The Emergency Services Division is headed by a Chief Fire Officer. The Division is situated at the Harare Central Fire Station at number 111 Belvedere Road.
The City of Harare Emergency Services' primary role is to save life and property through the provision of Fire prevention, Fire-fighting, Rescue and Emergency Medical Management and conveyance of patients, that is the ratepayers or residents of Harare and residents of the surrounding areas. The Division is made up of Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services sections.
Fire Brigade provides Emergency Services in the form of fire fighting, fire prevention and performance of rescue services. In addition to that, the section is also responsible for enforcing the City's Fire By-Laws in Harare.
Ambulance Services provides emergency services in the form of conveyance of patients and their management from their homes to hospital. This also involves en-route treatment and reassuring of patients on the way to hospital. The treatment of patients during rescue is also performed as well.
The emergency services operates on a military like rank structure and has a strictly enforced chain of command. This is beneficial in that it maintains accountability which is very important in any operation where life is potentially at risk. The Division offers its service for the residents of Harare and surrounding Towns on a 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7) system, with the same level of operational cover and command (ideally) available at all times. A small percentage of the Division's employees actually work a regular office work pattern, and most of these officers are available after hours to assist and supervise operational staff in dealing with more complicated situations.
To be an efficient and effective provider of Fire Fighting, Fire Prevention, Rescue and Emergence Medical Services of a world-class standard.
To be recognised as a major and equal force in making Harare a safe and attractive place in which to live and invest, through the provision of efficient and effective Fire Fighting, Fire Prevention, Rescue and Emergence Medical Services of world-class standards and to ensure the confidence of our Stakeholders through their pro-active involvement in all aspects of the service.
- Excellence in the minimum standard that we will strive to deliver to our clients.
- Time is recognised as being critical in our operations - the sooner a call is answered, responded to an d reached, the less the risk of fatality or loss of property. We recognise that the public rates our service primarily by how fast we arrive when they call us rather than by what we do once we have arrived.
- Public Safety - the prevention of fires and accidents is recognised as being very important, and if done effectively, will greatly reduce the incidence of emergencies and reduce the loss of life and property.
- We are committed to the improvement of the environment in which we operate.
- Develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with all our stakeholders.
- Sustained growth and profitability.
Our employees are the most valuable asset and their welfare, training and personal development is recognised as being essential to the provision of excellent service to the community.
Functions of The Harare Emergency Services
The operational functions of the Emergency Services are controlled by a central Control Room where all movements of officers, personnel and vehicles are monitored, and all calls for assistance are received and managed.
The current functions of the Division can be divided into four broad but inter-dependent categories.
Command and Administration
- Ensure the overall safety of Harare and it's residents through the maintenance of a well-equipped and well-trained Emergency Services.
- The Recruitment, training and supervision of appropriate number of Fire-fighters, Ambulance personnel, Control Room and support staff, and their development through the ranks of the service as determined by their qualifications and capabilities.
- The assessment of risk within Harare and the immediate areas, and the development of stations and deployment of vehicles and manpower commensurate with this risk.
- The procurement of appropriate equipment, guided by current trends, research, need, and experience.
- Development of the various aspects of the profession, and the continual updating of techniques and skills.
- Advising Council on matters relating to Public Safety, and ensuring a high-level of cooperation with al other Council Departments, and the formulation of policies.
- The maintenance of all buildings, vehicles plant and equipment.
- The maintenance of adequate stocks of equipment for use in disaster situations as well as the planning and coordination of disaster prevention and management strategies.
- Ensuring that all calls for help are handled appropriately, efficiently, and accurately - this involves both direct (i.e. on scene) and indirect supervision by means of audit and report inspection.
- Financial Management.
- Developing and maintaining a good public image of the organisation, through ensuring high standards, and as appropriate, liaison with the media.
Fire Fighting and Rescue
- The immediate dispatch of appropriate resources (fire engines) and personnel to any emergency involving fire, or any other situation where human life is at risk. This includes rescue from vehicles, industrial and agricultural machinery, chemical spillages and multiple casualty accidents or incidents.
- The assessment of the situation, and the implementation of measures to contain the fire or situation and limit spread to, or involvement of other people or property.
- The rescue of affected or injured persons from the situation, and the initiation of appropriate medical care.
- The final containment of the situation, or extinguishing of the fire.
- The initiation of recovery processes for the people or premises involved.
- The investigation of the cause of the situation culminating in identifying factors that could be changed to prevent a similar occurrence.
Emergency Medical Services
- The continual maintenance and preparation of equipment and vehicles.
- The immediate assessment of any call for help required, and the dispatch of appropriate human and material resources within an appropriate time frame, given the nature of the situation. Incidents where life or limb is in immediate danger are given a higher priority than non-emergency request for transport.
- The assessment of the situation, and the implementation of measures to prevent the situation from deteriorating.
- The implementation of appropriate medical care at the scene, and the transportation of the patient(s) to the most appropriate facility.
- The termination of the call, including the cleaning and disinfections of the vehicle, the completion of documentation, and the replacement of medical supplies.
- Continuing Education, Quality Assurance, and Medical Audit are important functions that are performed to ensure that the highest possible standards are maintained.
- Maintain a high standard of fire prevention and public safety in all public buildings, thereby reducing to the lowest level possible, the risk of fire.
- Conducts regular inspection of all factories, commercial buildings, shops and places of public gathering on a regular basis, to ensure compliance with fire prevention by-laws and building codes.
- Building plans are processed - they are thoroughly examined and recommendations for fire safety are endorsed. All new buildings are given a fire clearance certificate to allow occupation to take place.
- All places where flammable liquids (including motor-vehicle fuels) are stored or sold are registered and inspected on a regular basis.
- Public education in fire safety - this is carried out at schools, factories, hotels, and other places.