Fire Stations

fire stations

Fire stations are facilities where a fire department stores and maintains its vehicles, equipment and supplies. A fire station may also house administrative offices, training rooms, conference spaces and other specialized equipment. Some stations, for example, may include a large vehicle maintenance bay equipped with a heavy-duty lift and other utilities. Some fire stations are staffed by full-time firefighters, while others operate on a volunteer or retained basis and are only activated when there is an emergency call.

Most of the world’s large cities have a network of fire stations. The stations are typically named for the primary fire companies and apparatus housed there, such as “Ladder 49.” In addition to fire trucks, many of the larger facilities store other vehicles, such as ambulances. The stations are usually located close to the places where most fires occur. This allows firefighters to quickly get to the scene of an incident.

The earliest fire stations were often primitive structures built of wood or brick with dirt-covered roofs. By the 19th century, most fire departments were organized as paid professional forces rather than volunteer companies. These professional forces were required to train rigorously. Fire fighting abilities improved as a result of these efforts, and insurance rates fell.

In modern times, most urban fire stations are staffed with a combination of full-time and volunteer firefighters. Generally, fire stations in large cities have a large parking lot that can accommodate several vehicles at once. They often have a fire hydrant for refueling the engines. A station may have a hose bed where the hoses are stored. Some facilities have a hydraulic platform for rescuing people from the ground, or a helipad, which can be used to lift injured people into helicopters.

A fire station’s occupants will often use uniformed procedures for moving through the facility. For example, when a firefighter is ready to depart for an emergency, the crew members will “turnout” from their work gear by following a set sequence of practiced steps. This is meant to ensure that the entire squad will be ready to move quickly to an emergency scene when the fire alarm rings.

Additional terms used in relation to fire stations:

Coat of arms: An official emblem, often with a motto, for a government organization, such as a police force or military branch. Fire services may also have their own coat of arms.

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