Fire Stations

fire stations

A fire station (also known as a fire hall, firemen’s hall or engine house) is a structure or area used to store and maintain firefighting apparatuses such as fire engines and related vehicles, personal protective equipment and fire hoses. Many also contain living and working space for firefighters and their support staff. A fire station is the primary base of operations for a fire department, from which firefighters operate when they are called to an emergency.

SOP or SOG: Standard operating procedure or standard operating guideline, a set of rules, often local interpretations of regulations and standards, which governs the conduct of a fire department’s personnel at an incident. They may cover such issues as training requirements, use of protective equipment, radio procedures and so on.

NFPA: National Fire Protection Association, an organization which sets standards and guidelines for the fire service. The NFPA has developed a number of publications that are considered the industry’s bibles on fire safety and firefighting techniques.

Turnout gear: The clothing worn by firefighters when they leave the fire station to respond to an emergency. It typically consists of a long-sleeved shirt, pants and boots or shoes. Firefighters must wear their turnout gear before they can enter a burning building or start work on a hazardous materials incident.

Fire suppression: A combination of tactics that reduces a fire’s intensity by slowing or stopping its progression, or by removing the combustible material from the environment. These tactics may include the use of fire streams, foam, a controlled explosion or the application of water or other chemicals.

Quick attack: In the US, a technique of attacking a fire using a hand line pulled from a pumper upon arrival at an emergency scene. This is done in anticipation that the fire might spread rapidly and before a hose-line is charged and crewed. This method is opposed by some authorities, who advocate a “safe-zoning” strategy based on compartmentalization of the fire and tactical venting of non-fire involved compartments, including positive or negative pressure ventilation.

Wet riser: A pipe in a building filled with water which hoses can connect to, allowing water to be brought to the floor of a burning building. This is sometimes used during a structural collapse to provide access for firefighters to search and rescue trapped occupants.

A-side: Term for the front of a fire station, usually indicated by a red flag over a parking lot where first responding apparatus is parked. It is distinguished from other sides of the station which are labeled B-side, C-side and D-side.

A-side is the typical configuration for a fire station built in a crowded city, where the living quarters are above the garage. However, many modern fire stations have their living quarters on the same level as the garage.

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