Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services

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Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services
VFRS.png
People Who Care About You
Agency overview
Established 1886
Employees 800
Staffing Career
EMS level First Responder
Facilities and equipment
Stations 20
Engines 12
Trucks 6
Quints 12
Rescues 3
Fireboats 2
Website
VFRS

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (V.F.R.S.) was founded in 1886 and today serves the city of Vancouver, British Columbia providing both fire and extrication services. In 2007, the V.F.R.S. responded to over 43,000 emergency calls.[1]

History[edit]

The Vancouver Fire Department was established in 1886, and within sixteen days of its existence, the City of Vancouver burned to the ground.[2] By 1911, the department was one of the region's best and by 1917 it was completely motorized (no more horse drawn equipment).[2]

Since 1893, 48 Vancouver firefighters have died in the line of duty.[3]

Operations[edit]

Rank Structure[edit]

  • Chief and General Manager - John McKearney
  • Deputy Chief
  • Assistant Chief
  • Battalion Chief
  • Training Officer
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Firefighter
  • Probationary Firefighter (Rookie)

Fire Hall Locations and Apparatus[edit]

There are currently 20 Fire Halls located throughout the city of Vancouver, organized into 3 Battalions.

Fire Halls & Neighbourhoods Engines Ladders & Quints Medics & Rescues Battalion Chiefs & Specials Addresses Opening Dates
1 (Strathcona) Engine 1 Ladder 1 Medic 1 Battalion Chief 1, Car 73, Clothing Wagon, Pod Truck, Mechanic 1, Mechanic 2 900 Heatley Avenue 8/8/75
2 (Downtown Eastside) Engine 2 Quint 2 Medic 2 199 Main Street 8/8/75
3 (Mount Pleasant) Engine 3 Ladder 3 Rescue 3 2801 Quebec Street 1/27/01
4 (Fairview) Quint 4 Medic 4 Command 4 1475 West 10th Avenue 5/11/92
5 (Killarney) Engine 5 3090 Rosemont Drive 5/13/15
6 (West End) Engine 6 Quint 6 1001 Nicola Street 3/18/89
7 (Downtown) Engine 7 Ladder 7 Rescue 7 1090 Haro Street 12/5/74
8 (Yaletown) Engine 8 Medic 8 Wildlands 8 895 Hamilton Street 12/5/74
9 (Grandview-Woodland) Quint 9 Medic 9 1805 Victoria Drive 2/12/60
10 (UBC) Engine 10 Quint 10 Engine 26, Tower 10, Wildlands 10, Parade 2992 Wesbrook Mall 10/16/95
12 (Kitsilano) Quint 12 Medic 12 Hose Tender 2460 Balaclava Street 7/11/87
13 (Riley Park) Quint 13 Air & Light 13 4013 Prince Albert Street 4/4/03
14 (Hastings-Sunrise) Engine 14 Medic 14 Engine 29 2804 Venables Street 8/13/79
15 (Renfrew-Collingwood) Engine 15 Quint 15 Medic 15 Battalion Chief 2 3003 East 22nd Avenue 3/26/12
17 (Victoria-Fraserview) Engine 17 Ladder 17 Rescue 17 7070 Knight Street 6/3/55
18 (Shaughnessy) Engine 18 Quint 18 Battalion Chief 3, Hazmat 18, Hazmat Tender 18, Mask Repair 1375 West 38th Avenue 7/22/00
19 (West Point Grey) Quint 19 4396 West 12th Avenue 7/3/80
20 (Kensington-Cedar Cottage) Quint 20 Antique 5402 Victoria Drive 11/9/62
21 (Kerrisdale) Quint 21 5425 Carnarvon Street 6/7/85
22 (Marpole-Oakridge) Engine 22 Ladder 22 Wildlands 22, Hazmat Tender 22 1005 West 59th Avenue 6/18/82

Apparatus Specifications[edit]

Below is a complete list of all VFRS apparatus, their manufacturer and specifications, and date.

