Fire Department

A Firefighters Pledge

I promise concern for others. A willingness to help all those in need. I promise courage – courage to face and conquer my fears. Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me. I promise strength – strength of heart to bear whatever burdens might be placed upon me.

Strength of body to deliver to safety all those placed within my care. I promise the wisdom to lead, the compassion to comfort, and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called.

Attention: Just a reminder to test your smoke alarms regularly and have your family develop and practice home fire drills.  A little planning now may save a life later.

fire dept
Contact Information

For emergencies, call 911

For non-emergencies, call phone number 763-682-5550.  Email Fire Chief John Harnois.

New Fire Station

New Fire Station Presentation – Fire Chief Harnois – March 2019

The groundbreaking for the new downtown fire station occurred in early May 2020 and site work is underway.   Check back here soon for further updates as construction continues!…

Meet Your Firefighters

Coming soon…

Station Locations

Centennial Fire Station – 209 Atlas Ave, Buffalo, MN 55313 – North of Menards off of County Road 134

Downtown Fire Station – 211 Central Ave, Buffalo, MN 55313 – Next to City Hall and the post office

Volunteer Opportunities
Employment Opportunities

Title: Buffalo Paid-On-Call Fire Fighter 
Department: Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department 
Reports To: Fire Chief / Officers 

Volunteer time to serve the citizens of the City of Buffalo and surrounding townships where there are fire contracts. Fire protection from bodily injury and property damage are the Fire Fighters main objective, along with providing public safety education. Fire fighters will from time to time be truck drivers, pump operators and must be trained in SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). There could be an opportunity to become an officer in the Buffalo Fire Department, or be involved in and participate in planning for purchasing of equipment. 

The fire fighters’ main functions are to answer fire calls, fire suppression and extraction at accident scenes. Public safety education is also a main function of fire personnel. Training is ongoing and essential on a monthly and annual basis. As assigned by the Fire Chief, fire fighters receive assignments to provide public safety education and other maintenance functions as needed. 

Fire Fighter I must be completed within the first eighteen months after appointment to the department. Fire fighters must make a minimum of an additional 24 hours of training per year, or eight drills. 

Because public safety education is a primary goal, fire fighters must stay abreast of safety standards and guidelines in a number of areas. Throughout the year education in fire safety is provided to children, and many citizens receive safety education at the Annual Open House of the Buffalo Fire Department, all of which a fire fighter is a part. 

A Class C vehicle drivers license is required and a clean motor vehicle record must be presented at any time. 

Willing to work ‘hands on’ in all areas of maintenance and operation of department equipment.  Must be able to work well with the public and other fire fighters and City departments as a ‘team player.’  Willing to submit to random drug and alcohol testing, if required. 

Fire fighters must operate under the by-laws of the Buffalo Fire Department as adopted, and follow the Standard Operating Guidelines. Fire fighters have an opportunity to advance to the position of an Officer by maintaining a high level of integrity in communications with the public and private sector. 

Fire fighters must be able to work under stressful conditions, in all types of weather conditions, and be able to work for long hours at a time. Fire fighters must be prepared for storms, accidents of all kinds, natural disasters and man-made disasters, and must also be trained as a nuclear response team. 

Operate equipment in performance of fire ground operations and maintenance functions.  Must wear personal safety equipment including clothing as required by the department. 

A physical examination is required prior to employment. Fire fighters must be at least 18 years of age, must complete an application and personal interview using the State of Minnesota point system. The fire fighter must pass a physical agility test that will assure that he or she can handle the physical requirements of the job. Other training required is SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) and ladder use. 

Personnel must submit to a biannual physical as provided by the department, including an EKG and other physical standards. 

Fire fighters must have leadership ability, communication skills, positive attitude and good judgment. They must be able to listen well to the Chief, Officers and the Training Officer(s).  Fire fighters must have the ability to relate well with all type of people and experience with similar job responsibilities.  Problem solving ability and safety knowledge and skills will also be important to success. 

