Indianapolis Fire Department

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Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD)
Operational Area
Country United States
State  Indiana
City Indianapolis
Agency Overview
Established November 14, 1859
Employees 1,216
Staffing Career
Fire chief Brian Sanford
IAFF 416
Facilities & Equipment
Stations 46[1]
Engines 44[2]
Trucks 23[3]
Squads 6[4]
Fireboats 4
Ambulances 32

The Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, under the jurisdiction of the Mayor of Indianapolis.

In 2010, the Indianapolis Fire Department responded to 154,727 fire and emergency medical incidents.[5]


The first fire department in Indianapolis was not founded until June 20, 1826. It was a volunteer department that had to use a church bell for alarms, and had only ladders and leather buckets to fight fires. This was seventeen months after the first recorded fire in Indianapolis occurred on January 17, 1825, which took place across the street from the county courthouse in a tavern.[6]

In 1835, a law was passed requiring the purchase of an engine, along with better equipment, to be partially funded by the state and partially by the city, in order to protect the Indiana statehouse. From this, the Marion Fire, Hose, and Protection Company was established. An additional volunteer company was founded in 1841 and there were eight total volunteer companies in Indianapolis by 1859. Collectively, 600 men were volunteers in these eight companies, and although unpaid, they did receive perks such as immunity from being called on juries or militia duty, and not having to pay poll taxes or taxes for roads.[7]

The volunteer companies were rather political, and tended to express their views freely. They were also known to break into brothels and freely use their hoses on the clientele and the interior walls, wrecking the places; this was done not for moral reasons, but rather, to amuse themselves.[8] As a result, the Indianapolis City Council established a paid force on November 14, 1859, so that the council could have control over Indianapolis' fire protection, which it did not have over the volunteers. The Indianapolis Fire Department began with a hook and ladder company and two hand engines, but would in 1860 gain their first steam engine.[9]

The former IFD Headquarters at 301 E. New York Street is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The paid firemen had no days off, were not allowed to leave their post except for one meal, and were seldom allowed to leave the firehouse unless on fire business or a family emergency. An ordinance in 1859 made it illegal to give firemen alcoholic beverages. Their clothes were irregular; uniforms were not worn until 1874, with a regulation uniform established in 1928. Firemen had to buy their own uniforms until 1943, when a $60 clothing allowance was established. An attempt to remove politics from the fire department was not very successful; it was necessary to mandate that the department staff be half Republican and half Democrat, and the role of fire chief was based on political affiliation and family contacts.[10]

The first dog to discover arson for the Indianapolis Fire Department was acquired in July 1993.[11]

Mergers with township fire departments[edit]

In 2007, the process began to absorb some of the fire departments in the eight townships in Marion County other than Center Township that were not previously part of the IFD coverage area. As of 2014, five of the eight township fire departments have merged with IFD:[12]

Townships still retaining their own fire departments as of 2014:


There are currently fourteen Divisions of Operations within the Indianapolis Fire Department: Communications, Emergency Operations, Emergency Medical Services, Executive Services, Finance and Pension, Fire Investigations Section, Fire and Life Safety, Homeland Security/Special Operations and Training, Quartermaster, Information Technology, Media Relations, Safety, Support Services, and USAR Indiana Task Force One.[13]

Fire Apparatus Profile (2014)[edit]

Frontline Fire Companies[edit]

  • 44 Engine Companies[14]
  • 23 Ladder Companies
  • 6 Rescue Squad Companies
  • 4 Tactical Support Units

Command Units and Chiefs[edit]

  • 7 Battalion Chief's Units (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7)
  • 1 Shift Commander's Unit
  • 3 Safety Officer's Units (Safety 4, Safety 6)
  • 1 Public Information Officer's (P.I.O.) Unit
  • 1 Accountability Officer's Unit

EMS Units[edit]

  • 32 Indianapolis EMS Medic Ambulances
  • 2 EMS Officer's Units

Special and Support Units[edit]

  • 13 Tactical Rescue Units
  • 1 Arson Investigation Unit
  • 2 Tankers
  • 1 Foam Unit
  • 2 Decontamination (Decon.) Units
  • 1 Mass Casualty Unit (M.E.R.V.)
  • 1 Grass/Brush Unit
  • 4 Rescue Boats
  • 3 Rehabilitation (Rehab.) Units

Fire Station Locations and Apparatus[edit]

Fire Station # 32, located at 6330 Guildford Ave.

The IFD currently operates out of 35 fire stations, located throughout the city, organized into seven Battalinos. Each Battalion is commanded by a Battalion Chief per shift.

