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The department consists of fire administration division and fire suppression division. There is also a fire prevention bureau that works within the fire administration. The Fire Suppression Division includes forty-one (40) uniformed personnel who respond to mitigate the emergency nature of the incident. Their duties include extinguishing of fires, first responder advanced level life support emergency medical service, identification and containment of hazardous materials, performance of special rescue operations, engine company fire prevention inspections and fire cause and origin determination.

One of the fire department's highest continued priority is to maintain and improve our emergency response times. By improving emergency response times it increases the likelihood of preserving property and improving patient outcomes. The department's goal is to arrive on scene of emergency incidents within a total response time of under 6 minutes 90% of the time. This response time goal is derived from the following factors, call processing time (1 minute goal), turn out to the emergency vehicle and wearing proper protective clothing ( 1 minute goal) and a 4 minute driving response time to the incident location.

The primary responsibility of the Fire Department fire suppression and first responder units are to respond to fire,training4 emergency medical, rescue, and life safety emergencies within Tulare. Emergency Services are delivered through four (4) in-service fire companies from three (3) strategically located fire stations within the city. Three of the fire companies are staffed with three personnel (captain, engineer, and firefighter/paramedic) and one patrol unit is staffed with two personnel (captain and engineer/paramedic). A division chief is on duty each day to perform as an incident commander, supervise fire suppression activities, and provide personnel supervision.

The primary goals of the fire department is reducing casualties and the loss of life, improving patient outcomes, reducing property loss and damage, affecting successful extrications of trapped victims, and protecting the environment from the effects of a hazardous materials release. In calendar year 2014, the Fire Department responded to 5,193 calls for service. The Fire Department is also responsible for enforcing local fire ordinances, state and federal laws, apprehending arsonists and assisting in their prosecution.