Fire personnel must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The fire fighter should be able to respond to the station they are assigned to in an expedient way. 

The City of Buffalo is an equal opportunity employer who, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and invites current and prospective employees to discuss the need for any such accommodations with City management. 

Contact the Buffalo Fire Chief for more information about applying for this position.

Firefighter Application

Recreational Fires and Fire Pits

The Fire Chief has provided guidance on rules for recreational fires and fire pits.  All recreational fires are governed by the Minnesota DNR as established by Minnesota Statutes and the Minnesota State Fire Code.  The following are the rules, restrictions and guidelines concerning recreational fires.

State Fire Marshal Fact Sheet – Recreational Fires and Outdoor Fireplaces

Location – Portable fire pits should be 15 ft from a structure or anything combustible.  25 ft for permanent fire pits that burn wood and 15 ft for permanent natural gas or propane fire pits.  If you put in a simple fire pit with a rock border please remember to have a 5 ft diameter around the pit that is clear of dead grass or leaves.  Never use a portable fire pit on or near a wood deck.

Size – Size of recreational fires may not exceed 3 ft diameter and 2 ft in height and must be contained in an approved manner such as a portable barbecue pit, fire pit, or fire ring.

Fuels – Yard waste, waste matter, rubber, plastics, construction debris, trash, wood with paint, plywood, demolition material or flammable liquids shall not be used for fuel.

Fire extinguishing equipment – Buckets, shovels, garden hoses or a fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating shall be readily available for use at recreational fires.

Attendance – An attendant shall supervise a recreational fire until such fire has been extinguished.  Fires found to be unattended will be extinguished by the fire department.

Discontinuance – Fire department personnel are authorized to require that recreational fires be immediately discontinued if it is determined that a hazardous condition exists.

Safety Tips for Grilling

Grilling Safety Fact Sheet

State Fire Marshal Fact Sheet – Barbecues and Open Flames on Balconies and Patios


Subd. 1. Unlawful Acts.

A. In any structure containing three or more dwelling units, it is unlawful for any person to kindle, maintain or cause any fire or open flame on any balcony above ground level, or on any ground floor patio within fifteen (15) feet of any structure.

B. It is unlawful for any person to store or use any fuel, barbecue, torch or other similar heating or lighting chemicals or devices in the locations designated in Subparagraph A.

Subd. 2. Exceptions.

A. Electric grills or gas fired barbecue grills which are permanently mounted, wired or plumbed to the building’s gas supply or electrical system and maintained in the minimum clearance of eighteen (18) inches on all sides and may be installed on balconies and patios when approved by the Fire Chief.

B. Completely non-combustible construction as addressed in the UBC.

Source: Ordinance No. 41, Series III Effective Date: 2-7-92

Burning Permits and Burning Ban Information

If you have a pile of brush and you live out of the city limits of Buffalo, you would need a burning permit to burn it.  In the City of Buffalo, you cannot burn brush.  The city offers a compost area for you to bring your brush, leaves, and grass clippings.  If you live in the surrounding townships, you may obtain a burning permit from one of the fire wardens in the area or the Minnesota DNR.  Be sure to follow the rules and regulations of that permit.  You are responsible for that burning permit.  Violation of the permit may lead to a citation.

Online Permits through Minnesota DNR

Check for Current Burning Restrictions

Fire Department Entry Key Lock Box Application

Contact City Hall at 763-682-1181 for information and the order form for the Dama Lock Box.


The Buffalo Fire Department has been in service for over one hundred years.  The Buffalo Fire Department has 34 active members.  The fire department has two stations in the City of Buffalo.  Station one is located down town and the new Centennial Station is located in the industrial park on the east side of the city.  We respond to car crashes, fire alarms, grass fires, rescues, high level and low level, house fires, C.O. alarms and much more.  We do not respond to medical calls.  Allina Ambulance is based in the City of Buffalo and they do a great job of covering the surrounding townships.  The Buffalo Fire Department has trained EMT’s plus First Responders on the fire department.  We are trained to help at car crashes and any other scenes that need medical attention.


