City of Houston Fire Department

City of Houston Fire Department This is not the offical Fire Department page. See Houston Fire Department. This page exists for information only and is not officially sanctioned by, sponsored by, or connected to the Houston Fire Department.

Posts are not responded to. HFD is the fourth largest municipal fire department in the United States and is responsible for preserving life and property to a population of more than 2 million in an area totaling 617 square miles. HFD is known for being a traditional, aggressive interior firefighting organization. It currently holds a class 1 ISO rating. Houston is also a leader in fire-based emergency medical services, starting this role in 1971. All firefighters hired since 1982 have been required to be EMT or Paramedic certified and maintain their certification through the rank of Sr. Captain. Ambulances and Paramedic units are cross staffed with Firefighters and Engineer/Operators who rotate onto fire apparatus (amount and type of rotation varies by unit and station). Fire apparatus function as EMS first responders. Dispatch protocols are constantly evaluated and frequently revised to best serve the population. Houston generally uses tiered, all-hazard responses. Personnel work a 46.7 hour/week schedule. Department has 4 shifts (A,B,C,D) which work 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 5 days off (8 day cycle). Personnel work 10 extra (debit) shifts per year. Ranks are: Firefighter, Engineer/Operator, Captain, Senior Captain, District Chief, Deputy Chief. Assistant Fire Chief and Executive Assistant Fire Chief are administrative positions, which are all appointed by the current Fire Chief from the ranks of Captain or above. All heavy apparatus have mandatory 4 man minimum staffing (officer, E/O, 2 Firefighters). Ambulances, Medics and Squads have an E/O and Firefighter. Medics and Squads have mandatory 2 paramedic staffing. District Chiefs have an Engineer/Operator assigned to them (Incident Command Technician). Unlike all other positions which are posted and assigned to the member with the most seniority requesting it, the District Chief fills the ICT position with any E/O he wants who agrees to take the position. . Fire Dispatch is staffed by classified (sworn) personnel who promote from the ranks of Firefighter and Engineer/Operator to Communications Captain. This officer rank is not transferable outside of the Office of Emergency Communications. They currently work a 24 hour schedule (same as field personnel but no debit days). City fire code inspections and Fire Marshall duties are done by a separate division staffed by classified personnel who promote from the rank of Engineer/Operator to Inspector. They work a 40 hour week schedule. Arson investigation is done by a separate division staffed by classified personnel who promote from the rank of Engineer/Operator to Arson Investigator. They are certified Peace Officers. Personnel are available 24 hours a day to respond to suspicious fires. Mechanics formerly were classified personnel, but are now civilian. Apparatus have changed much over the years. Currently:
-Pumpers and Ladders were mostly been Ferrara from 2005 to 2013. Since 2013 pumpers have mostly been Spartan and ladders have been Sparten, Ferrara and a few Pierce. Reserve units units are Ferraras and E-0nes. Pumpers are generally 1500 GPM single stage pump with a 500 gallon tank. The newest ones are 2000GPM because the department began switching from 4 inch supply line to 5 inch in 2013. All are red with white upper cab and white safety stripe. Starting in 2013, new engines will no longer have the white upper cab. Lettering includes the station's neighborhood name above the grille and many have individual station logos on the rear door. Interestingly, "Houston Fire Department" is not included anywhere on the outside lettering, only on the logo on the door. And even there, it is "Houston Fire EMS Rescue".
- Most Ladder trucks do not have water pumps. The Department currently has 5 trucks which are Towers (elevated platform) and no Tilller trucks. Colors and lettering are the same as pumpers, except with "Houston Ladder #_" on a placard on the ladder. Ladders 96 and 101 are quints (have a fire pump) due to the separation of Willowbrook and Kingwood from the rest of the city.
-Ambulances and Medics are all Frazers, mostly on Chevrolet chassis. Type 1 (pickup type cab). Some older and reserve units are on Ford chassis. All Chevrolet's are gasoline, while all Fords are diesel. The department has always used gasoline ambulances until the Fords were bought in 2004-6. They returned to gasoline after that experiment, due to the Ford diesels constantly needing repairs. Until 2013, all ambulances were white with red safety stripe. Older units have simple block lettering on the box and HFD badge on the door. Newer units have more complex design with EKG QRS's on the box and flaming HFD script under the badge on the door. Starting in 2013, all new Ambulances and Medics were red with white stripe. Lettering and logos will be the same, except there will be the newly mandated NFPA safety chevrons on the rear.
-District Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs and Safety Officers use red Chevrolet Suburbans. Reserve units are white Ford Excursions.
-Paramedic Squads use either Chevrolet Suburbans or Chevrolet QuadCab chassis with an 8 compartment utility body. All are red. Older reserve units are white Ford Excursions.
-EMS Supervisors use red Chevrolet Suburbans, similar to Chief units.
-Assistant Chiefs most recently use red police package Chevrolet Tahoe's, with older units being police package Ford Crown Victoria's.
-The Fire Chief drives a red police package Chevrolet Tahoe. Here's a nice summary of Houston and the HFD taken from Facets Consulting's 2016 report Response Time and Staffing Analysis Model for the Houston Fire Department. Full report is available at

