News Flash

News Home

Posted on: August 11, 2020

Fallon/Churchill Volunteer Fire Department: More Than Just Fires

Fire truck maintenance

First in a series of stories featuring the Fallon/Churchill Fire Department.

Ask what a fire department does, and the easy answer is “put out fires.” Ask what the Fallon/Churchill Fire Department does, and you get a long list of services provided to this community from its all-volunteer fire department.

The mission of the Fallon/Churchill Fire Department is to eliminate death and injuries from fire, protect from fire loss, provide necessary life support services, and preserve the quality of life for those it protects.

But what, exactly, does that entail?

Quite a bit beyond the formal mission statement, according to Fire Chief Jared Dooley, who heads up the ISO1-rated department, the highest possible rating earned by a fire department. 

“We respond to structure fires, wildland fires, vehicle extractions, gas leaks, hazardous materials spills, swift water rescues, and water recovery among other services, all while assisting various agencies as requested,” he said. “We do all of this with one department, four stations, 44 volunteers and 25 pieces of rolling apparatus (trucks, engines, etc.) to cover the 5,000 square miles of Churchill County.”

To put that in perspective, Churchill County is larger by area than Jamaica or Hong Kong, and the U.S. states of Delaware and Rhode Island.

Dooley emphasizes that his department is comprised of all volunteers and has been for its 100+ years of existence. “Across that time, we have evolved into what this community and its citizens needed. For example, we ran the only ambulance service in the county for nearly 30 years,” he said.  

Fallon/Churchill Fire Department also maintains a hazardous materials/decontamination team as well as a swift water rescue team.


The main fire station and garage are on North Carson Street with other stations on Corkill Lane and near Skip’s Market on the Reno Highway. Each location is staffed with people and equipment ready to roll when the call comes in, 24/7/365.

“We average 280-310 calls per year,” said Alex Haffner, Fire Department Supervisor Paid Personnel. “But this year, we’ve had more than 200 in the first six months.”

When a call comes in, the duty officer, a weekly rotating position among lead firefighters, is often the first to show up on-scene. The duty officer quickly establishes protocols for addressing the fire or emergency. In the case of a fire, that means:

  • Evacuating people from the structure
  • Turning off power and gas to the structure
  • Locating the nearest hydrant and water source for the structure
  • Locating ways in and out of the structure
  • Issuing orders to departmental personnel as they arrive

At a minimum, the fire department responds to structure fires with a truck, an engine and a tender and most of the time additional personnel and equipment will arrive on scene.

Public education and outreach

The fire department also conducts a robust public outreach and education program by providing fire safety classes for all county school children, ages pre-K to third grade, including “stop, drop and roll” drills.

Fire Marshall Mitch Young is responsible for code enforcement, educational programming, investigations into the origin and cause of fires, inspections, station tours, helping residents with smoke alarms and weed abatement within the City of Fallon. He also works with the Churchill County Planning Department to address weeds outside the city limits.


Fire department personnel conduct all maintenance on their equipment except for changing tires and some ladder repairs. To do that maintenance, the department hired two paid mechanics and pays Haffner for serving as their supervisor. Haffner also responds to emergencies as a volunteer firefighter.

“We do all maintenance required on equipment. We also fabricate our own light duty fire trucks from stock vehicles,” said Haffner. 

Once acquired, department personnel install lights, GPS, decals, satellite phones, hand-held radios, mobile radios, computers, AED machines, first aid kits and breathing apparatus in all vehicles.

The Fire Chief, Fire Marshal and Duty Officer are issued fire vehicles to facilitate a rapid response. These vehicles are equipped with the items mentioned above and turn-out gear. Each of the larger trucks, engines, tenders, pumpers, brush trucks and trailers are also equipped with everything needed for effective firefighting and life-sustaining responses.

Maintenance also means making sure the 575 hydrants within the City and the County are functioning correctly. This maintenance requires three visits per year per hydrant. The fire department annually tests and maintains 25,300-feet of fire hose and enough large diameter hose to reach from Walmart to Big R.

Photo: Mark Burton, fire department mechanic repairs a worn part on an engine.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News Home

Old weir flow in mid-March 2023

High-Water Operations Continue

Posted on: April 6, 2023
Carson River flowing high at McLean Road.