Our mission is to save lives and protect property in and around the Buffalo fire district to the best of our ability by public education, fire fighter training, and proper equipment.

US Fire Administration
Fire Extinguishers
Basic types of fire extinguishers
  • Class A fires are ordinary materials like burning paper, lumber, cardboard, plastics, etc
  • Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, and common organic solvents.
  • Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, switches, panel boxes, power tools, hot plates and stirrers.  Water is a particularly dangerous extinguishing medium for class C fires because of the risk of electrical shock.
  • Class D fires involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium as well as pyrophoric organometallic reagents such as alkyllithiums, Grignards and diethylzinc.  These materials burn at high temperatures and will react violently with water, air, and/or other chemicals.
  • Some fires may be a combination of these!  Your fire extinguishers should have ABC ratings on them.  These ratings will often have numbers on them that look something like “3-A:40-B:C”.  Higher numbers mean more firefighting power.

Water Extinguishers are suitable for class A fires, but not for class B, C, and D such as burning liquids, electrical fires or reactive metal fires.  In these cases, the flames will be spread or the hazard made greater.

Dry Chemical Extinguishers are useful for class ABC fires and are your best all around choice.  They have an advantage over CO2 extinguishers in that they leave a blanket of nonflammable material on the extinguished material which reduces the likelihood of re-ignition.  They also make a terrible mess, but if the choice is a fire or a mess, take the mess!  There are two kinds of dry chemical extinguishers:

  1. Type BC fire extinguishers contain sodium or potassium bicarbonate.
  2. Type ABC fire extinguishers contain ammonium phosphate.

CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguishers are for class B and C fires.  They don’t work very well on class A fires because the material usually reignites.  CO2 extinguishers have an advantage over dry chemical in that they leave behind no harmful residue — a good choice for an electrical fire on a computer or other delicate instrument.  CO2 extinguishers are not approved for class D fires!

Metal/Sand Extinguishers are for flammable metals (class D fires) and work by simply smothering the fire. You should have an approved class D unit if you are working with flammable metals.

Using Fire Extinguishers

You are not required to fight a fire. Ever. If you have the slightest doubt about your control of the situation DO NOT FIGHT THE FIRE.

1. Use a mental checklist to make a Fight-or-Flight Decision. Attempt to use an extinguisher only if ALL of the following apply: 



  • Whenever possible, use the “Buddy System” to have someone back you up when using a fire extinguisher. If you have any doubt about your personal safety, or if you can not extinguish a fire, leave immediately and close off the area (close the doors, but DO NOT lock them). Leave the building but contact a firefighter to relay whatever information you have about the fire.
  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
  • Stand several feet from the fire, depress the handle and sweep back and forth towards the fire. Note:
    • Do not walk on an area that you have “extinguished” in case the fire reignites or the extinguisher runs out! Remember: you usually can’t expect more than 10 full seconds of extinguishing power on a typical unit and this could be significantly less if the extinguisher was not properly maintained or partially discharged.
    • The metal parts of CO2 extinguishers tend to get dangerously cold — practice using one beforehand or have someone show you the proper way to hold one.
    • Again, proper training is usually required by state or federal OSHA!
  • Direct the extinguisher at the base of the flames until the fire is completely out.
  • Recharge any discharged extinguisher immediately after use. If you discharge an extinguisher (even just a tiny bit) or pull the pin for any reason, call your corporate Fire Marshal’s office to arrange a replacement.
Fire Safety Tips for Older Adults

Protect yourself, prevention is the best way to keep your home safe from fire.