  • Battalion 1 - The 1st Battalion is quartered at 450 W. 21st St. and commands the following Fire Stations: 5, 12, 14, 16, 30, 31, and 33.[15]
  • Battalion 2 - The 2nd Battalion is quartered at 7139 E. 75th St. and commands the following Fire Stations: 4, 6, 9, 17, 21, 28, 32, and 36.[16]
  • Battalion 3 - The 3rd Battalion is quartered at 2970 N. Sherman and commands the following Fire Stations: [17]
  • Battalion 4 - The 4th Battalion is quartered at 7604 E. 10th St. and commands the following Fire Stations: 2, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, and 55.[18]
  • Battalion 5 - The 5th Battalion is quartered at 1136 Prospect St. and commands the following Fire Stations: 3, 11, 15, 27, and 29.[19]
  • Battalion 6 - The 6th Battalion is quartered at 1108 E. Thompson Rd. and commands the following Fire Stations: 23, 26, 35, 34, 52, 53, and 54.[20]
  • Battalion 7 - The 7th Battalion is quartered at 429 W. Ohio St. and commands the following Fire Stations: 1, 7, 13, 18, and 19.[21]

The following is a listing of all fire station locations and apparatus in the IFD, organized by battalion.[22]

Battalion 1[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 5 Tactical 5 (Confined Space), P.I.O. 1 Medic 5 Battalion 1 500 W. 21st. St North of Methodist Hospital
Engine 14 Ladder 14 Tactical 14(Heavy Rescue, Dive, Rope)(Engine & Ladder crews staff Tactical along with Squad on task force runs, Squad pulls boats as needed), Squad 14, Boat 14 Medic 14 2960 N. Kenwood Ave. Children's Museum
Engine 22 Ladder 22 Ambulance 22 3019 Dr. A.J. Brown Ave. Fall Creek
Engine 30 Ladder 30 (Engine and Ladder make up Extrication Task Force) 2440 N. Tibbs Ave. Eagledale
Engine 31 Ladder 31 TSU 31(TSU staffed by a Lieutenant) Tactical 31 (Decon)(Engine Ladder & Tactical make up Northside Decon Task Force) Medic 31 4155 N. College Ave. Fairgrounds
Engine 33 3430 N. Moller Rd. Far Westside
Medic 30 30th & Guion Rd. Marian University
Medic 89 5639 W 25th Street Speedway Fire Station 89

Battalion 2[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 4 Ladder 4 (Engine and Ladder make Extrication Task Force) Medic 4 8404 Ditch Rd. Greenbriar
Engine 6 Ladder 6 Boat 6 (Engine and Ladder make Extrication Task Force) 1599 E. 86th St. Nora
Engine 8 Safety 2(North/Northeast Safety Chief) 4045 E 56th St Millersville
Engine 9 Ladder 9 Tactical 9 (Heavy Rescue Staffed by Ladder crew)(Engine & Tac make Extrication Task Force) Medic 9 @ Comm Heart & Vasc Hosp 6260 E. 86th St. Castleton
Engine 12 Medic 12 2151 W. Kessler Blvd. Crooked Creek
Engine 16 5555 N. Illinois St. Meridian-Kessler
Engine 17 Medic 17 Battalion 2 7139 E. 75th St. East Avelon Hills
Engine 21 Car 1822 (North Side EMS Duty Officer/Lieutenant) Medic 21 2508 East 71st Street Clearwater
Engine 28 Tactical 28(Boat Tender), Boat 28 10190 E. 86th St. Geist
Squad 32, Investigator 2 6330 N. Guilford Ave. Broad Ripple
LFD Engine 36 IFD Ladder 36 LFD Medic 36 7620 N. Oaklandon Rd. Northern Oaklandon

Battalion 3[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 10 Ladder 10 Squad 10 (Engine Ladder & Squad make Extrication Task Force) Battalion 3 2970 N. Sherman Dr. Brightwood
Engine 20 Ladder 20 (Engine & Ladder make Extrication Task Force) 1452 N. Emerson Ave. Little Flower
Engine 24 Medic 24 5520 E. 38th St. Devington
Engine 25 TSU 25(Staffed by a Lieutenant) 17 S. Sheridan Ave. Irvington
Engine 42 Tanker 42(staffed by Engine backstepper) Medic 42 1302 S. Franklin Rd. South Warren Twp
Medic 10 38th/Sherman Forest Manor Health Center
Medic 15 I-70/Rural Floating
Medic 20 1500 N. Ritter Ave. Community East Hospital

Battalion 4[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 2 Medic 2 4120 Mitthoefer Rd. 42nd/Mitthoefer
Engine 41 Medic 41 10750 E. 10th St. Washington Square
Engine 43 Ladder 43 Tactical 43 (Heavy Rescue) (Heavy Rescue Staffed by Ladder crew)(Engine & Tac make Extrication Task Force) Battalion 4 7604 E. 10th St. Eastgate
Engine 44 Ladder 44 Tactical 44 (HazMat)(Tactical Staffed by Ladder crew)(Engine & Tac make Hazmat Task Force) Medic 44 7335 E. 30th St. Eastside
Engine 45 Medic 45 10601 E. 30th St. Far Eastside
Engine 52 11224 House St. Acton
Engine 55 Ladder 55 Tanker 55(staffed by an engine backstepper)(Engine & Ladder make Extrication Task Force) 10515 E. Thompson Rd. New Bethel