Engine Companies[edit]

Engine 1 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 2 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS) (ex Engine 5)

Engine 3 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 5 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS) (ex Engine 10)

Engine 6 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 7 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS) (ex Engine 22)

Engine 8 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 10 - 1994 Duplex D500SFD/Anderson (1500/300/40F) (ex Engine 5, ex Engine 1 & ex Engine 9)

Engine 14 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 15 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 17 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 18 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS)

Engine 22 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS) (ex Engine 7)

Engine 26 - 1994 Duplex D500SFD/Anderson (1500/300/40F) (ex Engine 3 & ex Engine 2)

Engine 28 - 1991 Duplex D500/Anderson (1500/300/24F) (ex Engine 7 & ex Engine 8)

Engine 29 - 1991 Duplex D500/Anderson (1500/300/24F) (ex Engine 12 & ex Engine 4)

Spare Engine - 1994 Duplex D500SFD/Anderson (1500/300/40F) (ex Engine 8 & ex Engine 6)

Spare CAFS Engine - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD/Smeal (1775/400/50A/CAFS) (ex Engine 12)

Ladder Companies[edit]

Ladder 1 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius MFD/Smeal (1775/250/35A/125' rearmount)

Ladder 3 - 1994 Simon Duplex/Anderson/LTI (1500/150/40F/110' rearmount)

Ladder 7 - 2007 Spartan Gladiator Sirius MFD/Smeal (1775/250/35A/125' rearmount)

Ladder 17 - 1996 Simon Duplex/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40F/105' rearmount) (ex Ladder 10)

Ladder 22 - 1994 Simon Duplex/Anderson/LTI (1500/150/40F/110' rearmount) (ex Ladder 18, ex Ladder 1 & ex Ladder 9)

Ladder 27 - 1991 Pierce Lance/Superior/Smeal (1500/300/105' rearmount) (ex Ladder 5 & ex Ladder 17)

Quint Companies[edit]

Quint 2 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD / Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount)

Quint 4 - 1998 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 3)

Quint 6 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 8)

Quint 9 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 14)

Quint 10 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 5, ex Quint 14 & ex Quint 1)

Quint 12 - 1998 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/25A/25B/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 20, ex Quint 17 & ex Quint 5)

Quint 13 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 6)

Quint 15 - 1998 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 14 & ex Quint 22)

Quint 18 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40F/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 12)

Quint 19 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount)

Quint 20 - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/25A/25B/75' rearmount)

Quint 21 - 1998 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/25A/25B/75' rearmount)

Spare Quint - 1998 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/25A/25B/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 13 & ex Quint 15)

Spare Quint - 1999 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Anderson/Smeal (1500/150/40A/75' rearmount) (ex Quint 4)

Rescue Units[edit]

Rescue 3 - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry (250/150/Heavy Jaws) cross staffed with Ladder 3 (ex Rescue 22)

Rescue 7 - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry (250/150/Heavy Jaws) cross staffed with Ladder 15 (ex Rescue 8 & ex Rescue 3)

Rescue 17 - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry (250/150/Heavy Jaws) cross staffed with Ladder 17 (ex Rescue 22, ex Rescue 3 & ex Rescue 9)

Spare Rescue - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry heavy rescue/medical response (250/150) (ex Rescue 12 & ex Rescue 21)

Medic Units[edit]

Medic 1 - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry heavy rescue/medical response crossed staffed with ladder 1 (250/150) (ex Rescue 2)

Medic 2 - 2012 Ford F250XL/Safetek Canopy Medic Pickup Truck crossed staffed with Quint 2

Medic 4 - 2010 Ford F150XL/Leer Canopy outfitted by Safetek

Medic 8 - 2010 Ford F150XL/Leer canopy outfitted by Safetek

Medic 9 - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry heavy rescue/medical response (250/150) (ex Rescue 9 & ex Rescue 17)

Medic 12 - 2012 Ford F250XL/Leer canopy outfitted by Safetek

Medic 14 - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry heavy rescue/medical response (250/150) (ex Medic 21, ex Medic 17, ex Rescue 4 & ex Rescue 8)

Medic 15 - 2012 Ford F250XL/Safetek Canopy Medic Pickup Truck crossed staffed with Ladder 15

Spare Medic - 1999 Freightliner FL50/Fort Garry (250/150) Tech Rescue unit (ex Medic 2)

Battalion Chief Units[edit]

