Neha Patil

Henrico County Fire Department

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Country  United States
County  Henrico
Annual budget  $55,300,00 (FY 2017)
State  Virginia
Annual calls  46,310 (2015)
Henrico County Fire Department
Employees  539 – Uniformed 23 – Civilian

The Henrico County Division of Fire serves a population of more than 325,000 residents in Henrico County, Virginia in the United States, across a diverse community of 244 square miles. Ranging from metropolitan development and commercial districts to rural farms and forested areas, Henrico Fire maintains a comprehensive, all-hazards capability. The Division is responsible for fire suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response, technical rescue, water rescue, fire prevention, fire investigation, public education, disaster preparedness and emergency management.

Contents

History

Volunteer fire brigades were the initial source of fire protection for Henrico County. These personnel were supplemented by the rapidly growing City of Richmond in the early 20th Century. In 1930 the first formal, paid, fire station in Henrico County was opened. At the time, this station consisted of three paid firefighters and was complimented by twenty-five community volunteers. This station, Sanitary District #1, was located on Maple Avenue. Decades, later, in 1951, the county appointed its first paid Fire Chief. By the early 1960s the department had grown to offer service and coverage countywide. The 1970s saw the important transition from a predominantly volunteer force to a professional, career, department. In 1974 the department also transitioned away from red fire apparatus and selected lime yellow paint schemes. This color choice remains in use to this day.

Emergency Medical Services with Basic Life Support were added to the department’s responsibilities beginning in 1988. This service grew in importance to Henrico County and today the department operates 15 ALS transport units, around the clock providing life-saving care. Further growth to Henrico County in the 1990s and 2000s necessitated the development of specialized response teams. Today the department operates a Water Rescue Team, Technical Rescue Team, Hazardous Incident Team and special events resources. These specialized teams are supported by three heavy rescue squads and accompanying apparatus.

In 1998, Henrico Fire was one of the first departments in the world to achieve international accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). In 2014, the Division of Fire responded to 46,310 emergency incidents.

ISO rating and international accreditation

During 2015, Henrico County received a Class 1 designation from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) which is the highest rating available to any community. Henrico Fire has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) since 1998. In 2015, Henrico County became the first county in America to receive accredited status and an ISO rating of Class 1 at the same time. Henrico Fire’s strategic planning document, the Continuous Improvement Strategy, serves as a roadmap for the Division’s future.

Firehouses and units

Each of the twenty fire stations across the county are equipped with an engine company, staffed with a minimum of three personnel. Additionally, there are three heavy rescue squads and five ladder towers, also staffed with a minimum of three personnel. The Division operates fifteen advanced life support ambulances and six command officers. Arranged across three shifts, the operations personnel maintain an on-duty minimum staffing across the county at 121 personnel.

Henrico Fire is one of the partner agencies in the Central Virginia Technical Rescue Team and is home to the regional Hazardous Materials Response Team. Henrico Fire also maintains a Search, Rescue, and Dive Team along with a Mas Casualty/Special Events Team.

References

Henrico County Fire Department Wikipedia


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