Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
Operational area
Country  UK
Region  Northern Ireland
Agency overview
Employees 2,230
Facilities and equipment
Stations 68
Official website

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) (formerly Northern Ireland Fire Brigade) is the statutory fire and rescue service for Northern Ireland. The NIFRS is overseen by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board, which in turn is subordinate to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. NIFRS has a workforce of around 2,230 personnel.[1]

NIFRS serves the entire population of Northern Ireland, an area of over 5,500 square miles (14,000 km2) with a population of 1.71 million people.


Sign on Comber Fire Station showing Fire Service logo (left)

There are 68 fire stations in Northern Ireland, seven of which are full-time and seven are wholetime/retained. 7 are variable crewed between wholetime and retained firefighters during the day with retained firefighters only at night. 46 stations are retained, and one (on Rathlin Island) is crewed by volunteers. The Service is organised into four 'Area Commands': Western, Southern, Northern and Eastern. The Eastern Area Command covers Greater Belfast.

Emergency cover is provided by a current establishment of:

  • 917 wholetime firefighters
  • 994 retained firefighters
  • 12 volunteer firefighters
  • 58 regional control centre staff
  • 208 support staff, plus 53 part-time caretakers

NIFRS Training Centre is located at Boucher Crescent, South Belfast and headquarters is in Lisburn, County Antrim.


NIFRS' current operational fleet of fire engines consists of:[2]

NIFRS firefighters are trained to deal with all types of fire incidents, as well as traffic collisions, building collapses, and various specialist rescues. The Service is also the enforcing authority for fire safety legislation.

As with other fire and rescue services in the United Kingdom, the NIFRS has been the target of frequent attacks while attending incidents. In 2011/12, the Service recorded 117 'hostile crowd' incidents without injury or damage, 22 cases of damage to fire engines, 3 cases of injury to a firefighter and 2 cases of combined injury to firefighter and vehicle damage.[3]

Until recently, the organisation's name was the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade.[4] The Brigade lost a number of firemen during the Troubles, including one shot while tackling a blaze in 1973 set during the Ulster Workers' Council strike.


A ladder platform at Portadown

In 2011/12, NIFRS received 43,062 emergency calls, of which it mobilised to 27,150. The breakdown of these mobilised calls were:

  • 3,289 primary (major) fires
  • 8,365 secondary fires
  • 1,465 chimney fires
  • 1,972 special services, including traffic collisions (576), person release (225), lift incidents (126), make-safe incidents (184), animal rescues (180), chemical incidents (72), effecting entry (166), flooding (123) and other incidents (320)
  • 827 other miscellaneous incidents
  • 7,846 false alarms (due to equipment)
  • 2,616 false alarms (with good intent)
  • 770 false alarms (malicious)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]