Fire stations are facilities designed to serve the fire department and the community. The design and purpose of a fire station can vary depending on the mission of the department. For example, a fire station may be used for storing equipment or for training. They can also be a place for public activities. These include fundraising events such as pancake breakfasts.
Stations are typically staffed with career firefighters. However, some fire departments also use volunteer firefighters. If the fire station is in a residential area, it may have a dorm room for sleeping. A fire station can also be a place for recreation and community education. Some stations are built with a garage for at least one fire engine. Often, the station will have an alarm system to alert firefighters when there is an emergency.
The most important equipment is kept in the fire engine. Some fire departments have sleeping quarters above the garage. This helps promote the quality of life for the firefighters.
Stations are usually located strategically within neighborhoods to minimize response times. Many fire departments run 24 hour shifts. In addition, they offer regular inspections and cleaning of their fire engines. It is common for approaches to fire stations to be posted with warning signs.
Fire stations can also be named after the primary fire apparatus. For instance, Hot Springs Country Club station is staffed with a driver/operator and a lieutenant. Meanwhile, El Dorado Fire Station is in a rural neighborhood.
Depending on the type of station, it may contain a training room or a dispatch center. There may be offices for administrative staff. Sometimes, a fire station will have a kitchen and dining room. Other facilities may have computer training rooms.
Stations are also home to various vehicles and other equipment. The Redwood City Fire Department, for example, has a boat for rescue purposes. Another fire station is called the Fire Prevention Bureau. At this facility, firefighters conduct inspections and train to fight fires.
There are also specialized teams, such as Hazardous Materials, Dive Rescue, and Technical Rescue. These teams are usually based out of stations that are close to the potential spill sites. Similarly, hazardous waste response teams are often based in locations where there are likely to be spills.
Generally, fire stations are not regularly occupied by the public. Some departments host fundraisers and other public events at their stations. Others hold special activities, such as a pancake breakfast during “fire prevention week.”
Stations will generally have a garage to store at least one fire engine. The space will be equipped with a heavy-duty lift and all utility connections. During downtime, firefighters will clean the fire engines. Each firefighter has a locker for his/her personal gear. Bedding is often provided for each firefighter. Most departments require that firefighters contribute to a meal fund to cover expenses such as grocery shopping.
Typically, dorm rooms are located above the garage. Depending on the department, the dorm room design can vary. Some dorms may be attached to the main structure while others have a separate building.