Fire Stations

A fire station (also called a fire hall or firemen’s hall) is a structure or area that houses one or more firefighting vehicles and the equipment to operate them. Many stations also contain living and working space for firefighters and support staff. Firefighting jargon can be confusing and may vary by department and region. The terminology used in this article is mostly American and based on the New York City Fire Department, though some words are more general and may be applicable elsewhere.

A typical fire station will contain a garage for storing fire engines and other vehicles, as well as living quarters and other working spaces for firefighters and support staff. The space to house the vehicles is often divided into several bays, with each bay devoted to one type of apparatus, such as fire engines or ladder trucks. Each bay may also have its own dedicated storage for tools and other gear. Fire stations may also have a fire command center, training room, kitchen and dining room, restrooms and laundry facilities.

There are also typically a number of fire hydrants on the property. In some cities, these hydrants are identified by letters or numbers, such as Engine 53 or Ladder 43. A fire hydrant is usually connected to a water supply by a wet riser, which is a pipe in the building that hoses can be connected to. This allows firefighters to supply themselves with water while fighting a fire.

Other equipment at the fire station includes a mobile safety trailer and a positive pressure ventilation fan. Positive pressure is pressure at a higher level than atmospheric and is sometimes used in SCBA facepieces to reduce the entry of smoke or fumes through small openings.

The FDNY has over 11400 uniformed firefighters and 2800 emergency medical technicians, paramedics and supervisors on its payroll. In addition to its firefighting and technical rescue operations, FDNY also operates the largest urban ambulance system in the United States.

FDNY Commissioner: The civil administrator of the fire department, appointed or elected in some jurisdictions.

Two-in, two-out: The standard safety tactic of having one team of firefighters enter a hazardous area while at least two others remain outside in case the first team needs to be rescued. Also referred to as the buddy system.

Roof sector: A crew, usually a ladder company, assigned to the roof of a structure for purposes of vertical ventilation during a fire. The crew will also check for roof-mounted equipment, such as HVAC, that could be affected by a fire or malfunction.

Run card: A record of the location of detectors or other hazards in a building, indexed by location for rapid reference during an alarm. This information is typically provided by fire prevention officers as part of pre-planning or pre-incident planning.

Fire cadets train at the Brooklyn Fire Station, an historic firehouse that was built in 1959. The firehouse originally had living quarters for only two firefighters, but was remodeled in the spring of 2003 and can now accommodate up to six.

Comments Off on Fire Stations