We pledge to continue to deliver professional, cost-effective services in a personal, responsive and innovative manner that will always serve the public’s best interest. As we do our best to prevent harm and be nice, please remember that we are here for you because of you. Hopefully, you will never require our assistance, but if you do, please be confident that we’ll be there.

If you have any suggestions or comments to help us serve you better, please contact me or a member of my staff by calling (440) 974-5765. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. It is a privilege to serve as your Fire Chief.

Yours in safety,
Chief Robert Searles



Fire Prevention Bureau Mission
To protect the lives and property of our citizens, visitors, and firefighters through effective code enforcement by reviewing land development and building plans; inspecting buildings, tenant processes, and fire and life safety protection systems; and evaluating public/private water systems for effective fire protection.

To have the necessary infrastructure in place which includes staffing, technology, process and procedures to meet present and future fire and life safety demands of a growing and vibrant community.

  • Duties as they relate to the Department
  • Coordinate the testing, inspection, and maintenance of the fire hydrant program.
  • Conduct thorough fire control inspections.
  • Recognize and identify common fire hazards and code violations.
  • Properly document and correct the code violations that are found.
  • Conduct thorough plan reviews for all plans submitted for construction projects involving new and existing buildings.

Currently, under the leadership of Deputy Chief of Support Services, the four Fire Inspectors, the Fire Prevention Bureau Staff is responsible for meeting four primary objectives:

  • Inspect and perform light maintenance on hydrants once a year.
  • Inspect occupancies according to state and local code.
  • Maintain a continuous correction for all fire code violations.
  • Complete requested plan reviews within 10 working days.

The Fire Rescue Division is responsible for the day-to-day provision of emergency services to citizens. The essential mission and number one priority of the members assigned to the Fire Rescue Division is to take care of people by providing them with the best service possible.

The Fire Rescue Division is staffed by 104 members who are all State Certified Fire Fighters and Emergency Medical Providers. Many members have advanced or specialized training. Currently 86 of these members are trained Paramedics.

The Fire Rescue Division is the largest division of the Mentor Fire Department and provides quick and effective service delivery from these five stations located throughout the City of Mentor.

Station 1
6929 Heisley Road, Mentor OH 44060

Station  2
5025 Corduroy Road, Mentor OH 44060

Station 3
7957 Mentor Avenue, Mentor OH 44060

Station 4
6900 Reynolds Road, Mentor OH 44060

Station 5 (HQ)
8467 Civic Center Boulevard, Mentor OH 44060

code enforcement

Code enforcement is the enforcement of all local, state, and national safety codes that relate to life safety. The Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for code enforcement of all existing structures except for residential facilities. All commercial, industrial, and public buildings are subject to fire inspections, as well as multiple occupancies such as hotels, motels, apartments, and care facilities. There are several different types of inspection programs that are overseen by the Fire Prevention Bureau.

On duty fire crews conduct these inspections on commercial, industrial, and public buildings. Occupancies that fall into this program is inspected once a year. This accomplishes several things: the fire crews become familiar with the occupancy’s layout and business owner(s), and reduces the loss of life and property by identifying fire and life safety violations.


Fire suppression inspections are monitored by Mentor’s Fire Prevention Bureau. Every occupancy that has an Automatic Fire Suppression System is required to inspect the system and fill out an inspection sheet every six months. If the system is due for its five-year test, a licensed contractor is required to complete the test.


The Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for conducting the inspection of new businesses and all construction projects. Once this is accomplished, it is then assigned to an inspector and inspected on an annual basis.

Mentor Ordinance 94 adopts the “Building Officials and Code Administrators’ Edition of the Fire Prevention Code, 1999″ for enforcement. The Fire Prevention Code is broken down into three major categories:

Part A contains seven chapters of administration, definitions, and precautions against fire, open flames or burning, fire protection systems, means of egress, and emergency planning and preparedness.

Part B consists of 15 chapters of “Operation and Maintenance of Equipment, Process and Occupancies.”

Part C contains 22 chapters of “Material Handling,” primarily all types of hazardous material requirements.

The Fire Prevention Code is supplemented by the National Fire Protection Association Standards and the Ohio Building Code.

Fire Inspectors conduct inspections and document any violations on a “Hazard Warning Notice.” Depending upon the severity of the violations of the code, a re-inspection date is scheduled. The goal is that all violations are corrected “forthwith.” If an owner/occupant refuses to correct the violations, the case would then be forwarded to the prosecutor for legal action. Violations of the Fire Prevention Code are considered a second degree misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of $750 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

The Fire Prevention Bureau can be reached by calling (440) 974-5768 or (440) 942-8796. The fax number is (440) 974-5706.


