City of Houston Fire Department (HFD) is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Houston, Texas, United States, the fourth largest city in the United States. HFD is responsible for preserving life and property for a population of more than 2 million in an area totaling 617 square miles (1,600 km2).
The administrative offices of HFD are located on the 7th floor of Continental Center II (600 Jefferson) in the Cullen Center in Downtown Houston. They were previously located at the City of Houston Fire Department Logistical Center & Maintenance Depot.
The Houston Fire Department handles all emergency medical services within the City of Houston and all members of the department are trained in EMS procedures. In most cases, the firefighters rotate between the firefighting apparatuses and the EMS units from day to day in accordance with the cross-training that they receive. There are two levels of EMS certification that the Houston Fire Department recognizes; EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic. There are no EMS providers for the Houston Fire Department that are not also firefighters. All of HFD EMS ambulances are Type I, "Frazer Bilt", ambulances.
Due to the large coverage area, HFD EMS operates on a tiered response system, which means that certain levels of EMS are dispatched when they are determined to be needed. While there are some MICU ambulances in the HFD EMS fleet, most are BLS equipped. Typically, a BLS ambulance will be dispatched to a medical call. When the unit arrives on scene and determines that ALS is required, a paramedic squad will be dispatched to their location to assist. HFD EMS strives to have an ambulance or first responder (which usually consists of an engine company) on scene within four minutes, with ALS support within eight minutes if needed.
The fourth largest fire department in the United States, the Houston Fire Department was established in 1838 with one station, Protection Company No. 1. and it grew to a volunteer fire department status with three stations by 1859. After having provided volunteer firefighting services for 57 years, the City of Houston Fire Department began paying its firefighters in 1895.
In 2002, the Insurance Services Office, which rates the capability of a fire department with regards to the maintenance of its fire apparatus, availability of water, training of personnel, etc., rated HFD 1/10, which is the highest rating a fire department can achieve.
As of 2013, 61 Houston firefighters have been killed in the line of duty. The most recent were the deaths of four firefighters on May 31, 2013 at a motel fire after a roof collapsed. Three were killed at the scene, while another died at a hospital; this event was the largest amount of lives lost in department history.
Below is a current listing of all Fire Station Locations and Apparatus in the city of Houston based on District. Some stations also adopt unofficial names and place the names on the front of the station's fire trucks based on what neighborhoods the majority of their "still alarm" territories cover.
The Val Jahnke Training Facility is the Houston Fire Department training facility. As of 1988 the City of Houston Firemen's Training Academy is a complex of several scattered buildings, all made of concrete that is exposed and poured-in-place. It is in proximity to the Garden Villas subdivision. It was built in 1967 by Jenkins Hoff Oberg Saxe. Stephen Fox of Cite said that the "tough-looking complex" is "[s]tartling to come upon unexpectedly." The publication Progressive Architecture said that it is "a landscape that may look straight out of the TV series Star Trek." Fox said that the drill tower and the fire building, the latter of which was singed in 1988, "decidedly stand out."