DENVER FIRE DEPARTMENT TODAY
The Operations Division provides fire, rescue and Hazmat service for Denver as well as the cities of Sheridan, Skyline and Glendale.
There are six geographic response districts, as well as a separate division serving Denver International Airport, which is located about 25 miles east of the city limits.
Each district is commanded by an on-duty assistant chief. There are approximately 180 personnel on duty per 24-hour shift (3-platoon system; A Shift, B Shift, and C Shift).
The assistant chiefs (radio call sign Chief + District Number, i.e. "Chief 2" for District 2) oversee operation of several fire stations and serve as incident commanders.
The fire departments serving Sheridan, Skyline and Glendale were merged into the Denver Fire Department. The Sheridan and Glendale stations remain operational.
[*] Denotes Special Operations Station
Station 1 - Headquarters*
745 W. Colfax Ave.
Station 2 - Parkfield
8300 Memphis St.
Station 3 - Five Points
2500 Washington St.
Engine 4 - Lower Downtown
1890 Lawrence St.
Station 5 - City of Glendale
999 South Clermont
Station 6 - Auraria *
1300 Blake St.
Station 7 - Highland Park
2195 West 38th St.
Station 8 - Capitol Hill
1616 Park Ave.
Station 9 - Globeville *
4400 Brighton Boulevard
Station 10 - Park Hill
3200 Steele St.
Station 11 - Second and Broadway *
40 West Second Ave.
Station 12 - Highlands
2675 Federal Blvd.
Station 13 - Hampden
3683 Yosemite St.
Station 14 - Montclair
1426 Oneida St.
Station 15 - Congress Park
1375 Harrison St.
Station 16 - University Park
1601 South Ogden St.
Station 17 - Northwest
4500 Tennyson St.
Station 18 - Lowry
Station 19 - Ivy and Alameda
300 South Ivy St.
Station 20 - Barnum
501 Knox Ct.
Station 21 - Washington Park
1500 Virginia Ave.
Station 22 - Hampden
3530 South Monaco Parkway
Station 23 - Westwood
850 South Federal Blvd.
Station 24 - University Hills
2695 South Colorado Blvd.
Station 25 - Harvey Park
2695 South Raleigh St.
Station 26 - Stapleton*
7934 Martin Luther King
Station 27 - Montebello
12927 East Albrook Dr.
Station 28 - Fort Logan
4306 South Wolff St.
Station 29 - Green Valley Ranch
4800 Himalaya Way
Station 30 - Southwest
4898 South Dudley St.
Station 31 - Denver International Airport
Station 32 - DIA
Station 33 - DIA (ARFF3)
Station 34 - DIA (ARFF 4)
No Current Station 35
Station 36 - City of Sheridan
4101 South Federal Blvd.
ENGINES, TRUCKS & TOWERS: Engine companies are charged with fire suppression, water supply and provide primary EMS response. Truck companies and tower companies carry aerial ladders and ground ladders, and perform search and rescue, victim rescue, forcible entry and salvage and overhaul. The vehicles are typically staffed by an officer, a driver and two firefighters. The vehicle color scheme is white and gold.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS: The heavy rescue company (Rescue 1) and hazardous materials response team (Hamer 1) provide the nucleus of the fire department's special operations branch, which also includes the collapse and high angle response team and the underwater rescue team. The vehicle color scheme for Rescue 1, Hamer 1 and the technical rescue unit is also white and gold. The color scheme for the water rescue unit is blue.
Fire Stations 1, 3, 4, 6 & 11
Fire Stations 13, 16, 21, 22 & 24
Fire Stations 5, 8, 10, 15 & 19
Fire Stations 2, 14, 26, 27 & 29
Fire Stations 7, 9, 12, 17 & 20
Fire Stations 23, 25, 28, 30 & 36
Fire Stations 31, 32, 33 & 34
Denver firefighters serve as fire dispatchers at the combined Denver 911 communications center. The staff consists of an assistant chief, a captain, 4 lieutenants, and 16 technicians. The assistant chief and captain work a 40-hour week; lieutenants and technicians work rotating 12-hour shifts (A, B, C and D). The combined communications center - fire, police and EMS - opened in the 1990s. Radio operations are conducted over an 800-megahertz system. Station alerts (via "Voc-Alarm" system) are simulcast on 154.070 megahertz.
