Fire Stations

fire stations

Fire stations house the fire department’s equipment and vehicles. They also act as a communications center for the fire department, providing dispatchers with information about the location and nature of an emergency call. They may also store firefighting tools, firefighter uniforms, hoses, and other supplies. Fire stations are usually located near neighborhoods to minimize response times in the event of an emergency.

A fire station is a large building with living quarters for full-time firefighters and auxiliary personnel. These living spaces are typically divided into a day room, kitchen, and dormitories. Depending on the size of the city, there may be several fire stations within a neighborhood or district, with each serving a specific area of town or borough. The fire stations are generally staffed with a fire chief, assistant chief, and numerous firefighter personnel. The firefighter personnel are a mix of career and volunteer, and they work an alternating 24-hour shift.

Besides the fire fighting apparatus, each fire station has a garage for parking fire trucks and other vehicles. A fire truck can be called in at any time, so the garage must be able to accommodate multiple vehicles at once. A fire station often includes a vehicle maintenance bay that is equipped with the heavy machinery required for routine maintenance and major repairs on the fire fighting apparatus.

In addition to the industrial maintenance space, the fire station should include administrative areas that can serve as standard offices as well as conference and training rooms. Some stations are also outfitted with computer training/testing facilities and a firefighter education library.

The fireman’s pole, a tall ladder used to descend from the fire station to the ground level, is often located on or near the front of a fire station. A firehouse may also contain a drill tower, which is used for high-rise rescue training, and a hose tower, which can be used to hang hoses to dry when not in use.

There are four ways for an emergency to be reported to the fire department: telephone alarms; fire alarm boxes; “class 3” alarms; and verbal alarms. The first two methods involve fires or emergencies observed by civilians who report them to the FDNY via telephone, fire alarm box, or verbally. The last method involves the FDNY staff members (e.g., EMS Bureau personnel, communications electricians, mechanics, dispatchers, commissioners, medical officers, and chaplains) who observe fires or emergencies while they are performing their duties and then reporting them to the firehouse or company via telephone, fire alarm box, or verbally.

Despite the fact that most firefighters are called to their assignments by sirens, radio or pagers, and not their fire engines, they still report to their assigned fire station in order to receive the call and instructions from the dispatchers. Upon arriving at the fire station, the firefighters will check their e-mail, call in to work from home, or read any other pertinent information that the FDNY staff deems important, such as the type of emergency, if the incident is safe or unsafe, the length of line stretch needed to get to the scene, the number of apartment units affected, standpipe conditions, and more.

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