The Houston Fire Department is a full service
fire department providing fire suppression,
basic and advanced life support emergency
medical transport service, hazardous materials
response, technical rescue, and aircraft rescue
fire fighting to the more than 2.2 million
residents and visitors to the City of Houston. The Houston Fire Department employs 3,810
uniformed members, 151 trainees, and 113
civilians (2014). Firefighters are assigned to
93 fire stations housing 88 engines, 38 ladders
or towers, 58 basic life support ambulances,
34 advanced life support units, and other
apparatus. The Department’s budget exceeds
$500 million. Fire department administration is divided into
four (4) divisions. The Executive Assistant
Chief of the Emergency Response Division
is responsible for the delivery of all fire
department emergency services to residents
and visitors to the City of Houston. Operations,
Emergency Medical Services, and professional
development all fall under this Chief’s
responsibility. The City is divided geographically into four
(4) quadrants. Two (2) Deputy Chiefs per shift
are responsible for the two (2) north and the
two (2) south quadrants respectively. Ten
(10) District Chiefs in the northern quadrants
and the Safety District Chief all report to the
North Deputy. The eleven (11) District Chiefs
in the south report to the South Deputy. There
are a total of 24 District Chiefs on-duty at a
time including an EMS District Chief and a
Safety District Chief. Each District Chief is
responsible for an average of four (4) stations
and approximately 40 personnel. Founded in 1836 along Buffalo Bayou and
named for Texas hero Sam Houston, Houston
has grown from a village to the largest city
in the South and the fourth most populous
city in the United States. Its 2014 estimated
population was 2,239,558 and it covers an area
of 656.3 square miles, of which land comprises
634 and water 22.3 square miles. Houston is
mostly located on the gulf coastal plain. Its
climate is classified as humid subtropical,
typical of the lower South. With an elevation of
43 feet above sea level, the city is low-lying and
subject to flooding. Houston is the county seat
of Harris County and the largest jurisdiction in
the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Consolidated
Metropolitan Statistical Area. Demographically, Houston is quite diverse. More than ninety languages are spoken in the
city. Just over a quarter of the city’s population
(25.6 percent) identifies as white; 23.1 percent
is Black/African American; 5.9 percent is
Asian. Forty-three point eight (43.8) percent
of Houston’s residents identify as Hispanic
or Latino. Houston has one of the youngest
populations in the U.S. The City of Houston has a strong mayoral form
of government. Elected officials are the mayor,
the city comptroller, and the 16 members of the
Houston City Council. The Council consists of
eleven (11) members elected from districts and
five (5) at large. The Mayor acts as the City’s
Chief Executive Officer and is responsible
for ensuring that all laws and ordinances
are enforced. The comptroller is responsible
for certifying available funds before they are
committed and disbursed. All city elections
are nonpartisan. The Mayor, council members,
and the comptroller are eligible to serve two (2)
four-year terms. Houston has a large and diverse economy;
twenty-three (23) Fortune 500 companies
are headquartered in the city. It is known
worldwide for its energy industry, particularly
for oil and natural gas. The Port of Houston
is the largest in the U.S. for volume of
international exports and is the tenth largest
port in the world. Petroleum products,
chemicals, and oil and gas extraction
equipment accounted for approximately twothirds of exports in 2014. The Texas Medical
Center, comprised of 49 non-profit institutions,
is the largest research and medical treatment
center in the world. More than 52,000 people
are employed in its facilities, and they see 4.8
million people each year.

