DENVER FIRE DEPARTMENT TODAY

 

Operations Division 

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.

 

Fire Stations

[*] Denotes Special Operations Station

Station 1 - Headquarters*

745 W. Colfax Ave. 

  • Engine 1
  • Tower 1
  • District Chief 2
  • Collapse Rescue
  • Water Rescue   

Station 2 - Parkfield

8300 Memphis St.

  • Tower 2
  • District Chief 5

Station 3 - Five Points

2500 Washington St.

  • Engine 3

Engine 4 - Lower Downtown

1890 Lawrence St.

  • Tower 4

Station 5 - City of Glendale

999 South Clermont 

  • Engine 5 

Station 6 - Auraria *

1300 Blake St.

  • Engine 6
  • Hamer 1 (Hazmat Unit)

Station 7 - Highland Park

2195 West 38th St.

  • Engine 7

Station 8 - Capitol Hill

1616 Park Ave.

  • Engine 8
  • Truck 8
  • Air Light
     

Station 9 - Globeville *

4400 Brighton Boulevard

  • Engine 9
  • Tower 9
  • Decon Unit

Station 10 - Park Hill

3200 Steele St.

  • Engine 10

Station 11 - Second and Broadway *

40 West Second Ave.

  • Engine 11
  • Rescue 1

Station 12 - Highlands

2675 Federal Blvd.

  • Engine 12
  • Truck 12
  • District Chief 6

Station 13 - Hampden

3683 Yosemite St.

  • Engine 13

Station 14 - Montclair

1426 Oneida St.

  • Engine 14
  • Engine 18 (pending opening of new Station No. 18)

Station 15 - Congress Park

1375 Harrison St.

  • Engine 15
  • Truck 15
  • District Chief 4  

Station 16 - University Park

1601 South Ogden St.

  • Engine 16
  • Truck 16
  • District Chief 3 

Station 17 - Northwest

4500 Tennyson St.

  • Engine 17

Station 18 - Lowry

Under construction

Station 19 - Ivy and Alameda

300 South Ivy St.

  • Engine 19
  • Truck 19

Station 20 - Barnum

501 Knox Ct.

  • Engine 20 

Station 21 - Washington Park

1500 Virginia Ave.

  • Engine 21 

Station 22 - Hampden

3530 South Monaco Parkway

  • Engine 22
  • Tower 22

Station 23 - Westwood

850 South Federal Blvd.

  • Engine 23
  • Truck 23
  • District Chief 7

Station 24 - University Hills

2695 South Colorado Blvd.

  • Engine 24

Station 25 - Harvey Park

2695 South Raleigh St.

  • Engine 25

Station 26 - Stapleton*

7934 Martin Luther King

  • Engine 26
  • Truck 26
  • Hamer 3 (Hazmat support)

Station 27 - Montebello

12927 East Albrook Dr.

  • Engine 27
  • Tower 27

Station 28 - Fort Logan

4306 South Wolff St.

  • Engine 28
  • Tower 28

Station 29 - Green Valley Ranch

4800 Himalaya Way

  • Engine 29

Station 30 - Southwest

4898 South Dudley St.

  • Engine 30

Station 31 - Denver International Airport

  • Truck 31/Mini 31 (Two-piece company)
  • ARFF Equipmen

Station 32 - DIA

  • Engine 32/Mini 32 (Two-piece company)
  • Airport Chief (Call sign "Red Chief")

Station 33 - DIA (ARFF3)

  • ARFF Equipment  

Station 34 -  DIA (ARFF 4)

  • ARFF Equipment

No Current Station 35

Station 36 - City of Sheridan

4101 South Federal Blvd.

  • Engine 36

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.

 

Response Districts

District 2

Fire Stations 1, 3, 4, 6 & 11 

District 3

Fire Stations 13, 16, 21, 22 & 24

District 4

Fire Stations 5, 8, 10, 15 & 19

District 5

Fire Stations 2, 14, 26, 27 & 29

District 6

Fire Stations 7, 9, 12, 17 & 20

District 7

Fire Stations 23, 25, 28, 30 & 36

Airport

Fire Stations 31, 32, 33 & 34

 

Radio

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.

Typical assignments:

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!"]

 

Medical

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.

BUS: Ambulance.

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. 

"LT": Lieutenant.
 

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.

 

Command Staff

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

 

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