Battalion 1 - 2012 Ford F250 XL/Leer Canopy Pickup Truck (Hall #1)

Battalion 2 - 2010 Ford F150 XL/Leer Canopy Pickup Truck (ex Medic 12) (Hall #15)

Battalion 3 - 2012 Ford F250 XL/Leer Canopy Pickup Truck (Hall #18)

Special Units[edit]

Command 4 - 2007 Spartan Diamond Sirius/SVI (ex Hazmat 3)

Antique - 1912 American Lafrance Type 10 hosewagon

Parade - 1942 Ford/LaFrance hosewagon

Tower 10 - 2001 Spartan Gladiator MFD/Smeal (1750/300/30A/30B/100’ rearmount tower) (ex Tower 7)

Wildlands 10 - 2007 Ford F550XL 4x4/Hub cross staffed with Tower 10 (ex Wildlands 19)

Hazmat 18 - 2007 Spartan Diamond Sirius/SVI (ex Hazmat 10)

Hazmat Tender 18 - 2009 Ford LCF45/ITB (ex Decon 10)

Hazmat Tender 22 - 2009 Ford LCF45/ITB (ex Hazmat Tender 10)

Wildlands 22 - 2002 Ford F550/Superior (CAFS/270/10A) cross staffed with Ladder 22 (ex Wildlands 17 & ex Wildlands 5)

Wildlands 8 - 2002 Ford F550/Superior (CAFS/270/10A)

Air & Light 13 - 2007 Spartan Diamond Sirius MFD/SVI (ex Air & Light 22)

Hose Tender - 1995 Freightliner FL106/Anderson

Mask Repair - 2012 Isuzu/NQR/ITB SCBA unit

Mechanic 1 - 2007 Ford E350/ITB FD Shops

Mechanic 2 - 1999 Ford F450XL/ITB

Clothing Wagon - 2000 Ford E350/ITB (ex Hazmat Tender 3)

Car 73 - 2012 Mercedes Sprinter 3500/2013 ProFire Fire Investigation Truck

Retired Apparatus[edit]

Wildlands 7 - 1999 GMC 2500 SL/Suburban/4x4 SUV (ex Battalion Chief 1)

Battalion Chief 2 - 1999 GMC 2500 SL/Suburban/4x4 SUV (Hall #20)

Battalion Chief 3 - 1999 GMC 2500 SL/Suburban/4x4 SUV (Hall #18)

High Angle 7 - 1997 International S4700/Anderson/Collins (Sold to New Westminster Fire and Rescue)

Wildlands 19 - 1996 GMC K3500/FD Shops brush tender (port/100)

Command 10 - 1992 Grumman/VFD Shops command (ex Command 9 & ex Command 4)

Ambulance 10 - 1991 Ford F350/Cayel Craft light rescue

Technical Rescue 10 - 1991 Chevrolet Van 30 Grumman/Olsen technical rescue

Hazmat 4 - 1991 International 4700/Supreme hazmat

Ladder 18 - 1991 Pierce Lance/Superior/Smeal quint (1500/175/40F/105' rearmount) (ex Ladder 12)

Engine 20 - 1989 Freightliner FLA6342/Hub pumper (1050/300/20F) (ex Engine 15)

Engine 15 - 1989 Freightliner FLA6342/Hub pumper (1050/300/20F)

Engine 5 - 1989 Freightliner FLA6342/Hub pumper (1050/300/20F) (ex Engine 17)

Engine 18 - 1989 Freightliner FLA6342/Hub pumper (1050/300/20F)

Engine 10 - 1988 Mack MR686P/Hub pumper (1250/500)

Engine 6 - 1987 Freightliner FLL6342/Anderson pumper (1500/300/25F) (ex Engine 3)

Engine 1 - 1987 Freightliner FLL6342/Anderson pumper (1500/300/20F)

Ladder 21 - 1983 Pemfab/Pierreville aerial (250/200/100' rearmount)

Engine 22 - 1981 International CO1950B/Pierreville pumper (1050/300/24F)

Engine 14 - 1980 International CO1950B/Pierreville pumper (1050/300/24F)

Engine 19 - 1979 International CO1950B/Pierreville pumper (1050/300/20F)

Ladder 12 - 1979 Scot C1FD/Pierreville quint (ex Ladder 18)