Be Kitchen Wise: Never leave cooking unattended. Wear clothes with tight fitting sleeve when you cook. Always set a kitchen timer to remind you to turn off the burners and oven. Keep stove surfaces free of clutter and built-up of grease.

Be Smoker Wary: Use large, deep, not tipping ashtrays. Empty ashtrays often, wetting the contents before dumping into the trash. Never smoke in bed of while drinking alcohol or while you are on medication that could make you drowsy or disorientated.

Give Space Heaters Space: Keep electric portable space heaters at least 3-feet from everything—including you! Just brushing against one could set your clothing on fire.

Install Smoke Detectors: Be sure to have smoke detectors outside all sleeping areas and on every level of your home, including the basement. Test your detector monthly, and change your batteries once a year. If you sleep in a room with the doors closed, install a smoke detector inside the room as well. If you are hearing impaired, use a tested and approved smoke detector that triggers a strobe light.

Fire Prevention In the Home

Fire Safety

In 1999, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 3,570 Americans were killed and another 21,875 were injured as a result of fire. Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $10 billion. Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined. 82% of all fire deaths occurred in residences. With these startling statistics in mind, below are some safety tips for you:

Smoke Detectors

Smoke is responsible for three out of four deaths.

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Test every detector at least once a month. [See your instruction book for the location of the test button.]
  • Keep smoke detectors dust free. Replace batteries with new ones at least once a year, or sooner if the detector makes a chirping sound.
  • If you have a smoke detector directly wired into your electrical system, be sure that the little signal light is blinking periodically. This tells you that the alarm is active.
  • Inexpensive smoke detectors are available for the hearing impaired.
Fire Extinguishers

They remain your best bet if you’re on the spot when a fire begins. 

  • Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the kitchen, garage, and workshop.
  • Purchase an ABC type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires.
  • Learn how to use your fire extinguisher before there is an emergency.
  • Remember, use an extinguisher on small fires only. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call 911 from another location.
Thinking Ahead: Your Exit Plan

As with other things, the best motto is, “Be Prepared.” 

  • Prepare a floor plan of your home showing at least two ways out of each room.
  • Sleep with your bedroom door closed. In the event of fire, it helps to hold back heat and smoke. But if a door feels hot, do not open it; escape through another door or window.
  • Easy-to-use window escape ladders are available through many catalogues and outlet stores. For instance, First Alert sells one for around $90.
  • Agree on a fixed location out-of-doors where family members are to gather for a head count. Stay together away from the fire. Call 911 from another location. Make certain that no one goes back inside the burning building.
  • Check corridors and stairways to make sure they are free of obstructions and combustibles.
  • To help cut down on the need for an emergency exit in the first place, clear all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, and closets.

Remember, you’re deliberately bringing fire into your home; respect it. 

  • Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying.
  • Don’t store newspapers, kindling, or matches near the fireplace or have an exposed rug or wooden floor right in front of the fireplace.
  • Have your chimney inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season and cleaned to remove combustible creosote build-up if necessary.
  • Install a chimney spark arrester to prevent roof fires.
  • When lighting a gas fireplace, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
Furnace/Space Heaters

Used improperly, a space heater can be the most dangerous appliance in your house. 

  • Install and maintain heating equipment correctly. Have your furnace inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season .
  • Don’t store newspapers, rags, or other combustible materials near a furnace, hot water heater, space heater, etc.
  • Don’t leave space heaters operating when you’re not in the room.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that might burn, including the wall.
  • Don’t use extension cords with electrical space heaters. The high amount of current they require could melt the cord and start a fire.
  • When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
  • Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.
Clothes Dryer

Under some circumstances, dangerous heat can build up in a dryer. 

  • Never leave home with the clothes dryer running.
  • Dryers must be vented to the outside, not into a wall or attic.
  • Clean the lint screen frequently to keep the airway clear.
  • Never put in synthetic fabrics, plastic, rubber, or foam because they retain heat.
Electrical Hazards

Electricity, the silent servant, can become a silent assassin. 

