There are many aspects of responsibility for the Fire Department. The original task of any fire Department has been controlling and extinguishing hostile fires.
Since the first Fire Department was organized the roles and responsibilities of Fire Departments continue to evolve. One of the first Fire Companies in the United States was organized in Charleston, South Carolina.
Fire Suppression is the typical term for actual fire fighting operations. Suppression forces are fire fighters and their equipment as they are involved in fire fighting.
Typical fire suppression equipment includes pumpers, trucks equipped with high performance fire pumps; ariels, trucks with ladders or sometimes a platform which is a bucket on the end of a ladder; and other support equipment which may include special trucks, trailers or vehicles for special types of fires - such as Hazmat emergencies.
In our department we have three front line pumpers. Each is equipped with either a 1250 or 1500 gallon per minute fire pump. Engines 10, 12, 20 and 22 carry lots of equipment and fire fighters to fires in the City. In most cases, two of the three pumpers will be assigned to a house or structure fire in the City.
For times when one of the front line pumpers is out of service, we employ a reserve pumper, Engine 12, which carries the same equipment as any of the front line pumpers.
The department operates Tower 17, a 105 foot aerial platform and Ladder 27, a 100 foot aerial ladder.
We also have several special purpose types of apparatus. A support van which carries extra equipment for fire fighting, a trailer (towed behind the van) which carries special equipment for handling chemical emergencies, and a Fire Boat which is designed to support fire fighting efforts along the water side of Front Street.
A more detailed list can be found on our Equipment page.