Chief's Page


Residents incorporated the Spring Lake Fire Department on January 17, 1944 as a non-profit corporation, starting with two pieces of apparatus and twenty volunteer firefighters.  The Fire District was quite large at the time and consisted of the current communities of Blaine, Spring Lake Park, Mounds View, Fridley, Arden Hills, Shoreview and Coon Rapids.

Today, the SBMFD is a dynamic, high performing organization, which provides extraordinary all hazard emergency response, innovative fire prevention services, and public fire education to the communities of Spring Lake Park, Blaine and Mounds View.  SBMFD currently serves a permanent population of over 82,000 residents who are dispersed throughout approximately 40 square miles.  The coverage area includes the Anoka County Airport, critical state infrastructure, major regional employers and numerous schools.

The Operations Division provides service through a unique combination-staffing model, staffing with full time personnel and volunteers, delivering an effective service at the lowest per capita cost in Minnesota.  Current daytime response combines 11 full-time SBMFD personnel staffing Fire Stations 1 and 3 with 12 full-time City of Blaine employees staffing Fire Station 5.  During the evening, service is provided by our approximately 60 volunteer personnel who respond to their assigned fire stations from their homes. Many of our full-time personnel are also volunteer firefighters during the evening.

The Community Risk Reduction Division delivers innovative fire prevention and safety programs to our stakeholders in several focus areas.  A very dedicated and competent cadre of career and volunteer personnel deliver the programs and are heavily involved in the community.  These personnel belong to many groups, which include our Fire Corps, Educators, Fire Explorers and Suppression.  The service they deliver is critical to the safety and wellbeing of our communities.  Some of these innovative and crucial programs are; After the Fire Care, Bike Helmet Fittings, Car Seat Clinics, Citizens Academy, First Aid and CPR, Home Safety Surveys, Safety Camp, Senior Safety Fair, School Education and Youth Fire Setter Intervention.

We are a high performing organization, taking pride in the service we provide to our three communities.  We possess an innovative history, unique service model and provide exceptional service at the lowest per capita rate in Minnesota.  These factors ensure an operational approach that continually maintains a proper balance between efficiency and effectiveness.  Our personnel are intensely dedicated to service, form the foundation of our organization and are the most valuable of assets.

The SBMFD is fortunate to provide service for one of the fastest growing districts in the State of Minnesota.  Please enjoy the information our webpage has to offer!

 - Fire Chief Charles V. Smith IV

Strategic Plan

During the summer and fall of 2016, we conducted strategic planning sessions with all personnel.  During the planning sessions, a comprehensive Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted, obtaining feedback needed to create a clear vision of SBMFD’s present and future needs.  Analysis of the information collected during the SWOT, identified significant internal and external challenges.  From each challenge, goals were created along with strategies and action items required to achieve each goal. While the duration of this strategic plan is approximately five years, strategic goals will be achieved using flexible timeframes.  This tactic achieves the overall objective of maintaining organizational flexibility, ensuring continued organizational growth.

The information obtained from the SWOT analysis allowed the Department to identify challenges, both internal and external, which affect the organization now and in the future.  From the analysis, six focus areas were developed which were used to plan our organizational course for approximately the next five years.  The following are the strategic goals of the SBM Fire Department and are not listed in any priority order:


Ensure all personnel are provided applicable, realistic and dynamic training using diverse and innovative methods.


Provide for concise, consistent and accurate communication to all stakeholders.

Resource Investment

Invest heavily and continually in new equipment, apparatus and facilities which embeds modern technology and methodology into daily operations.


Develop personnel through comprehensive leadership and education programs, ensuring effective utilization of talent while creating a culture of accountability.

Change Management

Ensure proper organizational change process is consistently followed to achieve widespread buy in and collaboration during continuous and progressive organizational culture revision.

Service Growth

Ensure organization is prepared for future growth, changing demographics and providing for additional service demands.

For each Strategic Goal, a number of strategies and action items were developed to attain our goals. For 2017 we are executing the following action items:

1.  Form working group representative of department to assist in training program development.

2.  Assess and ensure training programs and physical training assets meet to the greatest extent possible:  industry best practices, NFPA standards, ISO requirements, OSHA laws and State regulations.

3.  Train and certify 25% of operations personnel in wildland firefighting positions equivalent to individual structural positions using National Wildfire Coordinating Group and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources position requirements.

4.  Redesign training program incorporating more single station/single company training.

5.  Incorporate online training platforms whenever possible, to reduce seat time for personnel, while       increasing documented number of training hours.

6.  Implement an online training platform to deliver and track training.

7.  Form working group of essential stakeholders to assess current and future ability of the SBMFD training center to deliver programs to external customers.

8.  Conduct monthly leadership team meetings keeping all personnel updated on division projects and create accountability for project completion.

9.  Conduct quarterly officer meetings to ensure information flow between Chief Officers and Company Officers are clear and occur on a regular basis.

10.  Conduct bi-annual Safety Committee meetings to ensure safety issues are identified, investigated and preventative measures are recommended and implemented.

11.  Provide regular monthly updates for internal stakeholders via electronic transmission.

12.  Ensure social media and website are used effectively to transmit current, accurate messages regarding community safety and department activities.

13.  Ensure key staff attend and participate in regular, meetings with internal and external stakeholders.

14.  Perform needs assessment and prioritize equipment and apparatus replacement based on National Standard and best practice timeframes.

15.  Perform needs assessment on facilities; prioritize repairs and upgrades to enhance operational capability.

16.  Embrace all grant-funding opportunities for needed apparatus, equipment and programs, maximizing local funding and reducing capital replacement plan timeframe.

17.  Review promotional process/requirements, obtain input from personnel and modify process to ensure officer positions are filled on a continuous basis.

18.  Ensure all personnel adhere to policies, procedures, standards and performance expectations; exercise objective accountability.

19.  Identify, adopt and implement an effective organizational change process, obtaining largest amount of feedback within acceptable and efficient change timeframe.

20.  Collaborate with applicable external stakeholders during the change process to maintain external situational awareness, objectivity and cultivation of new ideas.

21.  Ensure all hiring, promotional, financial and change processes are as transparent as possible while protecting internal business interests.

22.  Improve ISO rating for the City of Blaine and maintain ISO rating in the Cities of Spring Lake Park and Mounds View; achieve an ISO rating of 3 for the entire Fire District.

The plan we have created and implemented is an ambitious one, but, concretely identifies and provides for steps to execute our mission and implement vision over the next 60 months.  





©2015 SBM Fire. All rights reserved.
Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department.  
Headquarters: 1710 County Highway 10 Spring Lake Park, MN 55432  
(763) 786-4436