fire in my backyard?
Recreational fires may be permitted in approved, non-combustible commercially built containers, measuring no more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet tall, raised at least 6 inches off the ground with non-combustible legs and having a non-combustible spark arrestor screen with holes no larger than 1/4 inch. The ground beneath this container shall be clear of combustible material for 10 feet in diameter, and 10 feet away from combustible construction. The material being burned shall be wood only, and shall not include pressure treated lumber. A pre-connected garden hose shall be accessible.
Can the Fire & Emergency Services Department certify my fire extinguisher?
The Fire & Emergency Services Department is not able to inspect or certify fire extinguishers. This service is generally provided by private industry.
How can I find my evacuation zone?
Visit the Zonehaven Aware website and enter your address to find your evacuation zone.
Does the Fire & Emergency Services Department offer CPR or first aid training?
Community members looking for certification should contact a private provider or the American Red Cross.
Does the Fire & Emergency Services Department provide or service smoke detectors?
Community members that are in need of smoke detectors may be eligible for assistance through the American Red Cross.
* If you have battery powered smoke detectors, replace the batteries at least once a year.
* Test your smoke detectors at least once a month.
* All smoke detectors, both battery powered and hardwired, should be replaced every 10 years.