The Red Wing Fire Department is a combination fire department staffed by career and paid-on-call personnel. In addition to providing fire suppression, fire prevention, fire investigation, fire code enforcement and public education services, the Red Wing Fire Department also provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) Emergency Medical Services for the City of Red Wing and surrounding communities. In doing so, the department requires adequate and sustainable long term financial stability to ensure that community needs are met and critical missions can be accomplished safely. Departmental funding is supported through a combination of general fund dollars (taxes), fire protection contracts with neighboring communities and ambulance user fees. Grants and similar funding sources are utilized whenever possible. Several local businesses and civic groups also make charitable contributions to the Red Wing Fire Department regularly. These donations are typically applied to public education expenses or used to off-set equipment purchases that would otherwise not be made.
In the past, the Red Wing Fire Department has sponsored community events to raise funds. Some may recall the annual Firemen’s Ball or Red Wing Fire Department “Trout Pond” and “Water Wars” sponsored during River City Days. Rather than off-setting operational expenses, proceeds from these events were used for expenses associated combined full-time/paid-on-call departmental meetings and to fund charitable donations to local organizations. Those donating to these functions often expressed frustration in being asked to pay twice, once in taxes and again through a charitable contribution. Fire department members have since elected to fund charitable donations and meeting expenses out of pocket, rather than solicit funds from community members. Additionally, Red Wing firefighters (career and paid-on-call) donate countless hours to charities of their choosing.
The City of Red Wing’s ongoing commitment and dedication to providing state of the art fire and emergency medical services within our community requires sustainable funding not practical through charitable contributions. The department’s goal is to utilize the resources available efficiently and effectively in accomplishing our mission.