Philadelphia Fire Department
|Motto: Dedication and Service|
|Established||March 15, 1871|
|Annual calls||437,329 (2013)|
|EMS level||ALS & BLS|
|Facilities and equipment|
The Philadelphia Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services (EMS) to the city of Philadelphia. The PFD's official mission is to protect public safety by quick and professional response to emergencies and through the promotion of sound emergency prevention measures. This mandate encompasses all traditional firefighting functions, including fire suppression, with 58 engine companies and 27 ladder companies as well as specialty and support units deployed throughout the city; specialized firefighting units for Philadelphia International Airport and the Port of Philadelphia; investigations conducted by the Fire Marshal's Office to determine the origins of fires and to develop preventive strategies; prevention programs to educate the public in order to increase overall fire safety; and support services such as: research and planning, management of the Fire Communications Center within the City's 911 system, and operation of the Fire Academy.
The delivery of emergency medical services now generates more than seventy percent of the department's total calls for services. Furthermore, the department's Regional Emergency Medical Services Office is responsible for regulating all public and private ambulance services within the city. Lastly, the department enforces all state and federal hazardous materials (HAZMAT) regulations within the city, and coordinates the response to such incidents. The IAFF local is 22.
The PFD is the largest fire department in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and also has the busiest Emergency Medical Services division in the United States with a single ambulance, Medic 2, responding to 8,788 calls in 2013 and Medic 8 responded to 9,011 calls in 2018.
Formation of the Philadelphia Fire Department
One of the oldest established fire departments in the United States, the PFD traces its origins back to early volunteer companies, specifically the Union Fire Company, established on December 7, 1736.
Ordinances of 1840, 1855, and 1856 established a City Fire Department which was a voluntary association of independent fire companies which, in return for subsidies, accepted the direction of City Councils.
An ordinance of 29 December 1870, established Philadelphia's first fully paid and municipally controlled fire department, administered by seven commissioners chosen by Councils. The PFD officially entered into service on 15 March 1871. In 1887 the commissioners were abolished and the department placed under the control of the Department of Public Safety as the Bureau of Fire in compliance with the 1885 Bullitt Bill and enabling ordinance of 1886. The Fire Marshal, first appointed on 1864, was a member of the Bureau of Police until 1937 when his office was removed from it and placed directly under the Director of the Department of Public Safety. In 1950 it was transferred to the Bureau of Fire.
The City Charter of 1951 abolished the Department of Public Safety and established the present Fire Department. At that time its inspectorial duties were transferred to the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Investigation of the origin and cause of fires remains with the PFD fire marshal's office.
High-Pressure Fire System
As the 1800s came to an end, Philadelphia's regular water supply system had become unable to supply the needed water to fight fires in the increasingly larger and higher buildings of the central business district. After the Insurance Companies raised premiums and eventually refused to write new policies in the Downtown section of Philadelphia the City finally commissioned the installation of the High-Pressure Fire System in 1901. This would be the worlds first major city high-pressure water service dedicated for firefighting.  The system was designed to encompass the area of Delaware River to Broad Street and Race Street to Walnut Streets. The system would be supplied from a pumping station located at Race Street and Delaware Ave utilizing a total of seven 280HP natural gas powered fire pumps. The total cost of the proposed system at the time was estimated between $625,975 and $702,539. Once completed in November 1903 the system encompassed a total of 26 miles of pipe supplying 434 hydrants. The system maintained a pressure of 70psi and could be increased to over 200psi upon demand.
The system proved to be so successful that in approximately 1909 the city expanded the system to cover the Textile Mill District which was located in the North Philadelphia, Port Richmond, and Kensington neighborhoods. This expansion also included a reservoir located at 6th & Leigh Avenue fed by a large service main under Broad Street. Additional expansions were made to the original system to cover the area from the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers from Girard Avenue to South Street. The expansions grew the original 26 miles network of pipes to 56 and also included more pumping stations. The High-Pressure Fire System was officially decommissioned in 2005 after falling into years of disrepair.
