Public Safety

This is my old stomping grounds and I am very proud to say it is in great shape.

Fire and EMS

Technology and Training head the list of ongoing improvements in the field. New strategies powered by science help in fire attack as well as the approach to medical emergencies.

Chief Steines has shifted personnel to staff a third ambulance from Fire Station # 2 on JFK Road improving ambulance response to much of the west side.

Every Fire Engine or Ladder Truck is now paramedic staffed and equipped. That means the tools and training to deal with medical or trauma emergencies arrive on scene even faster than before. It means less scene time as procedures are begun earlier and transport begins sooner.

Citizens are assured of quality paramedic care quickly at all times. Beyond the City’s capability there are mutual aid pacts with automatic response from Asbury, Sherill, Key West and East Dubuque for paramedic ambulance and fire response. The City of Dubuque backs these communities up as well.

The Fire Department is well into an accreditation process that will measure how the Department stacks up to other leading Fire Departments in many areas. I expect that they will find themselves in front of most.

Dubuque Fire was presented the Mission Lifeline Gold award by the American Heart Association in 2017 and 2018 and the Gold Plus award for 2019 for exceptional outcomes in cardiac arrest management. This is a big deal!

We began the process of increasing the Fire Department staff incrementally in preparation of staffing a seventh fire station on Dubuque’s southwest side in the near future. Staff will be added each year to assure that a trained and seasoned team will be available at this new location.

In partnership with the 911 dispatch center an electronic system now dispatches all emergency calls.  As soon as the dispatcher has the call location and nature the call is automatically dispatched to the fire stations while the dispatcher continues to gather information from the caller. This puts our teams by the patients’ sides minutes sooner in some cases.


Technology and Training are high on the lists of what is driving your fully accredited Police Department to excellence. Heavy use of Community Policing strategies and a relatively new Territory Accountability System help to keep your community safe.

Public Safety Dispatch

The Dubuque 911 center was an early adopter of many technologies and systems that have now become mainstream – such as Priority Medical Dispatching, Pre-Arrival Medical Instructions, Computer Aided Dispatching, Enhanced 911, Interoperability among all agencies and more. A major facility upgrade is in the conversational stage for the 911 center. Additional tools are being investigated as well, to reduce the call handling time and improve response time for emergencies.

Anyone who has been through a serious medical emergency has been comforted and many enabled to be of meaningful help to the patient by these dispatchers and their tools.

Emergency Management

The Emergency Management Office provides planning and oversight of the Outdoor Warning System and spotter network for severe weather as well and disaster mitigation and preplanning . They manage the day to day operation of the training center. Though the responsibilities of the office have grown dramatically in the last two decades, the one person staff has not. Technology has helped here, as well.



Dubuque’s public safety personnel participate and partner in a myriad of training. A partnership with all of the emergency response agencies in the County built the Dubuque County Regional Emergency Responder Training Facility on the west side of the City. I am proud to say that I was very involved in this project.  The facility provides indoor and outdoor space for law enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, Fire, Rescue, Dispatch, Public Health and other agencies to use. It features a large paved pad, a large paved indoor space, classrooms and a three story burn building/ rescue tower. Northeast Iowa Community College manages all needed accreditation and scheduling. 

Northeast Iowa Community College also hosts the Dubuque County De-Escalation and Judgmental Use of Force virtual simulator for law enforcement scenario based training. This facility includes the VIRTRA  system for high-stress decision making based on actual incidents encountered by law enforcement professionals all over the world. 

Our public safety professional embrace training and are among the best trained and exercised in the world.