Anoka County Fire Investigation Team (ACFIT)
The Coon Rapids Fire Department is a founding member of the Anoka County Fire Investigation Team (ACFIT). The team consists of approximately 30 members from Anoka County fire and police agencies as well as a member from the State Fire Marshal's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and the Anoka County Attorney's office. The team was assembled to build collaboration among fire, law enforcement, and others to better determine the origin and cause of fire and explosion scenes within Anoka County.
The primary goal of the team is to assist local fire departments in determining the origin and cause of fires and/or explosions within their jurisdictions.
Today the ACFIT has become a model for other county teams such as Hennepin, Washington, Dakota, Sherburne, Albert Lea, and Ramsey. The team concept has complete support from the County Sheriff, County Attorney, Medical Examiner's Office and local officials.
North Metro Chemical Assessment Team (CAT)
Coon Rapids Fire partners with departments from the surrounding areas of Fridley and SBM Fire (Spring Lake Park, Blaine, Moundsview) to form a contracted Chemical Assessment Team (CAT). Minnesota has 11 CAT teams, each responsible for a geographical area. A truck and trailer equipped with sophisticated equipment is housed between Coon Rapids and SBM fire stations.
Primary responsibilities of a CAT include hazard assessment, technical assistance, simple mitigation and basic decontamination. CATs professional responders are trained to exceed OSHA and NFPA competencies and provide technical support and monitoring to incident commanders; specialized equipment and reference materials and additional support to other state agencies as needed.
CATs can also sample for identification of unknown substances, monitor air, plume projection, make evacuation/sheltering recommendations, over pack/containment of a container and sample collection (not evidence).
CATs do not assume overall command of a local incident, clean or transport hazardous materials, mitigate explosive devices or clandestine drug labs or respond to waste abandonment.
Team members are highly trained in chemistry, hazardous materials and monitoring equipment. The team participates in training drills twice a month.
Specialized Rescue Team (SRT)
Imagine you are in a boat trapped in the strong current (or boil) at the base of a dam or you are trapped in a building after a tornado. The North Metro Specialized Rescue Team (NMSRT)is ready to handle these types of emergencies when they happen in Anoka County.
The NMSRT receives extensive training and equipment to perform rescues involving confined spaces, swift water currents, structural collapses and trench rescues. This specialized rescue service is valuable to businesses and residents when people are in need of a complex rescue. There have been more than a dozen specialty calls requiring complex rescue operations since the team was formed in 2004.
The team consists of 30 members from several Anoka County Fire Departments. Six members are also part of Minnesota Task Force 1, a state level Urban Search and Rescue Team. The Coon Rapids Fire Department originally started a Technical Rescue Team in 2000, with the help of a grant from the Anoka County Fire Protection Council. In 2004, the team expanded to include firefighters from departments across Anoka County when it then became the North Metro Specialized Rescue Team. Coon Rapids continues to be the lead agency for the NMSRT and stores the team's specialized equipment on one of the department's fire trucks, along with two enclosed trailers containing additional equipment. The equipment and training for the rescue team is critical to the safety of the rescuers, industrial workers and citizens.
Anoka County Fire Training Academy (ACFTA)
The Coon Rapids Fire Department participates in the Anoka County Fire Training Academy Firefighter I & II Recruit School. This collaboration prepares recruits to meet job performance requirements for career and volunteer firefighters whose duties are primarily structural in nature as described in NFPA 1001 Standard on Fire Fighter Professional Qualification 2008 Edition and NFPA 1500 Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program 2007 Edition.
Classroom and training instruction includes firefighter skills, fire behavior, fire control techniques, fire ground operations, salvage, hazardous materials and incident command. Training ground activities allow recruits to use their knowledge and master basic manipulative firefighter skills. The academy is a total of 178 hours, meeting twice a week for six months.
Several Coon Rapids firefighters serve as instructors and director of operations for the academy.