Walt Disney World Resort has its own emergency services department. Reedy Creek Emergency Services (RCES) was created and organized in 1968 for the purpose of providing emergency and non-emergency fire service functions for a little construction project called Walt Disney World.
If you recall, Walt Disney dreamed of EPCOT for “the Florida Project,” a self-sufficient, self-contained, living and working community featuring the latest technology. It was never meant, in Walt’s dreams, to be a theme park. His EPCOT was meant to teach the world a new way to live, a way of life in which interpersonal operation was essential and the best of everything possible was presented. Well, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow did not develop quite as Walt envisioned. However, Walt Disney World certainly fulfils his hopes for a “showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise” which “will always be in a state of becoming,” and RCES most definitely sets industry standards for vigilant fire prevention, code adherence, fire protection systems, mobile medical assistance and life safety throughout the entire property.
While initially established to service the remote construction site of Walt Disney World, RCES has grown along with the Resort and now consists of four strategically located stations staffed with one Fire Chief, one Deputy Chief, five Assistant Chiefs, eight Battalion Chiefs, three Supervisors and two Assistant Supervisors. Also on staff are 12 Lieutenants, 15 Driver/Operators, 45 Paramedic/Firefighters, 52 firefighters, 24 MARC, 13 Inspectors, 10 Communicators and two clerical personnel for a total of 194 personnel with a 197 authorized. Housed in these four stations are four engines, a tower truck, two 4 x 4 brush trucks, a specialized squad truck, a tanker and seven Advanced Life Support ambulances, in addition to a special 6 x 6 aerial ladder to service the monorail beam in off-road areas. The department also developed its own Special Operations and Response Team (SOAR) after the events of September 11, 2001, to be better prepared with “timely response for detection and mitigation of hazardous situations.”
What are some of the RCES duties?
- Fire prevention, containment and extinguishment
- Provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
- Deliver Advance Life Support (ALS) EMS response
- Provide quality, rapid patient treatment and transportation
- Provide permits for pyrotechnic displays (There are over 500,000 fireworks shells fired annually within District* boundaries)
- Regularly inspect and test emergency power systems, fire alarms panels, fire detection devices, commercial kitchen fire protection systems and over 1,500 automatic fire sprinkler systems.
- Enforce building codes and inspect construction sites
- Be ready to render aid 24 hours a day
- Risk their lives to save others’
- Much, much more!
Emergency Services personnel training is ongoing to maintain certification in all areas and to improve services, efficiency and effectiveness. Because the Walt Disney Company and its Guests demand a fire safe community, the commitment to achieving this goal has led to an unmatched fire loss record. So rest assured you’re in very good hands when you visit the Most Magical Place on Earth!
* The District currently encompasses approximately 25,000 acres or 38.6 square miles. Approximately 18,800 acres of the District’s property are located in Orange County and 6,200 acres are located in Osceola County. Two cities are located within the boundaries of the District, the city of Lake Buena Vista and the city of Bay Lake
Jodi Whisenhunt runs the highly acclaimed Magical Mouse Schoolhouse. Think outside the textbook with her and learn while you play where Disney IS school!
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