Medical Response: 1 Engine or 1 Truck
Auto Accident: 1 Engine, 1 Truck
Auto Accident with Extrication: 1 Engine, 1 Truck, 1 Rescue, 1 District Chief
Alarm Bells: 1 Engine, 1 Truck, 1 District Chief
Structure Fire: 3 Engines, 2 or 3 Trucks, Rescue, Hamer, 2 District Chiefs
Natural Gas Leak: 1 Engine, 1 Truck, Hamer, 1 District Chief
Elevator Rescue : 1 Engine, 1 Truck, 1 District Chief
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The fire department has a tradition of welcoming visiting groups to fire stations over the "Voc-Alarm" - as time permits. It's not unusual to hear "shout-outs" to a school or scout troop between fire calls and medical runs: "The Denver Fire Department would like to welcome teachers and students to Station 15. Enjoy your visit!"]
The Denver Fire Department provides "first responder" service for the Denver Paramedics Division on potentially life-threatening calls, i.e. cardiac, respiratory, trauma, burn injuries. Firefighters are certified to the EMT Basic Life Support level.
In this so-called tiered response system, the nearest engine or truck responds with an ambulance from the Paramedics Division, the city's primary EMS provider, which is managed by the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. A Code 10 respose includes fire department assistance. A Code 9 response sends EMS personnel only.
EMS dispatch has used "dynamic ambulance posting" to cover the city. The flexible strategy positions ambulances at different locations based on anticipated call volume, i.e. near major highways at rush hour, in an affort to reduce response times.
At peak times, there are 26 Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances available.
Each ambulance crew (two medics) works a 10-hour shift, and the shifts are staggered to provide 24-hour coverage. Patrol vans transport "public inebriates" to a detoxification center. At the airport, medics operate as "solo-response" units.
EMS dispatch has used "dynamic ambulance posting" to cover the city. The strategy positions ambulances at different locations based on anticipated call volume, i.e. near major highways at rush hour.
Fire crews also respond to non-emergency medicals calls such as assisting disable patients who have fallen and are unable to get on their feet or into bed or a wheelchair.
Denver Fire Dept. Terminology
Based in part on Recruit Manual
A-CAR: Arson investigation vehicle. Radio call sign: "Arson", i.e. Arson 7.
AIR LIGHT: Mobile air cascade and flood light unit. Assigned to Fire Station No. 8.
ALARM: Notification to respond to an emergency; may be by fire alarm box, telephone, in person, by radio, or other means.
APPARATUS: Any fire department vehicle having a shop number, and equipped with firefighting equipment.
BIG HAMMER: Watch your language, guests are in quarters.
BIG LINE: 2½ inch hose line or greater.
BIG STICK: Aerial ladder.
CHAIN OF COMMAND: Unbroken line of authority extending from the fire chief through a single subordinate at each level of command, down to the level of execution and return.
CHIEF OF THE DEPARTMENT: The chief executive officer of the department, with full authority and responsibility for management of all department activities.
CLASS 1, CLASS 2 and DFD BOX: Classification of automatic fire alarm systems. Class 1, commercial; Class 2, residential; DFD Box, institutional, i.e. school building.
CODE 9: Medical response requiring ambulance only; non-emergency response. (Can be upgraded to Code 10)
CODE 10: Medical response requiring Denver Paramedics and Denver Fire Department; emergency response. (Can be downgraded to Code 9)
COMMAND OFFICER: Officer of the Classified Service holding the rank of Chief of the Fire Department, Deputy Chief, Division Chief, Assistant Chief, Captain, Master Mechanic, Superintendent of Fire Alarm, Assistant Superintendent of Fire Alarm, and Assistant Master Mechanic.
COMPANY OFFICER: An officer assigned by the Department Chief to command a company unit on a shift or platoon.
