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Hartsfield-Jackson Kids Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport


Among the thousands of employees at Hartsfield-Jackson are well-trained firefighters, who are part of Platoons A, B and C, 7th Battalion, of the Atlanta Fire Department's Airport Division. SafetyThese brave men and women work under the direction of three fire chiefs and provide fire and life safety protection 24 hours a day .

Because the airport is such a large place, and the firefighters have a tremendous amount of responsibility, there are four fire stations -- numbers 24, 32, 35 and 40 - covering the north, south, east and west quadrants of the airport.


Firefighters that work at the airport must know how to use regular and specialized equipment that can meet the emergency and general safety needs of the entire complex, including the runway, terminals, etc. For instance, there are rapid intervention vehicles that provide protection for all aircraft, from the smallest to the largest, including the Boeing 777 and the Lockheed L-1011. Each fire station has emergency roadways and pre-determined standby positions that enable Airport Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) equipment to meet the requirement that they respond to an emergency within three minutes, moving from the fire station to the midpoint of the runway farthest away. That means they have to move extremely fast!

SafetyCheck out the other great apparatus firefighters use in their jobs:

The Jaguar K-15 is a rapid intervention vehicle that carries 1,500 gallons of water and 15 gallons of foam, which is used to suppress vapors, smother and cool fires and help water penetrate more effectively. This one-of-a-kind 580 horsepower vehicle is designed to be very fast and it can accelerate from zero to 50 miles-per-hour in less than 18 seconds.

Safety• The KR-4 is a rapid intervention vehicle that carries 4,000 gallons of water and 250 gallons of foam. It can reach speeds of over 100 miles-per- hour.

• The Yellow-14 (Y-14) is a 250 gallon mini-pumper that is primarily used when there are parking deck emergencies because of its low height.

• The Terminator II foam nozzle is designed to extinguish fires at the massive, above-ground fuel storage tanks located in the airport operations area.

• Yellow - 17 (Y-17) is the mass casualty unit, with over 300 long backboards and cervical collars, that supplies the incident commander with valuable resources at a crash site. Fire stations also are equipped with five engines, three ladder trucks, one hazardous materials unit, two command vehicles, and two ECHO units, which are used for Advanced Life Support transport.

SafetyThink all the fire equipment at the airport is red? Think again. It's painted chrome yellow or lime green, because those colors can be seen better from the air than red. All airports are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to have their fire apparatus painted those colors.

How do airport firefighters stay in good mental shape? They train, train, and train some more. First of all, firefighters who work the Airport Division must have performed at least two years of service within the department, at another city fire department or in the military. Then, as new airport firefighters, they must participate in a 40-hour course of study and, then, as seasoned airport firefighters, they must complete a minimum of 120 hours of in-service training each year.


Historical Tidbits

The first fire department in the nation was established in New Amsterdam (now New York) in1648 when four fire wardens were appointed by the city, but it did not purchase a fire engine until 1654. Alarms were made by mouth (yelling "Fire, fire!"), rattles, gongs and bells.

Atlanta set up its fire department in 1882. The oldest station is Station 6, which is being transformed into a museum located near the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District. The oldest station still in use, Station 7, is located on Whitehall Street.



Copyright (c) 2001 City of Atlanta