On February 28, 2020, there was a call for domestic disturbance and there was a lady screaming with a man named Mark Giwerowski having blood on his face. Giwerowski became combative and stole the ambulance just when police arrived. When Philadelphia Police Department Officer Timothy Kelley ordered Giwerowski out, the comply was refused, so Kelley shot Giwerowski 3 times and Giwerowski ran him over. Giwerowski drove through the gas station at Roosevelt Blvd and Cottman Avenue. Giwerowski made a left on Cottman Avenue. He turned right onto Frankford Avenue. He turned left onto Harbison Avenue, left onto Benner Street, right onto Torresdale Avenue and right on Harbison Avenue. Giwerowski went back on Roosevelt Blvd. He turned left on Rhawn St, Castor Avenue, Cottman Avenue, Bustleton Avenue, Hoffnagle St, Loretto Avenue, and Longshore Avenue. Giwerowski then turned right onto Bustleton Avenue, Devreaux Avenue, and Roosevelt Blvd. He went back on Bustleton Avenue, turned right onto Magee Avenue, left onto Leonard St, right on Harbison Avenue, right on Frankford Avenue, right on Benner St, Hawthorne St, Colmly St, Duffield St, Frankford Avenue, and Harbison Avenue as well as make a U-turn. Then, Giwerowski, turned left onto Solly Avenue, right onto Bradford St, Hoffnagle St, and Roosevelt Blvd, left onto Holme Avenue, and onto the circle before Welsh Rd and that's where Pennsylvania State Police deployed spike strips. Giwerowski continued onto Welsh Rd, turned left onto Manchester Avenue, and onto the wrong way of a one way Walnut Hill St, and then went into someone's front lawn on Tolbut St where authorities were able to arrest him. Giwerowski is facing charges to include robbery, car jacking, unauthorized use of a vehicle, fleeing police, accident involving death or injury, aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and related charges. Most car thieves would be charged with burglary. Giwerowski could've been charged with homicide attempt.
USAR Task Force 1
The Philadelphia Fire Department is the sponsoring agency for Urban Search and Rescue Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PA-TF1), one of twenty-eight FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces in the nation and the only one in Pennsylvania.
Fire station locations and apparatus
Below is a complete listing of all fire station and equipment locations in the city of Philadelphia along with their Division and Battalion. There are three divisions and 13 battalions in the department. Division 1 consists of 5 battalions and 23 fire stations while Division 2 has 4 battalions and 17 fire stations and Division 3 has 4 battalions and 21 fire stations. In November 2019, the Department announced plans to staff and reinstate four previously disbanded Engine Companies. Engine 1 in Center City, Engine 8 in Olde City, Engine 14 in Frankford and Engine 39 in Roxborough were restored on 23 November 2019. There are over 55 medic units spread across the department, including both advanced life support (ALS) and basic life support (BLS) units. For special events, or to meet staffing requirements, the advanced life support (ALS) medic units may be downgraded to basic life support (BLS) units. A BLS unit will contain a 'B' in their call sign, for example Medic 9B. Division 1 consists of Battalion 1, Battalion 4, Battalion 6, Battalion 7 and Battalion 11. Division 2 consists of Battalion 5, Battalion 10, Battalion 12 and Battalion 13. Division 3 consists of Battalion 2, Battalion 3, Battalion 8 and Battalion 9.
Company,Foam Company,Squad Company,Water Tower Company or Squrt Company
Company,Ladder Tower Company or Snorkel Company
|Medic Unit Or
EMS Response Car Unit
|Chief units||Additional Units||Address|
|1||Hawthorne||Engine 1||Ladder 5||Medic 35||711 South Broad Street|
|1||Queens Village||Engine 3||EVAC 1||200 Washington Avenue|
|1||Passyunk Square||Engine 10||Medic 27B||Battalion Chief 1||1357 South 12th Street|
|1||Southwest Center City||Engine 24||Medic 14||1200 South 20th Street|
|1||Wharton||Engine 53||Ladder 27||Medic 43||414 Snyder Avenue|
|1||Melrose||Foam 60||Ladder 19||Medic 37||Haz-Mat 1
Haz-Mat Administrative Unit 1
Haz-Mat Administrative Unit 2
Haz-Mat Administrative Unit 3
