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Chief Lauss

Fire Chief

Charles E. Lauss


Welcome to the City of Independence Fire Department website.  As the Fire Chief of the Independence Fire Department, it is with the utmost honor that we have the ability to lead the outstanding men and women of this great fire department. The citizens of Independence are covered by a high level of service from our professional firefighters. These professional services are accomplished through proper staffing, sufficient training and education and necessary equipment to handle the identified risks throughout our community and other territories.

Since 1843, the Independence Fire Department has been rich in history and tradition, and we are also extremely proud of the progressive passion we have for serving our community. Our fire-related services have adapted with the times over the past few decades to include many operations other than fire.  

We are continually striving to meet the needs of the community through the dedicated efforts of 196 members assigned to one of seven divisions: administration, operations, prevention/community risk reduction, services, professional development, and emergency medical services.

We operate 10 strategically located fire stations with a daily minimum staffing of 47 firefighters and officers, nine pumper companies (including one hazardous materials company), one quint, two squads, two ladder companies, two rescue companies and two shift commanders. In addition, our daily operations are supported by a staff of one Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, four Assistant Fire Chiefs, four Special Operations Battalion Chiefs, five Fire Inspectors, and five Administrative Assistants. We protect an area of 78.42 square miles.

The Independence Fire Department has a Prevention Bureau, which supports public education programs working with the Independence Public School and Parochial school systems on a regular basis. The Prevention Bureau also provides arson investigations, fire plan reviews, fire safety code inspections, and hazardous materials inspections.

The Independence Emergency Medical Services Division supports the Fire Department in providing emergency medical education and training, and community emergency medical education such as CPR instruction.

Training is a vital role for all professional firefighters. The Independence Fire Department trains at our cooperative training center on Route 78 Highway on a regular basis to remain compliant with the professional standards through the Missouri Department of Fire Safety, the Missouri Department of Labor, the Missouri Department of Public Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Insurance Safety Office, ISO.  The Training Division works in cooperation with the Metropolitan Community College, Blue River Campus to assist with the training of college students and new recruits. The training of our 192 sworn firefighters is an important aspect of a well-trained, fully prepared professional fire department.

We have 192 sworn professional firefighters and five civilian personnel staff at the Independence Fire Department. We have 10 fire stations that are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to meet the demands of the citizens and the Independence community. Our incident call volume has grown over the years to over 27,000 incidents a year consistently through emergency medical services, hazardous materials response and fire-related operations.

The men and women of the Independence Fire Department are professional firefighters dedicated to the safety of the citizens of Independence. Commitment is displayed daily by providing the highest level of service through dedication and sacrifice. Being an Independence firefighter is not just a job, it is a lifelong commitment to the citizens of Independence, on and off the job. The Independence Fire Department is proud to serve the community every day.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact us at We can also be contacted at 816-325-7123.

Please join our mission in protecting our community together.


Charles ‘Chuck’ E. Lauss

Fire Chief