Meet the GFD Crew
Fire Chief Welcome Message
On behalf of the men and women that make up the City of Graham Fire Department, I welcome you to our website. We hope you gain knowledge of our organization and value the efforts of the GFD to keep you safe. The Fire Department is made up of a group of dedicated career and volunteer firefighters serving 17,000 Graham residents and the many visitors that make their way to our “Captial City” annually.
Since 1903, we have had a mission of reducing the loss of life and minimizing property damage for the people in our growing community. Our department is dedicated to making the City of Graham a safer place to live, work, and visit. We are continually working to ensure that our training, equipment, and personnel meet the needs of the citizens and the public we serve each and everyday.
Since 2019, I have the honor and privilege of leading this amazing group of firefighters whose focus is to provide superior service and we will continue to work hard to achieve this through the highest level of preparedness, prevention, and life safety measures to keep you and your families safe. With over 30 years of experience in the fire service, I am committed to providing a first class organization that our members and our community can expect and be proud of.
Again, thank you for visiting our website and welcome to the City of Graham. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about our fire department or have suggestions to improve our services.
John T. “Tommy” Cole
The Graham Fire Department is a combination Fire Department with volunteer, part-time, and career personnel. Our career personnel work an A, B, and C rotating schedule (typically referred to as the 3-4 schedule. Our part-time personnel are scheduled around the clock by providing 10 hour, 14 hour, or 24 hour shifts. Our volunteer personnel respond from their homes and places of employment to provide fire and rescue services for our community. All personnel are responsible for the routine maintenance and care of all equipment to maintain a high level of readiness for any incident. Our staff clean, inspect, repair, and test all department resources to ensure a safe and efficient work environment.
The Graham Fire Department is proud to hold a Class 3 Fire Protection Insurance Rating.
Most hydrants are within 500 feet of each other, based on Insurance Standards Office requirements.
To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain in their designated response territory with their fire trucks during their entire shift. Our crews work 24-hour shifts with no scheduled break, and meals are not provided by the City. Personnel on each shift must purchase their own food and prepare their own meals, so they usually make a daily trip to the grocery store within their territory to buy whatever they need to prepare their meals. Fire crews can be dispatched at any time, since all units maintain constant radio contact with our 9-1-1 center, and must be together with their truck so that they are ready to respond to any emergency, regardless of their current location or non-emergency assignment.
The City of Graham Fire Department has several firefighters who are certified EMTs and Medical Responders providing basic emergency medical treatment, which means we can get there faster than an ambulance in most cases, and begin immediate treatment.
We offer a variety of community events and programs. Please click on this link to go to our Fire Prevention and Life Safety Page or call (336) 570-6707 and speak with the on-duty supervisor.
The Graham Fire Department does provide free smoke alarms with installation to all residents within the city limits. To request a smoke alarm, please click on this link to go to our Fire Prevention and Life Safety Page or call (336) 570-6707 and speak with the on-duty supervisor
The firefighters might not be at the station when you call. Even if they are, the firefighters will still have to activate 9-1-1 so that other emergency responders are notified. On the other hand, the 9-1-1 emergency system is designed to save valuable seconds. When you dial 9-1-1, the system routes the call to the police or fire unit that is closest to your home.
A “Standard Response Plan” policy is utilized on all responses. This system is a pre-designated formula that determines the amount and type of equipment sent to the incident. For example, a residential structure fire includes a minimum of three engines, and one ladder truck. If these units are not needed, they are released by the Incident Commander.
Firefighters work 24 hour shifts at their duty station. Training and equipment maintenance takes up a good deal of firefighter’s time when they are not on call. Firefighters constantly train so they are ready to handle any type of emergency. Firefighters must also maintain and clean their stations. Firefighters also conduct pre-incident planning and community service.
Call the non-emergency number at the 9-1-1 center – (336) 570-6777
A Fire Incident Report is created for every call which the Graham Fire Department responds. Requests for Incident Reports may be made by calling (336) 570-6707 and speaking with the Fire Chief.