Members of the Mentor Fire Department are trained to respond to any emergency that may occur, however, several choose to excel in responding to special situations. For instance, water rescue is something that is practiced annually by the entire department. This training teaches first responding companies how to perform many life-saving skills from the shore, or on the surface of the water. Performing rescue diving, however, takes an enormous commitment of time and training. The Mentor Fire Department, therefore, has three “Special Teams” to respond to the dangerous, yet less frequent emergencies that could occur.

Technical Rescue Team

The Technical Rescue Team consists of 22 members of the Mentor Fire Department who have taken extra training in confined space, trench collapse, and rope rescue. The team drills once a month with each drill covering a specific area of discipline. Over the course of a year, each discipline receives an equal amount of training time.

Once a year, a combined drill with the Water Rescue Team is held to allow both teams the opportunity to work together and to see how one will enhance the function of the other. The drill is conducted in a rapid water situation at a nearby river. Trench rescue operations are held at various sites in the city. Shoring practices and interaction with personnel from the Public Works Department are the main focus of these drills. A Confined Space class is held periodically to revisit the techniques required for this discipline. The Haz Mat team also attends this class so both teams can function together at emergency scenes.

Hazardous Materials Team

The Hazardous Materials Team (Haz-Mat) is a specialized group of department members who have received specific training in order to become certified Hazardous Material Technicians. Team members have the ability to research, identify and perform risk analysis prior to entry into hazardous areas to mitigate the particular hazard. Each trained member completes annual required continuing education to recognized standards of OSHA 1910.120 and NFPA 472.

Monthly training drills are conducted both within the department and in cooperation with the Lake County Hazard Intervention Team (H.I.T.). The H.I.T. consists of members from several fire departments within the county, all of which are certified Haz-Mat Technicians. These drills improve the proficiency of each member and provide the opportunity to work together to prepare for both small and large-scale incidents. The scope of training has expanded to include terrorist activities such as bioterrorism and other weapons of mass destruction. Also, the team trains with both city and county explosive ordinance device teams.

Goals for the team are to continue to work with H.I.T. and city and county E.O.D. to insure preparedness for all Haz-Mat related emergencies. Our goal is to build a database for the handling of Haz-Mat emergencies. By combining hands-on training with good data collection, the team is committed to being as prepared as possible for potential hazardous materials incidents.

Mentor Water Rescue

The Mentor Water Rescue consists of 14 divers who are internationally certified in basic and advanced SCUBA, search and recovery, underwater investigation, ice diving, and Dive Master. Members of the Water Rescue train actively throughout the year on a monthly basis, regardless of weather conditions. Training scenarios have included an actual car submerged in water with two mannequins strapped inside the vehicle; an overturned boat with a victim; and ice diving to recover evidence from the bottom of a lake.

The Water Rescue provides demonstrations at various public events; assists at pool sessions; and provides water rescue training for all fire department shifts in the proper use of throw bags, cold water survival suits, and the use of personal flotation devices. The Mentor Dive Team has been featured in ice rescue stories on television, as well as in local newspapers. This has been beneficial in educating the public about the dangers of venturing out onto a surface which appears to be frozen, but is not.

The Water Rescue Team has used recent improvements in technology to not only improve the capabilities of the rescuers, but also provide a higher level of safety. New Gates dry suits, an Ocean Technology underwater communications system, as well as an underwater camera are three such advances. The camera allows crews at the surface to monitor divers under water, or take a “quick look” before entering the water.

During the cold winter months, divers train by ice diving using dry suits, Gumby suits and throw bags. Partnerships and training are continuously underway with the US Coast Guard, Ohio Division of Watercraft, as well as other fire departments from Lorain to the Pennsylvania line. The dive team is also involved in training and response to “hull searches” which involves underwater inspection for explosive or other terrorist type devices.


The Public Education division of the Mentor Fire Department assists the general public with training and safety information. Besides providing first aid, CPR, AED, and fire extinguisher classes for individuals and businesses in the city, the educators also visit the schools with fire and injury prevention classes. Call (440) 974-5769 to schedule training.

Public Education also operates the Childrens’ Safety House and assists in maintaining the Mentor Fire Museum. Station tours and appointments for juvenile fire-setters can be scheduled by calling (440) 974-5765.


Mentor Fire Headquarters
8467 Civic Center Boulevard
Mentor, Ohio 44060
(440) 974-5765


Retired Chief Richard Harvey, Mentor Fire Chief Robert Searles, and Retired Chief John Preuer (left to right)