Operations & Training

The Altoona Fire Department responds to all types of emergencies within the city limits and the surrounding areas of Polk County.  Some of the most common responses include structure fires, vehicle fires, basic hazardous materials and technical rescue events, and investigation alarms.  Fire apparatus also frequently respond to medical emergencies to provide lifting support, general assistance, and perform medical procedures as necessary. 

Training Division
The Altoona Fire Department is dedicated to providing frequent, realistic, and challenging training to our staff.  All training incorporates current industry standard and best practice.  The Training Division also arranges for the professional certification of our staff.  Certifications currently held within the department include Firefighter I & II, Driver/Operator – Pumper, Driver/Operator – Aerial, Fire Instructor I & II, Fire Officer I & II, Fire Investigator, and Fire Inspector. Additionally, our Training Division frequently works with the public to provide outreach opportunities that include fire safety inspections, fire extinguisher training, and smoke detector programs.  Let us know how we can help you!

Deputy Chief
The Operations and Training Division is currently led by Deputy Chief Lance Routson, a 21-year fire service veteran.  Deputy Chief Routson joined the Altoona Fire Department in October of 2019 and has been a firefighter in Iowa throughout his entire career.  Over the years, Deputy Chief Routson has held several roles including Firefighter/Paramedic, Inspector, Investigator, Company Officer, and Instructor.  Deputy Chief Routson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the University of Northern Iowa (2004), a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Jacksonville State University (2013), and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program (2018).  He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Fire Science Program.