  • It is better not to use extension cords. If you feel you must use one, make sure that it is not frayed or worn. Do not run it under a rug or twist it around a nail or hook.
  • Never overload a socket. In particular, the use of “octopus” outlets, outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs, is strongly discouraged.
  • Do not use light bulb wattage which is too high for the fixture. Look for the label inside each fixture which tells the maximum wattage.
  • Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, loose wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Sparking means that you’ve waited too long.
  • Allow air space around the TV to prevent overheating. The same applies to plug-in radios and stereo sets, and to powerful lamps.
  • If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows frequently, immediately cut down on the number of appliances on that line.
  • Be sure all electrical equipment bears the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.
  • In many older homes, the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with today’s modern appliances. Overloaded electrical systems invite fire. Watch for these overload signals: dimming lights when an appliance goes on, a shrinking TV picture, slow heating appliances, or fuses blowing frequently. Call a qualified electrician to get expert help.

Careless cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. Never leave cooking unattended. 

  • It’s wise to have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Keep it 10 feet away from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen.
  • Never pour water on a grease fire; turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid, or close the oven door.
  • Keep pot handles on the stove pointing to the back, and always watch young children in the kitchen.
  • Don’t store items on the stove top, as they could catch fire.
  • Keep kitchen appliances clean and in good condition, and turn them off and disconnect them when not in use.
  • Don’t overload kitchen electrical outlets and don’t use appliances with frayed or cracked wires.
  • Wear tight-fitting clothing when you cook. Here’s why: An electrical coil on the stove reaches a temperature of 800 degrees. A gas flame goes over 1,000 degrees. Your dish towel or pot holder can catch fire at 400 degrees. So can your bathrobe, apron, or loose sleeve.
  • Be sure your stove is not located under a window in which curtains are hanging.
  • Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly. and wipe up spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool.
  • Operate your microwave only when there is food in it.
Children & Grandchildren

One-fourth of all fire-deaths of children are from fires started by children. 

  • Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave children unattended with fire or space heaters.
  • Children are naturally curious about fire, so keep an eye on them. But if a child repeatedly plays with fire or seems to have a morbid fascination with fire, seek professional help at once.
  • If youngsters live with you or stay overnight occasionally, be sure that they know how to escape from every room and are part of your emergency exit plan.
Gasoline & Other Flammable Liquids

Those cans aren’t painted red just for the fun of it! 

  • Flammable liquids should be stored only in approved safety containers, and the containers should be kept outside the house and garage in a separate storage shed.
  • Gas up lawn equipment and snowthrowers outside, away from enclosed areas and any source of sparks or heat.
  • Start the equipment 10 feet from where you filled it with fuel.
  • Don’t fill a hot lawn mower, snowthrower, or other motor; let it cool first.
  • Never clean floors or do other general cleaning with gasoline or flammable liquids.
Informational Sites  -Magazine on the web that has information on Fire departments from around the USA.  –Wright County Web Site  –This is an informational web site on carbon-monoxide poisoning, the cause and affects as well as symptoms of co poisoning  –State of Minnesota’s web site for information on fire bans and other related areas for outdoor activities  –State of Minnesota’s web site for Emergency Response created for Minnesota in the post 9/11 world.  –Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety web site, with links to all public safety related web site in the state.  –This is the Official web site of the National Weather Service. It has weather radar, watch and warning boxes and satellites maps for local and national weather.  –This web site was formed by the Minnesota State Fire Department Association for Firefighters by Firefighters  –This web site was designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with kids in mind. It is an interactive web site with games for kids to play and information on fire prevention for kids and adults a like.  –This the official web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency


If you actually believe that you’re immune from cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other ills, at least worry about burning to death.

  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t smoke when you are drinking or are abnormally tired.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays, and empty them frequently.
  • Never dump an ashtray into the trash without wetting the butts and ashes first.

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