Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency
|Established||1754 (as Halifax Fire Service), 1996 (as Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency)|
|Staffing||Career & Volunteer|
|Fire chief||Doug Trussler|
|EMS level||BLS First Responder|
|Facilities and equipment|
Halifax originated as a British fortification in 1749, followed by Dartmouth in 1750 and Sackville in 1751. The Halifax Fire Service is the oldest fire department in Canada (1754). It was first known as the Union Fire Club and then became the Union Engine Company (1768). The Dartmouth Fire Department was eventually formed on the east side of the harbour in 1861.
In 1996, with the creation of the newly amalgamated Halifax Regional Municipality, the Fire Service was consolidated through a merger of the fire departments of the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, the town of Bedford and the many volunteer departments located throughout Halifax County. At that time, there were 515 career fire fighters and 1,200 volunteer firefighters from a total of 38 fire departments would become part of the new organization. This extremely diverse entity was brought together under Fire Chief Gary Greene and Deputy Chiefs Michael Eddy and William Mosher.
The department is currently led by Fire Chief Douglas Trussler, Deputies Brian Gray and Roy Hollett.
In 2011, a museum to commemorate the history of fire fighting in the in Nova Scotia, with special attention to the Halifax region was opened in Fall River, Nova Scotia named the Regional Firefighters Interpretation Centre. Their website is www.rficns.com There is a provincial firefighter museum in Yarmouth. Since 2012, there is an Annual Firefighter Memorial Service on June 2.
The Fallen Firefighters monument is located at Station 4, 5830 Duffus Street, Halifax.
The service consists of a total of 51 stations, 489 career firefighters and civilian employees, over 600 volunteer firefighters, and is divided into 2 primary divisions:
- "Core" - Serving HRM's urban core, this division comprises 18 twenty-four hour stations, 10 all career stations, and 8 composite stations with additional volunteer staff. Communities and neighbourhoods are covered by this division in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Eastern Passage, Westphal, Cole Harbour and Lower Sackville.
- "Rural" - Serving HRM's large rural area in the eastern and western parts of Halifax County, this division is primarily volunteer, supported by composite day staff stations. It comprises 30 fire departments with 33 stations (24 all volunteer, 9 composite), 95 trucks, 500 volunteer and 38 career firefighters organized into 4 zones.
In addition to regular urban and rural firefighting services, HRFE also provides Technical Rescue, Water and Ice Rescue, Hazardous Materials, and Medical First Responder services. Under the currently suspended Federal USAR Task Force program, HRFE had been designated as CAN TF-5, one of 5 USAR teams from across Canada. HRFE is also equipped and trained for CBRN response.
- 432 career firefighters
- Approx. 600 volunteer firefighters
- around 13,000 emergency calls per year
- 51 stations
- 48 Engines
- 38 Tankers
- 10 Rescues
- 7 Quints
- 3 Aerials
- 5 Tactical Support units
- 1 Heavy Rescue
- 1 HazMat unit
- 4 Brush trucks
- 1 Command unit
- 1 Rehab unit
- 1 Harbour Boat
- Various Utility trucks and support vehicles
In 2013 Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Services approved the closure of Fire Stations 32 (Mooseland), 37 (Elderbank), 53 (Terrence Bay), 61 (Ketch Harbor) and 51 (Upper Hammonds Plains). These stations were Sub Stations of other Fire Stations in the area. As well, Station 62(Harrietsfield) suffered a fire in Jan 2015 that closed the station permanently. These areas are still protected fully by HRM Fire.
A new station will be constructed in 2016/2017 to replace stations 62 and 63, as well as relocating stations 8 and 9 to centralize them in areas of rapid growth.
- Allison Lawlor. 250 Years Of Progress: Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Service. Nimbus Publishing. 2005
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