In 1998, The Village Center Community Development District (VCCDD) introduced a “Proposal for Improved Public Safety” to provide full-time fire protection services
to the growing community and rapidly increasing population. The ultimate goal for this proposal was to reduce response times for emergency service calls and to
standardize the level of response within The Villages.
On October 6, 1998, a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the VCCDD was held for consideration and approval of the proposal for improved public safety,
and with a unanimous vote, the Board authorized staff to move forward, thus leading to the formation of The Villages Public Safety Department (VPSD). VPSD has
provided fire protection and emergency medical services to the areas of The Villages since October 1, 1999.
Initially, the Department was comprised of one Station (Station 41- Lake Sumter Landing), one Fire Chief, and 12 Firefighter/Paramedics. VPSD responded to 1,040
calls for service during the first year of operations and the response area covered approximately 3 square miles.
Today, The Villages Public Safety Department has the honor of serving the world’s largest retirement community. Over the past twenty years, the community and
population have experienced a tremendous amount of rapid growth. VPSD has expanded in unison with The Villages to ensure that increasing demands are met with no
reduction in service. The Department’s coverage area exceeds 55 square miles with over 140,000 residents in three counties (Lake, Sumter, Marion) and five cities
(Lady Lake, Wildwood, Coleman, Oxford, Fruitland Park). Although predominately a retirement community, The Villages has three family communities and an A+ charter
school system (pre-K through 12th). The Villages Public Safety Department has the honor of protecting a population demographic that spans all ages.
The Village Public Safety Department is a full-service fire-rescue Department operating out of nine stations strategically located to ensure a rapid response to emergencies.
- 9 – Fire Stations
- 150 – Full-Time Firefighters
- 6 – Engines
- 2 – 75’ Aerial Ladders
- 1 – 95’ Tower Ladder
- 1 – Squad (Heavy Rescue)
- 5 – Rescues (Non-Transport Medical Unit)
- 2 – Attack Units (ALS/Mini-Pumper)
- 1 – Marine Unit
- 1 – All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) unit
- 2 – Battalion Chiefs (per shift)
- Fire Suppression
- Emergency Medical Services
- Type I (heavy) Technical Rescue Team (FL-TRT-424) recognized by the State of Florida. Team members are Firefighter/EMTs and Firefighter/Paramedics specializing in:
- High Angle Rope Rescue
- Vehicle Machinery Rescue
- Confined Space Rescue
- Trench Collapse Rescue
- Structural Collapse Rescue
- Large Animal Rescue
- Swift Water Rescue
- Operations Level Hazardous Materials Response
- Fire Prevention and Inspections (Including Public Education Events)
- CPR/AED Classes
- Smoke Detector ProgramCar Seat Installation Program
The Villages Public Safety Department responded to over 24,000 Incidents in the 2021 – 22 Fiscal Year. 70% of those Incidents were Rescue and Emergency Medical
Service calls for incidents such as Medical Emergencies, Medical Assists, Motor Vehicle Crashes, and Extrication. 17% of the Incidents were Service calls, such as
persons in distress, water leaks, smoke/smell of smoke, and smoke detector assistance. The other 13% of the Incidents were calls related to Fires, Hazardous
Conditions, False Alarms, Good Intent, and Severe Weather. An example of a Good Intent call is when someone mistakes steam or fog for smoke and calls it in
thinking it could be a fire or other emergency.
Insurance Service Organization Public Protection Class
The Insurance Service Organization (ISO) is a third-party independent agency that evaluates the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of fire departments
across the United States and rates the results on a national scale of 1 to 10 — with 1 being the best and highest score. This numerical classification score is
called a Public Protection Classification (PPC) and is based upon a number of criteria and major elements of a community’s fire protection system. The Villages
Public Safety Department is proud to have been ranked as a Class 2 Fire Department by ISO, a rare Classification among American fire departments with only 2% of
fire departments in the United States obtaining this level.
ISO is the driving factor for residential and commercial property insurance premiums and rates. Due to our superb ISO rating, commercial properties and residents
pay a lower insurance premium. This is a nationally recognized standard based on extensive criteria that evaluates a fire department’s ability to protect its
citizens and property.
Emergency management and services related to preparation for severe weather, floods, hurricanes, and other disaster response activities fall under the purview
of the county in which you live. If you have questions about severe weather or other emergency management issues in your area, please contact the appropriate
county below. Lake, Marion, and Sumter County also have programs designed to notify their residents of weather incidents, hazardous conditions, and other
important information. To sign up for these notifications in your county, please visit the links below or contact the county in which you live for additional