Kern County Fire Department

Olive Drive Fire Training Facility

A jointly operated training facility between Bakersfield CollegeKern County Fire, and Bakersfield City Fire Departments. This relationship has proved to be a successful means to provide up-to-date and accurate training and instruction to local emergency responders in a cost effective manner. ODFTF strives to offer up-to-date courses while continuing to update the facility to keep up with current issues facing emergency responders.



The site is recognized throughout the emergency response community and is designated as a regional training site by the State Fire Marshal, State Office of Emergency Services and the California Wildland Fire Training Group.

The Emergency Communications Center (ECC)

The ECC is responsible for receiving and dispatching all fire, medical and rescue calls within the 8,000+ square miles of Kern County.

In addition, through contracts, we dispatch Kern County Fire equipment and responses along the 395 corridors in San Bernardino County and the Lockwood Valley area of Ventura County.

Emergency Communications Center (ECC) has been continuing its efforts both short and long term, in developing and maintaining a state-of –the-art communications center for the citizens we serve, our fire departments and our dispatch staff.

The ECC receives transferred calls from 17 different law enforcement agencies and relays calls to 3 different private ambulance companies. In 2020, 123,261 call were entered for service. Our total call volume for calls for service, requests, information, etc. was 458,213 calls.

This represents a 4.9% increase in call volume from 2019 to 2020. ECC Dispatchers also provided lifesaving CPR or Heimlich instructions resulting in 24 lives being saved and assisted with 15 baby deliveries. The number of Text-To-911 calls taken for 2020 was 82.

ECC has used the IAED Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Protocols since 1989.  In 1999 we became the 77th Center in the World (10th in California) to achieve Accreditation as a Center of Excellence with the Academy.  This Accreditation requires our dispatchers to perform at a consistently high compliance to protocol.  Our full-time EMD Quality Improvement/Assurance Coordinator reviews 3% of all calls to ensure adherence to policy and protocol.  This level of commitment from both the agency and staff ensures our stakeholders receive the highest level of care when calling ECC for a medical emergency.

Each center must submit documentation attesting to our continued compliance with Academy standards every three years.  96,450 calls were processed using the EMD protocols during 2020.

ECC added the IAED Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD) Protocols in 2017.  26,810 calls were processed through these EFD protocols in 2020.

We are all truly proud to be a part of the Kern County Fire Department and are committed and dedicated to assisting with meeting its mission by continually evaluating our training, programs, and services and implementing changes that will empower our employees to provide excellent service to our citizens and public safety first responders.

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Information Technology/GIS

The Technology Services section of the Kern County Fire Department is responsible for managing and maintaining the department’s information systems and services throughout the County. We maintain a stable electronic work environment, collaborate with staff in the use of information technology, identify emerging technologies to meet the department’s needs, protect the department’s investment in technology and provide training to staff on the proper use of software and equipment.

This year the Technology Services employees delivered services to over 640 users, oversaw the departmental Wide Area Network connecting 47 stations & additional service locations all over Kern County including the Emergency Communication Center (ECC) and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Technology personnel supported 37 servers, 370 PCs, and 50 Mobile Data Computers (MDC) located in vehicles & apparatus. Additionally, the section was tasked with supporting all Bakersfield City Fire MDCs.

Over the network station alerting (Zetron) became fully operational this year freeing up valuable radio communication space. The system allows ECC to efficiently respond to emergencies by managing the assets of multiple fire stations. A single piece of firefighting equipment, an entire station, or multiple stations can be dispatched by selecting them from their PC screen or from the push of a few buttons. Visual indications help the operator select which stations should respond, as well as determine which vehicles are available, which have already been dispatched or are out of service. Other notable applications in use by the department include Computer Aided Dispatch (911), Fire Records Management System, Collaborative software, ReadyKern (Emergency Notification), Telestaff, and GIS systems.

Office of Emergency Services

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a centralized location to support multi-agency and/or multi-jurisdiction disaster response coordination and communication. On behalf of the Kern Operational Area, the Kern County EOC will serve as the designated point of contact between the jurisdictions within the County, as well as between the State and the Operational Area.

Air & Wildland Division



The Kern County Fire Department Air Operations team consists of full-time pilots, Captains, Firefighters, seasonal Firefighters, extra-help personnel, and full-time civilian mechanics. Two Type 2 helicopters are able to provide All Hazard response to wildland fires, hoist rescue incidents, medical aid transport, and assistance with search and rescue missions with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. The Air Operations Division also provides personnel and equipment transport, cargo delivery to remote locations, aerial mapping, and reconnaissance of large-scale incidents.


The Air Operations Division is a “one aircraft with surge capacity to two aircraft” program. This means staffing one helicopter a day and calling back personnel to staff the second helicopter if needed. It is the commitment of the Kern County Fire Department to always have one fire rescue helicopter available to respond for the citizens of Kern County. This is accomplished by maintaining two aircraft with a full-time maintenance staff of 2 mechanics and a hanger facility. Three full-time pilots along with a CWN (call when needed) roster of pilots provides coverage 365 days a year. Sworn Firefighter staffing consists of a Captain, Firefighter, and Seasonal firefighter each day. Additional seasonal staffing occurs during fire season with the hiring of the Helitack firefighters.


Our Helicopters receive requests for special missions routinely to help accomplish the mission of the Fire Department. From ferrying Firefighters and supplies to otherwise inaccessible locations to aerial reconnaissance to night vision missions, our aircraft remain busy year-round. During the Ridgecrest earthquakes of 2019, our aircraft provided real-time aerial reconnaissance to the city of Ridgecrest to aid in the management of the incident.

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