Haz-Mat Administrative Unit 4
Haz-Mat Administrative Unit 5
|2301 South 24th Street|
|4||Old City||Squrt 8||Tower Ladder 2||Medic 44||Battalion Chief 4||101 North 4th Street|
|4||Society Hill||Engine 11||Medic 21||601 South Street|
|4||Chinatown||Engine 20||Ladder 23||Medic 1||133 North 10th Street|
|4||Center City||Engine 43||Ladder 9||Medic 7
|2108 Market Street|
|6||Elmwood||Engine 40||Ladder 4||Medic 19||6438 Woodland Avenue|
|6||Grays Ferry||Squad 47||Medic 40
|Deputy Chief 1||Squad 47A||3023 Grays Ferry Avenue|
|6||Lower Moyamensing||Engine 49||Medic 11||2600 South 13th Street|
|6||Eastwick||Engine 69||Medic 55B
|Battalion Chief 6||Grass Firefighter 1||8201 Tinicum Avenue|
|7||Carroll Park||Engine 41||Ladder 24||Medic 23||1201 North 61st Street|
|7||Overbrook Park||Engine 54||Medic 41||1913 North 63rd Street|
|7||West Philadelphia||Water Tower 57||Medic 9B||5559 Chestnut Street|
|7||Cedar Park||Engine 68||Ladder 13||Medic 3
|Battalion Chief 7||801 South 52nd Street|
|8800 Hog Island Road|
|11||Spruce Hill||Engine 5||Ladder Tower 6||Medic 60B||Battalion Chief 11||4221 Market Street|
|11||East Parkside||Engine 16||Medic 26B||Mass Casualty Unit 1||1517 Belmont Avenue|
|11||Brewerytown||Engine 34||Medic 36||1301 North 28th Street|
|11||Mantua||Engine 44||Medic 34||3420 Haverford Avenue|
Company,Foam Company,Water Tower Company or Squrt company
Company or Snorkel Company
|Medic Unit Or
EMS Response Car Unit
|Chief units||Additional Units||Address|
|5||Millbrook||Engine 22||Ladder 31||Medic 20||3270 Comly Road|
|5||Fox Chase||Engine 56||Medic 48||832 Rhawn Street|
|5||Somerton||Engine 58||Medic 54B||Battalion Chief 5||812 Hendrix Street|
|5||Bustleton||Engine 62||Ladder 34||Medic 6||9845 Bustleton Avenue|
|10||Harrowgate||Engine 7||Ladder 10||Medic 2||Battalion Chief 10||3798 Kensington Avenue|
|10||Kensington||Engine 25||Medic 8
|2931 Boudinot Street|
|10||Port Richmond||Engine 28||Medic 45||Mass Decon 1||2520 East Ontario Street|
|10||Bridesburg||Foam 33||Foam Tender 1||4750 Richmond Street|
|10||Fishtown||Ladder 16||Medic 46
|2601 Belgrade Street|
|12||Frankford||Engine 14||Ladder 15||1652 Foulkrod Street|
|12||Wissinoming||Engine 52||Medic 32||4501 Van Kirk Street|
|12||Lawndale||Engine 64||6100 Rising Sun Avenue|
|12||Lawncrest||Squrt 70||Medic 42||Deputy Chief 2||4800 Langdon Street|
|12||Northeast Philadelphia||Engine 71||Tower Ladder 28||Medic 12||Battalion Chief 12||1900 Cottman Avenue|
|13||Rhawnhurst||Foam 18||Medic 38||8205 Roosevelt Boulevard|
|13||Holmesburg||Engine 36||Ladder 20||Medic 17||7818 Frankford Avenue|
|13||Tacony||Water Tower 38||Medic 47B
|Mass Casualty Unit 2||4931 Magee Avenue|
|13||Torresdale||Engine 46||Medic 49B||Battalion Chief 13||Grass Firefighter 3||9197 Frankford Avenue|
Company,Squad Company or Squrt Company
Company or Ladder Tower company
|Medic Unit Or
EMS Response Car Unit
|Chief units||Additional Units||Address|
|2||Logan / Ogontz||Engine 51||Ladder 29||Medic 18||Battalion Chief 2||5931 Old York Road|
|2||Olney||Engine 61||Medic 29B||5334 Rising Sun Avenue|
|2||East Oak Lane||Engine 63||Medic 56B||1210 Oak Lane Avenue|
|2||Wyoming||Squad 72||Medic 24
|Squad 72A||1127 West Louden Street|
|2||West Oak Lane||Engine 73||Medic 33||Air Unit 2||7515 Ogontz Avenue|
|3||Fairmount||Engine 13||Medic 50B||Air Unit 1||1541 Parrish Street|
|3||Cecil B. Moore||Engine 27||Medic 13||Battalion Chief 3||1901 West Oxford Street|
|3||Olde Kensington||Engine 29||Medic 15||Rescue 1
Collapse Unit 1
|400 West Girard Avenue|
|3||Strawberry Mansion||Engine 45||Ladder 14||Medic 25||2401 North 26th Street|
|8||West Kensington||Engine 2||Ladder 3||Medic 31
|2426 North 2nd Street|
|8||East Falls||Squrt 35||Ladder 25||Medic 16||4208 Ridge Avenue|
|8||Glenwood||Engine 50||Ladder 12||Medic 22
|1325 West Cambria Street|
|8||Franklinville||Engine 55||Ladder Tower 22||Medic 39B||4000 North Front Street|
|8||Nicetown||Engine 59||Ladder 18||Medic 4||Battalion Chief 8||2207 West Hunting Park Avenue|
|9||Mount Airy||Squrt 9||Ladder 21||Medic 10||6900 Germantown Avenue|
|9||Manayunk||Engine 12||Medic 52B||Battalion Chief 9||4447 Main Street|
|9||East Germantown||Engine 19||Tower Ladder 8||Medic 28||Deputy Chief 3||300 East Chelten Avenue|
