Arlington County Fire Department

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Arlington County Fire Department
Arlington County Fire Department (crest).jpg
Agency Overview
Established 1950
Employees 350
Staffing Career
Facilities & Equipment
Stations 10
Engines 9
Trucks 3
Rescues 2
Ambulances 7

The Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) provides essential fire, emergency medical, and allied public safety services for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church in Virginia, USA. It is highly regarded within the profession as an innovator and leader in enhancing the industry[citation needed]. Among its many firsts are the hiring of the first female career firefighter in the world in 1974[1] and partnering with the United States Public Health Service to develop America's first Metropolitan Medical Strike Team to respond to the consequences of a chemical, biological or radiological terrorist attack.

The county fire department operates ten stations and is a signatory to an automatic regional response plan with neighboring Fairfax County as well as the city of Alexandria, and participates in a regional mutual aid pact with the District of Columbia and the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, also in Arlington County, fields a fire department as part of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department and works closely with the county's fire service. The 305 employees of the Fire Department are committed to eliminating threats to the lives, safety and property of the Arlington community. They provide services through a combination of education, prevention and effective response to fire, medical and environmental emergencies.

The Arlington County Fire Department holds a Class 2 Rating from the Insurance Services Organization, the highest rating given to a Virginia fire department, and one of only three such ratings awarded in the state. This rating helps the local community by bringing lower insurance rates to homeowners and businesses.

9/11 and the Pentagon[edit]

Arlington Engine 105 is seen here operating at the Pentagon shortly after the crash of Flight 77. Official Army photograph by Staff Sgt. Carmen L. Burgess

The Arlington County Fire Department was the lead agency in the response to the Pentagon attack. Led by Incident Commander James Schwartz, the ACFD worked with numerous fire departments throughout the region.

On September 11, 2001, the Arlington County Fire Department employed 279 men and women.

As a result of the attack on the Pentagon, additional career firefighters were hired, bringing the total to 305 by 2005. Minimum staffing on the county's engine companies was also increased to four firefighters from three in the months after the attack. The county trained CERT Teams - Community Emergency Response Teams - in cooperation with the federal Department of Homeland Security as a part of its stepped up disaster preparedness program.


Arlington County firefighters often train with the 911th Engineer Company.

Arlington County Fire Department is a career fire department, with over 300 sworn career firefighters. All units are staffed 24 hours a day by career firefighters who are divided into three platoons and work a 24-on/24-off/24-on/24-off/24-on/96-off work schedule. Engine, rescue and truck/tower companies in Arlington are typically staffed by four firefighters and ALS medic units with two firefighter/paramedics. Arlington operates nine engine companies, three truck companies, two rescue companies and seven medic units. Additional medic units can be placed in service as necessary. The county is divided into two divisions, the North (112) and the South (111), with one Deputy Chief, one Battalion Chief, an EMS Supervisor, an Assistant Fire Marshal and Deputy Fire Marshals in each division.

ACFD Units
Station Location Engine Special Service Medic Other
1 Glebe Road Engine 101 - Medic 101 Battalion 111 / HazMat 101
2 Ballston Engine 102 - Medic 102 EMS 112 / ACFD Command Unit
3 Cherrydale Engine 103 - - Battalion 112/ Chief 112
4 Clarendon - Tower 104 / Rescue 104 Medic 104 Command Aide 114
5 Jefferson District Engine 105 Truck 105 Medic 105 Duty Fire Marshal
6 Falls Church Engine 106 Truck 106 Medic 106
7 Fairlington Engine 107 - - -
8 Hall's Hill Engine 108 - - Mobile Air Unit (MAU)
9 Nauck Engine 109 Rescue 109 Medic 109 EMS 111
10 Rosslyn Engine 110 - Medic 110 TRT Trailer

Volunteer operations[edit]

Prior to 1950, independent volunteer fire companies protected Arlington County. As the demand for services for fire and EMS grew, the need for full-time paid staff was acknowledged by the County. Staff was hired, first to augment the volunteers, then finally to provide the full range of services required in a modern, urban, fire department. The department is now staffed with more than 350 full-time career professionals who serve 24/7/365. The volunteer companies support the everyday operations of the paid career staff. The volunteer members ride as supplemental staffing on apparatus and do not count as minimum staffing. The Arlington County Fire Department uses the volunteer apparatus for providing support services, such as emergency scene lighting and air replenishment for long duration incidents.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Terese M. Floren. "History of Women in Firefighting". International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′5.5″N 77°5′45″W / 38.884861°N 77.09583°W / 38.884861; -77.09583