Operating as usual

For you apparatus buffs out there, here is a link to an article I wrote. It's on a non-firefighting website, so written ...
Fireside Classic: 1965 Mack Superpumper – Big Water From The Napier Deltic Diesel

For you apparatus buffs out there, here is a link to an article I wrote. It's on a non-firefighting website, so written for the layman but might still be of interest to some of y'all..

In New York City, when major fires happen in the huge, tall buildings, fighting them is anything but easy. Fighting the big fires in the Big Apple takes big water […]


A consulting firm did an analysis of HFD which was released this last week. It is quite interesting for anybody who likes reading about how a fire department functions. It is called a Response Time and Staffing Analysis, but this report actually summarizes and evaluates almost every aspect of the department.


Ladder 59 (former) 1997 E-One
Replaced this week with a brand new truck, Ladder 59 had been the oldest front line ladder truck in the city. But only 40,000 (hard) miles. This generation of ladder had a low profile cab, so the roof is much lower. This necessitated the engine being mounted behind the front axle, which also made the front of the cab very spacious. The tradeoff is that the engine compartment takes up most of the rear of the cab. Any firefighter who has worked on one can tell you how much fun it is getting geared up on the move in the narrow space provided.


Ladder 26 2015 Ferrara
This truck was just put in service this week. It's one of an order of three, including Ladders 59 and 84. It has a 107 foot steel ladder and is a traditional truck (no onboard water pump). These do not have an independent front suspension, unlike the recent pumpers.


Ambulance 25. This is the same unit that was posted here 9/8/13, shown just before being put in service. This is what a little over a year of hard living in HFD looks like!


Rescue 10 2014 Crimson Spartan. One of three heavy rescues, 10's covers the west and southwest sides of town.


Tower 69 2014 Crimson Spartan. Put in service September 2014. One of 5 elevated platforms in the city, but currently the only one in the new color scheme. Other Towers are located at stations 6,18,21 and 64


600 Jefferson St., 7th Floor
Houston, TX

General information

93 Fire Stations 88 Engines 38 Trucks (Ladders/Towers) 2 Haz-Mat Units 3 Heavy Rescues 16 Airport Rescue Units 35 Medics (ALS ambulances) 11 Squads (ALS non-transport units) 58 BLS Ambulances 9 EMS Supervisors 11 Boosters (cross-staffed brush trucks) 22 District Chiefs 2 Shift Commanders (Deputy Chiefs) 3 Safety Officer Units 3 Cascade (breathing air) trucks 10 Evacuation Boats 5 Rescue Boats As of March 2016, HFD employs 4,035 classified members (including probationary firefighters), 159 trainees and 133 civilian (non-classified) members. FY11 budget for the Houston Fire Department was $441,082,046. FY12 Annual Operating Budget $419,308,509 FY12 Capital Improvement Equipment Acquisition Budget: $3,984,990.00 FY12 Capital Improvement Construction Budget: $5,137,000.00 FY15 Annual Operating Budget $506,743,351.00


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Good afternoon. I just wanted to share the links to Guardians Global Company. This seems to be a great resource for first responders. Stay safe and God bless!
James Gonzales badge #120318 is the biggest AS***LE fire dept. first responser EVER!
shame on the fire marshal for parking in a handicap parking with a city vehicle without handicap parking license nor tag in the car. &