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About Us
The Elk River Fire Department is a full-service emergency response and public safety agency, offering a wide range of services to provide for a healthy and safe community. As a function of city government, the fire department is customer focused and committed to providing the residents of Elk River and its contractual partners with prompt, professional service.

The fire department, formally established in 1881, is a distinguished public service entity. Over the years, the department has transitioned from a single-mission of fire suppression, to providing many additional life-safety and value added services to the community. The modern-area fire department is focused on four specific service areas: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. This is reflected in the Elk River Fire Department’s mission statement.

The Fire Chief, T. John Cunningham, is directly responsible for the operation of the fire department and overseeing the functional divisions within. In addition to providing leadership to the organization, the Fire Chief is also responsible for budgeting, personnel management and community relations. The fire chief is also responsible for policy research and development, strategic planning and overall organizational development. This position is also the city’s emergency management director and safety coordinator. A full-time administrative assistant provides clerical and records support to the fire chief.

Fire/Rescue Operations
A contingent of forty on-call firefighters respond to approximately 450 calls for service each year. The fire department’s service district is spread across 66-square miles which includes the City of Elk River and portions of Otsego and the Township of Big Lake. Front-line leadership and direction is provided by on-call officers that report to the fire chief. The fire department does not have dedicated, full-time emergency response staffing.

Fire & Building Safety
The Fire & Building Safety Division, under the direction of the building official, oversees all building, fire and rental dwelling inspections. The Fire & Building Safety Division review and approve construction plan and complete on-site inspections during the construction process to ensure compliance with applicable building and fire safety codes. The division also completes fire and life safety inspections on commercial properties and is responsible for inspecting all rental dwellings within the city. Through the division’s public outreach and education programs, staff also strives to educate at-risk populations on fire and life safety concerns.

Code Enforcement
The Code Enforcement Division seeks to enforce exterior maintenance and ordinance requirements throughout the city. This includes enforcing rules pertaining to property maintenance, setback requirements, commercial signage and various nuisance standards. While code enforcement primarily maintains quality of life standards, they also play an important role in the early identification of unsafe entry points, exterior hazards, public health hazard mitigation and ensuring compliance with humane pet standards.