Fire Boats[edit]

Fireboat 2

VFRS has 3 aluminum fire boats, Fireboats 1, 3 and 5. They were designed by naval engineering firm Robert Allan Ltd. They are 3 of 4 shared boats by municipalities within the Port of Vancouver area. Port Moody operates Fireboat 4. North Vancouver City and District Fire Departments used to each have a boat until 2011 when they cut the service.[4]

Former fireboats:

Crest[edit]

VFRS uses a standard logo displayed on uniforms and vehicles:

  • Maltese cross
  • fire hydrant
  • EMS Star of Life
  • helmet,ladder, horn, hook and axe

Busiest Fire Halls

Fire Hall Location Number Of Calls Busiest Apparatus
Fire Hall 2 Downtown Eastside 550
Fire Hall 7 Downtown 320
Fire Hall 8 Yaletown 220

Busiest Engine: Engine 7 Busiest Quint: Quint 2 Busiest Ladder: Ladder 7 Busiest Rescue: Rescue 7 Busiest Medic: Medic 2 Busiest Wildland: Wildlands 22 Buisest Battalion Chief: BC 2 Busiest Support Apparatus: Air Light Support 13

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Emergency responses[edit]

1st alarm: (working fire, structure fire, report of smoke): Four pumping apparatus (any combo of engine, ladder, quint or tower, 1 Rescue or Medic and 1 Battalion Chief)

Working fire: One engine or Quint or Ladder, Air Light Support, Fire Investigator and 1 Battalion Chief

2nd alarm: 2 pumping apparatus (engine, quint, ladder or tower)

3rd Alarm: 2 pumping apparatus (engine, quint, ladder or tower)

4th Alarm: 2 pumping apparatus (engine, quint, ladder or tower) if required by IC, may only be call out if approved by Deputy Chief

5th Alarm: 2 Pumping apparatus Command Special Operations 4 and Deputy Chief

6th Alarm: 1 Pumping apparatus, Duty Chief

Rubbish Fire 1 Pumping apparatus

Grass Fire Smouldering 1 Pumping apparatus

Wildland Fire (January-May)(Noveember-December) 2 Pumping apparatus (1 alarm assignment for large incident)

Wildland Fire (June-October) 1 Pumping apparatus, 1 Wildlands truck (1 alarm assignment for large incident)

Marine Emergency (Vessel In Distress) 1st alarm assignment, Police marine unit, Royal Canadian Marine Search And Rescue (RCMSAR) Vessel, Coast Guard (CCG) Hovercraft and other civilian and Military Response Vessels and aircraft.

Marine Emergency (Vessel In Flames) 1st alarm assignment, 1 Fireboat, Police Marine Unit, Other Marine response agencies, (2nd Fireboat dispatched if needed).

Mutual Aid Up to 3 Pumping apparatus, up to 2 Medical or Rescue apparatus, special apparatus (Fireboat, Air Light 13)

Activated Alarm: (fire alarm):1 Engine and 1 Quint (2 Of same unit can also be dispatched)

MVI (Motor Vehicle Incident): 1 pumping apparatus

Medical Aids: 1 Engine, Quint or Ladder, Rescue, Medic or Wildlands

Assist (Public): 1 Pumping Apparatus

Assist (Police): 1 Pumping Apparatus or 1st alarm assignment (eg. unknown package, unknown powder, or grow op)

Report OF Odour: 1 Pumping apparatus

Report OF Odour Unknown: 1 Pumping apparatus

Report OF Odour Gas Leak: 1st alarm assignment

Hazmat Level 1: 1 Engine or Quint or Ladder or Tower

Hazmat Level 2: 2 pumping apparatus - also could include hazmat team response

Hazmat Level 3: Additional agencies and Fire Chiefs notified


Neighborhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) Neighborhood Emergency Assistance Team (Neat) is a group of trained civilians, who are apart of the Vancouver volunteer corps, their job is to assist the VFRS in the event of a man made or natural disaster. The NEAT members are trained in the use of fire extinguishers, earthquake proof fire hydrants, basic fire hose operations, basic first aid and triage, basic search and rescue operations, the use of emergency cutters and other pieces of power equipment.