High-Water Town Hall Takeaways

Posted on: March 29, 2023
High Water Call Center Number Established

High Water Call Center Established

Posted on: March 17, 2023
Pinwheels at base of Millennium Park's clock tower

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Posted on: March 16, 2023
Water in the V-line on Coleman

Ensure Insurance Policies Are Current

Posted on: March 10, 2023
Water through the V-line weir in 2017

High Water Operations Underway

Posted on: March 6, 2023
Myles with dog in forest_crop

Newest Commissioner Eager to Serve

Posted on: January 31, 2023
Pete Olsen portrait

‘It’s Been A Good Ride’

Posted on: January 4, 2023

ASL Anywhere Now Available For Nevadans

Posted on: December 27, 2022
Bus swearing in

Scharmann Sworn In As County Commissioner

Posted on: November 18, 2022
Mel Glover raises flags on the flagpole in front of the museum

Mel Glover Selected New Museum Director

Posted on: August 19, 2022
Hands in dirt

Virtual Classes Focusing on Soil Health

Posted on: August 12, 2022
Water in an irrigation  canal

Striking a Balance

Posted on: April 18, 2022
Person holding their head in their hands

Crisis Intervention Training Offered

Posted on: April 12, 2022
Fire truck cab on the assembly line

New Fire Engines Being Custom Built

Posted on: February 16, 2022
Older woman holds coffee mug

Powerful Tools For Caregivers Class

Posted on: October 25, 2021
Jack-o-lantern decor

County Departments Host Fall Events

Posted on: October 8, 2021
Flags on veteran head stones at cemetery

Members Needed For Cemetery Board

Posted on: October 5, 2021
Children surround a scarecrow they built

Scarecrow Factory Returns For Fall Fun

Posted on: October 4, 2021
Museum facade_travnev

Museum Offers Traditional Lifeways Classes

Posted on: September 30, 2021
Wishing tree distribution

Wishing Tree Applications Now Available

Posted on: September 21, 2021
1st county youth getting Pfizer vaccine

Need Folks Willing To Be Tested

Posted on: May 13, 2021
Three Easter eggs nestled together in grass

Great Easter Egg Hunt is April 3-11

Posted on: March 23, 2021
Commissioner Greg Koenig

Meet Commissioner Greg Koenig

Posted on: January 12, 2021
Dan Ingram

Churchill County Museum Director Dies

Posted on: December 15, 2020
Filling a gas tank at the pump

Relief for roads, bridges coming

Posted on: December 8, 2020
Shop safely_CISA infographic

Tips for Safe Holiday Online Shopping

Posted on: November 30, 2020
I Voted Sticker Spool on White Surface

General Election 2020 Information

Posted on: August 20, 2020
Churchill County Sheriff's Office shield

Two Deaths in Churchill County Today

Posted on: September 25, 2020
Churchill County Sheriff's Office shield

Fatal Traffic Accident on Indian Lakes Road

Posted on: September 21, 2020
Merry Christmas Tag On Christmas Tree

Wishing Tree Applications Now Available

Posted on: September 18, 2020
Laronda Atchison with Commissioners

County Honors Employees With Service Awards

Posted on: September 17, 2020
Blake Brandenburg

My Experience in Firefighting

Posted on: September 2, 2020
Person Holding A Vaccine

All-Day Drive-Up Shot Clinic on Aug. 24

Posted on: August 20, 2020
Gary Ridenour

Sheriff's Office Arrests Ridenour

Posted on: June 9, 2020
Pickup Truck on Highway

DMV To Reopen June 15

Posted on: June 9, 2020
Bookcase at library

Library Building Remains Closed

Posted on: May 29, 2020
Primary mail_in ballot

Reminding Churchill County Voters

Posted on: May 26, 2020
I Voted Sticker Spool on White Surface

Extended Voting Hours Start May 23

Posted on: May 20, 2020
County Administration building

County Offices Slowly Reopening

Posted on: May 15, 2020
Sheckler intersection during temporary light construction

Sheckler Light Project Status Update

Posted on: April 19, 2020
Golf Course septic-to-sewer connection project

SOS - Save Our Sewer

Posted on: March 19, 2020
Census proclamation by County Commissioners

Census Events in Churchill County

Posted on: March 10, 2020
Hwy 95 fixes

NDOT to Begin Construction on Hwy 95

Posted on: March 10, 2020
Baby Sleeping Beside Girl on Gray Floral Sheet

Census 2020: Counting the Children

Posted on: February 14, 2020
Sheriff Hickox

Sheriff looking forward to 2020

Posted on: January 9, 2020
Barbee gives State of County at CEDA

Looking Back at 2019; Ahead to 2020

Posted on: January 8, 2020
Key inserted into door lock

Home Ownership Small Discussion Group

Posted on: January 2, 2020
Jim Barbee

Holiday Greetings from County Manager

Posted on: December 19, 2019
Wild Goose Bridge sits elevated on blocks over the V-line canal.

Wild Goose Bridge to be Re-installed

Posted on: December 13, 2019
Road shoulder repairs

Road Department Works to Improve Testolin

Posted on: November 14, 2019
Fire officials sworn in

Fire Officials Ceremoniously Sworn In

Posted on: November 13, 2019
Mosquito vial

Staying Vigilant Against Mosquitoes

Posted on: September 3, 2019
Pens and coins stacked on a piece of paper

Property Taxes 2019-2020

Posted on: July 10, 2019
Wood carving of a house with coins stacked behind it

Property Tax Cap Claim Form

Posted on: July 1, 2019