Fire Stations

fire stations

Fire stations are buildings or garages which house fire apparatus, and often also provide offices and a place for firefighters to sleep. They can be found in cities, towns, villages and rural areas, in many countries of the world. In some areas of the world, fire stations are called fire halls or firehouses. In the United States, fire stations are usually referred to by their city names or abbreviated. The term fire station may also refer to a part-time fire department, where the firefighters work for a set period of time, and are on call when an emergency occurs. These firefighters are commonly called “on-call” firemen and receive pay for being on-call, and a salary when they do respond to an incident.

A fire company is a group of firefighters assigned to the same shift, and the watch is often named with a colour, such as Red Watch. A fire company is often divided into platoons, with a fire officer of the rank of captain or lieutenant presiding over each. Platoons are further subdivided into groups of firefighters, known as a section or crew.

Water drop: When an airplane or helicopter drops a supply of water on an exposed fire from above. A very effective method of fighting forest fires.

Buggy: The vehicle used by a fire chief or other high ranking officer in response to an incident. Usually a large pickup truck, but can be any type of vehicle. The word is a reference to the days before horse drawn fire trucks were common, when firefighters would ride in a buggy.

Two-in, two out: A standard safety tactic which requires that two firefighters enter a hazardous area, while the rest of the team remains outside in case one of the two becomes trapped. This is usually applied when the fire is too big to deal with through direct attack.

Reverse lay: The process of stringing hoses from a fire towards the source of water, typically a hydrant. This is an alternative to the conventional lay which begins at the fire and moves towards the hydrant.

Dry riser: A pipe in a building which can be connected to a fire engine’s hoses for the purpose of pumping water into the structure. Often found in apartment buildings and commercial occupancies.

Fire retardant: A material which reduces the speed of a fire and slows its spread, but which is not inherently fireproof. Fire retardant is typically sprayed on surfaces that are likely to burn.

Hazardous occupancies: General categories for purposes of fire safety planning, including hospital, assembly, industrial, single-family dwelling and so on. These are further broken down into specific hazards such as flammable liquids, gas tanks, and so on.

Scene safety: Steps taken at an emergency scene to protect firefighters, occupants and bystanders from dangers such as smoke, fire, water and structural collapse. These steps include hazard reduction, fire extinguisher placement and closing doors to unaffected rooms.

Training: The practice of practising and honing skills during drills. This includes learning about the hazards and methods of dealing with particular types of incidents.

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