Battalion 5[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 3 Medic 3 Battalion 5 1136 E. Prospect St. Fountain Square
Engine 7 Ladder 7 Squad 7, Tactical 7(Heavy Rescue, Dive, Rope), Boat 7, Hovercraft 7 (Engine & Ladder crews respond on Tactical, Tactical & Squad make up all Task Forces, Squad pulls boats as needed) Car 1201(Shift Commander) Safety 4(Central Safety Chief) 555 N. New Jersey St. Chatham-Arch/Mass Avenue
Engine 11 Car 1823 (South Side EMS Duty Officer) Medic 11 1715 E. Washington St. Near Eastside/Irish Hill
Engine 15 Ladder 15 (Engine and Ladder make up Extrication Task Force) 3502 E. Prospect St. Near Southeastside
Engine 27 Ladder 27 2918 E. 10th St. Brookside
Engine 29 Ladder 29 TSU 29(Staffed by a Lieutenant), Squad 29, Tactical 29 (Mobile Command/USAR Trailer)(Engine Ladder & Squad make up Extrication Task Force)(All Station goes on USAR Task Force, Squad pulls trailer) Medic 29 602 E. Pleasant Run Pkwy. S. Dr. Garfield Park
Medic 27 339 N. Sherman Dr. Old Station 12

Battalion 6[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 53 Grass 53(Staffed by Engine backstepper) Medic 53 5231 S. Arlington Ave. Bunker Hill
Engine 54 Medic 54 8025 S. Combs Rd. Southern Franklin Twp
Engine 23(61) Medic 23(61) Battalion 6, Safety 6(Southside Safety Chief) 1108 E. Thompson Rd. University Heights
Engine 26(62) Medic 26(62) 7447 S. Meridian Street Lindenwood
Engine 35(63) Ladder 35(63) (Engine & Ladder make Extrication Task Force) 4155 E. Stop 11 Rd. Southport
Engine 34(64) Ladder 34(64) Tactical 34(64) (Heavy Rescue)(Heavy Rescue Staffed by Ladder crew)(Engine & Tac make Extrication Task Force), Support 34(64) (MedicalEmergencyResponseVehicle for Mass Casualty Incidents)(Staffed by Engine crew as needed) Investigator 6 1925 W. Edgewood Ave. Edgewood/SR 37

Battalion 7[edit]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit IEMS Ambulance Chief Officer Address Neighborhood
Engine 1 Ladder 1 Tactical 1 (Collapse Unit),(Tactical 1 Tactical 5 Engine 1 Ladder 1 Engine 5 & Squad 10 make CRT Task Force) 1903 W. 10th St. Haughville
Engine 13 Ladder 13 Squad 13 Tactical 13 (HazMat)(Tactical Staffed by Ladder Crew)(Engine Tactical & Squad make HazMat Task Force) Battalion 7 439 W. Ohio St. Westside Downtown
Engine 18 TSU 18(Staffed by a Lieutenant) Foam Support 18 Medic 18 42 N. Warman Ave. Central State
Engine 19 Ladder 19 Tactical 19 (Decon), Foam 19(Engine Ladder & Tactical make Central and Southside Decon Task Force with Foam Unit as needed) 1004 S. White River Pkwy. West Indianapolis
Medic 1 1001 W. 10th St. Wishard Hospital
Medic 51(ATS) 1001 W. 10th St. Wishard Hospital
Medic 7 (ATS Backup) Floating Downtown
Medic 13 1701 Senate Blvd. IU Methodist Hospital

Notable incidents[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ IFD Quick Facts
  6. ^ Bodenhamer, David. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (Indiana University Press, 1994) pg.774
  7. ^ Bodenhamer pg.774
  8. ^ "IFD History". IFD. 2005-05-13. Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ Bodenhamer pg.774, 775
  10. ^ Bodenhamer pg.775, 776
  11. ^ Bodenhamer pg.776
  12. ^ Tuohy, John (February 11, 2014). "Township officials fume over Indianapolis fire merger bill". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  13. ^ IFD Administration
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Indiana Fire Trucks: Fire and EMS Apparatus Pictures
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Plane Crashes". Indianapolis Star. 2002-05-04. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  25. ^ "Grant Fire: November 5, 1973". IFD. 2006-04-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  26. ^ "Market Square Arena Fires". IFD. 2005-05-10. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 

External links[edit]