A fire department is an emergency services agency entrusted with responsibility for firefighting services in a particular area. The line of hierarchy in a fire department begins with a fire chief who is the top-ranking officer in command. Lower-ranking officers include an assistant chief, battalion chief, captain, and lieutenant, as well as paramedics and firefighters.
Fire departments with member firefighters and volunteers serve their communities by ensuring safety during fires and also natural disasters. They help with prevention by providing fire-risk assessments, building permits, fire alarms, and safety education. As first response teams, firefighters are trained and equipped to handle medical emergencies. Some fire departments also have their own ambulance services.