DECON UNIT: Responds with Hamer 1 on full hazardous materials assignments. Assigned to Fire Station No. 9 and cross-staffed by 9's personnel.
DISTRICT: One of six geographical sections of the city in which a number of fire stations are located under the jurisdiction of a District Chief.
DISTRICT CHIEF: An officer with the rank of Assistant Chief assigned by the Chief of the Department to command a shift or platoon within a district.
DROP: Meaning to assign to a call, i.e. "We will drop you on the call," the fire dispatcher said
EVOLUTION: A specific action used to standardize firefighting and rescue methods.
GREATER ALARM: A two, three, or four alarm fire, or other major emergency to which additional companies are requested and dispatched to aid in the prompt control of the emergency.
GROUP: Structural fire assignment, i.e. three engine companies, three truck companies, two district chiefs, Rescue 1, Hamer 1. Similar to "box assignment" in other U.S. cities.
HAMER 1: This is the abbreviation the Denver Fire Department uses for its hazardous materials response unit. Pronounced "Hammer." Radio call sign: "Hammer 1." Most other cities use the term "Hazmat." Assigned to Fire Station No. 6 in Auroria. Responds citywide on Hazmat incidents and structure fires. Also answers downtown EMS calls.
HAMER 3: Dump truck available for use on hazardous materials assignments.
HOLD ORDER: Fire companies requested to remain in quarters for assignments.
MUD: Stop, Wait
NIGHT WATCH: Common term still used but, no longer recognized. The watch was between 2000 - 0730 hours. The watch person would sleep near the Watch Desk and would be responsible for Alarms and phone calls. The position of night watch is no longer utilized but, the responsibility of monitoring the radio’s can take effect if the vocal alarm is down.
OFFICER: Any member promoted to rank of Lieutenant, or higher position of authority, in the classified service of the Fire Department. However, officers are still members of the Fire Department, but are classified as officers to differentiate their duties and responsibilities where practical.
OVERHAUL: The cleaning up period after a fire has been controlled, ensuring extinguishment of all spot fires.
PAIR: Engine company and ladder company assigned to same firehouse.
PICK UP: Return to quarters.
PLATOON: The total firefighting personnel on duty during a working period; also referred to as a shift.
QUARTERS: Any fire station or building where members are assigned for duty.
RED: Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) equipment assigned to Denver International Airport.
RED CHIEF: District chief at Denver International Airport.
RESCUE 1: Heavy rescue. Responds citywide on extrication jobs, technical rescues and structure fires. Assigned to Station No. 11.
RIT: Rapid Intervention Team.
SHIFT: The scheduled working period, the total firefighting personnel on duty during that period; also referred to as a Platoon.
SQUAD: Disbanded emergency and manpower unit that operated citywide. Retired vehicle on display at fire museum. Somewhat equivalent to current Rescue 1 and/or Hamer 1 in some duties performed.
STICK: Aerial ladder.
SUPPORT DIVISIONS: Those divisions other than Operations Division responsible for day to day operations of the Fire Department, such as Fire Prevention, Technical Services, Administration, Safety and Training.
SUPPRESSION FORCES: Those members assigned to fire companies in fire districts and the airport .
TACTICAL ATTACK COMPANY: Disbanded. Unit organized in 1980s consisting of two-person mini-pumper and four-person tower ladder.
TOUR OF DUTY: The shift during which an individual member is on duty.
UNIT: The group to which a firefighter is assigned, or the assigned number issued to all department vehicles.
VOCAL ALARM: Fire station alerting system. Simulcast on old VHF dispatch frequency of 154.070 Megahertz.
WATCH: The period of time a company member is assigned to perform the specialized duties at the Watch Desk in fire stations. This duty should not be construed to include "watch duty with restrictions," assigned to members outside their normal work schedule.
WILCO: Will comply.
Office of Fire Chief
Office of Deputy Fire Chief
Division 1 - Operations
Division 2 - Fire Prevention
Division 3 - Technical Services
Division 4 - Administration
Division 5 - Safety and Training
Division 6 - Denver International Airport