|9||Chestnut Hill||Engine 37||101 West Highland Avenue|
|9||Roxborough||Engine 39||Ladder 30||Medic 5||6630 Ridge Avenue|
|9||Roxborough||Engine 66||7720 Ridge Avenue|
|Delaware River||Marine Unit 1||1 Washington Avenue|
|Schuylkill River||Marine Unit 2
Marine Unit 4
|Passyunk Avenue & Schuylkill Avenue|
Disbanded, never organized or restored fire companies
* Engine 1 - 711 S. Broad St. Restored 23 November 2019 * Engine 4 - 1528 Sansom St. * Engine 6 - 2601 Belgrade St. * Engine 8 - 101 N. 4th St. Restored 23 November 2019 * Engine 14 - 1652 Foulkrod St. Restored 23 November 2019 * Engine 15 - 1625 N. Howard St. - Disbanded to form Marine Unit 15 * Engine 17 - 1328 Race St. * Engine 21 - 609 N. 2nd St. * Engine 23 - 2736 N. 6th St. - Disbanded to form Marine Unit 23 * Engine 26 - 1010 Buttonwood St. * Engine 30 - 3548 Germantown Ave. * Engine 31 - 2736 6th St. * Engine 32 - 239 S. 6th St. - Disbanded to form Marine Unit 32 * Engine 39 - 6630 Ridge Ave. Restored 23 November 2019 * Engine 42 - 3320 N. Front St. * Engine 48 - 930 S. 7th St. * Engine 65 - 5331 Haverford Ave. * Engine 67 - Haverford Ave. & N. Preston St. * Engine 74 - Never Organized * Engine 75 - Never Organized * Engine 76 - Philadelphia Northeast Airport * Engine 77 - Philadelphia International Airport - Merged with Engine 78 * Ladder 1 - 1541 Parrish St. * Ladder 7 - 400 W. Girard Ave. * Ladder 11 - 1357 S. 12th St. * Ladder 17 - 1210 Oak Lane Ave. * Ladder 26 - 8201 Tinicum Blvd. * Ladder 32 - 3023 Grays Ferry Ave. * Ladder 33 - Never Organized
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Firefighting in Philadelphia.|
- "Total Station Runs" (PDF). Philadelphia Fire Department. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Fire Department". www.phila.gov. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- "History". Philadelphia Fire Department. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- The Bullitt bill as adopted by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, June 1, 1885 :together with the ordinance to carry it into effect, passed by the councils of Philadelphia, December 16, 1886. Philadelphia. 1902-01-01. hdl:2027/uiug.30112054998411.
- "American Legal Publishing - Online Library". library.amlegal.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
- "Hero of the Waterfront".
- "Philadelphia High Pressure Fire Service".
- "Philadelphia Pipeline Companies" (PDF).
- "High Pressure System in Philadelphia".
- "Think you can't park there? Take a closer look at that Philly fire hydrant".
- . August 26, 2021 https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/03/02/philadelphia-police-identify-announce-charges-against-mark-giwerowski-who-led-officers-on-wild-chase-in-stolen-ambulance/. Retrieved August 26, 2021. Missing or empty
- . August 26, 2021 https://www.inquirer.com/news/police-chase-stolen-ambulance-northeast-philadelphia-20200229.html. Retrieved August 26, 2021. Missing or empty
- . August 26, 2021 https://6abc.com/police-chase-philadelphia-today-philly-in-philadlephia/5975656/. Retrieved August 26, 2021. Missing or empty
- . August 26, 2021 https://billypenn.com/2020/02/29/this-map-shows-the-wild-24-mile-ambulance-police-chase-through-northeast-philly/. Retrieved August 26, 2021. Missing or empty
- . August 26, 2021 https://patch.com/pennsylvania/philadelphia/man-who-led-philly-police-chase-ambulance-identified-charged. Retrieved August 26, 2021. Missing or empty
- . August 26, 2021 https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/02/29/sources-suspect-involved-in-stolen-ambulance-police-chase-in-northeast-philly-could-face-attempted-homicide-charge/. Retrieved August 26, 2021. Missing or empty
- "USAR Task Force Locations". FEMA. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- "Fire Houses". Philadelphia Fire Department. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- In November 2019, the Department announced plan to staff and reinstate four previously disbanded Engine Companies. Those companies are Engine 1 in Center City, Engine 8 in Old City, Engine 14 in Frankford and Engine 39 in Roxborough. "Field Medic Units". Philadelphia Fire Department. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Official Site
- Philadelphia Fire Museum