Public Safety Unit (PSU) The public safety unit (PSU) is a unit within the Vancouver Police Department that is responsible for dealing with large crowds, that patrol units cant handle. The PSU is responsible for looking over all protests, marches and rallies within the Vancouver jurisdiction and is responsible for keeping order and peace during these situations, the unit is equipped to respond to all types of violence and disorder, the VFRS was added to the PSU after the Stanley Cup Riots of 2011, in which firefighters could not respond to fires and other emergencies due to the violent crowds, VFRS members on the team are equipped with riot control gear and have the same training as the VPD members, the designated VFRS members on each tactical troop are armed quick fire suppression bottles, which can be used to put out small fires that are in the way of the tactical line, the bottles can also be used to douse Molotov cocktails. The designated members can also attack a large fire such as a car fire by pulling lines of a fire apparatus while wearing their riot control gear which is fireproof, these firefighters also have small first aid kits on them which can be used for injuries, their are BC Ambulance Paramedics that are apart of the PSU and they have access to large pieces medical equipment.


Major incidents and disasters[edit]

Great Vancouver Fire: On June 13, 1886, workers were burning brush to make way for development when high winds picked up the flames and started burning out of control. Vancouver Volunteer Hosewagon Company No. 1, comprising a dozen volunteers, grabbed buckets and axes and tried to put the flames out; the city had purchased a fire engine which had not yet arrived; most of the city burned down in 45 minutes.

BC Forest Products: On July 3, 1960, a fire broke out at the BC Forest Products Mill near Oak St and W 6th Ave resulting in the VFRS's first five-alarm fire. 350 firefighters battled the flames for hours on the hot day but before the fire could be extinguished, most of the mill burnt down.

Stanley Cup Riot: On June 15, 2011, the Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanley cup finals to the Boston Bruins which result in a violent riot. VFRS Fire Halls 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 were kept busy that night dealing with a large number of burning vehicles and arson, medical aids, complaints, and vandalism to nearby stores. One firefighter was also injured when he was assaulted by a rioter who demanded treatment for pepper spray used by Police. 1 year after the riot VFRS members were added to VPD's Public Safety Unit (crowd control unit as mentioned above.)

Port Metro Vancouver Fire: On March 4, 2015, a security guard on patrol at the Port of Vancouver noticed smoke coming from a shipping container. He immediately notified E-comm 911 that activated a report of smoke call. Battalion 1 was put in charge of the scene and upon arrival, declared the incident as a structure fire for thick white smoke could be seen emerging from the container. A working alarm assignment was declared immediately followed by a 2nd alarm which included response from Hazmat 18, Vancouver Police, and BC Ambulance services. They responded to it as every other fire, however Hazmat 18 identified the burning content as trichloroisocyanuric acid, a dangerous chemical. Command immediately declared the event as a 3rd alarm at which additional Police units were called in to evacuate the zone. Warnings were issued to people living in the vicinity to stay at home and lock their doors and windows to prevent gas from entering. At around 3 pm, 4th alarm was declared and Command 4 was dispatched to the scene along with assistant chiefs. Other fires halls not at the scene were soon given orders to fill in at the fire halls that were present. Command 4 requested fireboats and 3 and 5 attend the scene. Fire boats worked at extinguishing the scene, fire-fighters attacked the flames from the aerial ladders on the Quints, and crews remained on scene for several days trying to put out hot spots.

Training Facility: VF&RS training grounds also known as the Chess Street training grounds is the training facility for the VFRS. The site has a burn building and several classrooms. There is also a base for the CAN-1 HUSAR (Canadian Heavy Urban Search And Rescue Team)-the only HUSAR team in Canada that can be deployed anywhere in the world. The training facility also hosts the Department's youth academy outreach program, a 1 week firefighting academy for high school students through grades 10 to 12. BC first responders level 3 and the first aid course required by firefighters is also taught there too.

See also[edit]

  • E-Comm, 9-1-1 call and dispatch centre for Southwestern BC

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services | City of Vancouver. Vancouver.ca. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  2. ^ a b "History of Vancouver - Vancouver Fire and Rescue: Early Days". Vancouverhistory.ca. 2004. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  3. ^ "In The Line Of Duty". IAFF 18. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]