Fire stations are facilities where firefighters live, work and train for their professional careers. They are designed and built with safety in mind.
Career firemen usually spend a significant amount of time at their stations, even days or weeks before they are called to fight a fire. They are also usually assigned to shifts that last 24 hours on and off or 9 hours on and 14 hours off, so that they can be prepared at all times to respond to an emergency.
They will have living quarters and work areas, as well as an alarm system to alert them when a call is received. These will usually contain dormitories, so that the crew members can sleep while they wait for a callout to arrive, and an alarm room with a telephone to receive calls from citizens.
These are the basic elements of a fire station, although they may vary in size, equipment and other details depending on the local situation. For example, an industrial station would have more living space and may have larger dormitories than a small fire department.
The buildings themselves will typically have a fire retardant applied to the walls and ceilings, as well as a special flammable liquid in a plastic bag on top of each stairwell. These prevent smoke and fire from entering a building’s exit stairs, or during occupant evacuation of a structure.
In addition to the fire retardant, the walls and ceilings will typically have a fireproof coating on them, such as mineral wool or gypsum board. This is to help protect the building’s occupants from the heat and flames of a fire, but it will also allow the firefighters to see better in dark interior spaces and make for easier rescue in case of fire.
Some of the equipment that will be found in a fire station include:
Ladders: A ladder is an extending piece of metal, generally wood or fiberglass, used to climb to a higher level or onto a roof or other vertical surface. They are typically used in conjunction with a hose reel to deliver water to the fire.
Engines: A fire engine is a large vehicle equipped with a pump, which is used to supply water from the fire hydrant and a fire hose to the fire. It is often powered by a diesel engine, and has a cab for the driver and a compartment where the crew can rest and store their gear.
Typically, they are mounted on a chassis and can travel up to a few miles. They are able to carry a lot of water, but they need to be refueled and topped up frequently.
Fire engines are specialized vehicles and require specific training to operate effectively. They must be able to handle fires and other emergencies, such as car crashes or falling objects.
They also must be able to drive on the road safely, so that they don’t cause accidents when on duty. They are a necessity for any town or city with a large population, so that they can be dispatched quickly when an incident occurs.