FIRE SERVICES AT THE 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. These
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' EQUIPMENT IS FAR OUT !
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
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.
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.
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.
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.