As of January 2016, the Inver Grove Heights Fire Department maintains a primary staffing model of one Engine Company, staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Originally made up of primarily volunteer paid on-call firefighters, the duty crew was enhanced in 2019 to be crewed by a combination of a career Captain and volunteer paid-on-call firefighters. While the Captains work 24-hour shifts (called “tours”), volunteer paid on-call firefighters bid and work shifts in 4- or 8- hour increments. Regular authorized staffing for this company is three firefighters. However, there are times, such as training new recruits, special weather conditions, or for specialty assignments or events, that staffing is authorized for more. Minimum staffing for the on-duty engine company is two firefighters. The duty crew is currently housed at Station 2.
The duty crew provides primary response for all calls for service within the City of Inver Grove Heights. In the event that the duty crew is already on a call, or that the nature of an incident is such that it requires a greater commitment of resources than the duty crew can provide, the on-duty firefighters are reinforced by “page outs” of the rest of the staff. Over half of the calls for service are handled by the duty crew without additional resources. Each Inver Grove Heights firefighter is required to work a minimum of 24 hours per month as a member of the duty crew.
Under the duty crew model, the citizens of Inver Grove Heights enjoy enhanced protection from the fire department in the form of significantly faster response times, guaranteed fire, rescue, and EMS coverage for the city, and a fire department that is far more accessible to the public. Firefighters working under the duty crew model benefit from more predictable and flexible fire department work hours (which aids in recruitment and retention), the ability to enhance proficiency in firefighting skills by the provision of on-shift training and experience, and a greater potential for exposure to the public in non-emergency settings.