New York City Fire Department

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New York City Fire Department
New York City Coat of Arms New York City Office
Coat of arms of the FDNY
Coat of arms of the FDNY
Employee: 17,228 (2019)
Professional fire brigade
Founding year: 1865
Locations: 214

The New York City Fire Department (or Fire Department City of New York , the common abbreviation is FDNY ) is for the city New York competent professional fire .

The duties of the New York professional fire department include all areas of non-police security. These include fire-fighting , rescue services , technical assistance , rescue from heights and depths , water rescue , preventive fire protection and the defense against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear dangers . The FDNY is also responsible for investigating the cause of the fire in New York. In the event of disasters or major incidents, the fire brigade has its own top management, as do the police and other authorities such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey . New York City Emergency Management , the city's disaster and civil protection agency, coordinates the authorities and emergency services .

The New York Fire Brigade ensures the safety of over 8.5 million people in their area of ​​responsibility, which is just under 834 km². The diverse development structure in the five city ​​districts ranges from high-rise buildings and skyscrapers to old building quarters to suburban-like residential areas, from large commercial areas to a seaport and two airports. Traffic routes such as the tunnel systems under the city, expressways and several large bridges are just as dangerous as the Atlantic coast , rivers, canals, large parks and forested areas.

The FDNY has about 430 active emergency vehicles ( fire trucks , aerial rescue vehicles , rescue vehicles , guide and support vehicles ), many hundreds of ambulances and several dozen reserve vehicles. This makes the FDNY the second largest urban fire service in the world.



At the top of the FDNY who stands Fire Commissioner . In Germany, that would be a deputy mayor or an alderman for the fire service . This civilian line officer is appointed by the Mayor (Lord Mayor) . He is supported by Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners , who are also civil servants and manage individual administrative areas (e.g. human resources, finance, research and development, procurement, facility management).

The highest fire officer is the Chief of Department .

Under New York Mayor Bill de Blasio , the following were appointed:

  • as Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro (since June 9, 2014)
  • as Chief of Department John Sudnik (since February 27, 2019)
  • as Chief of Fire Operations Thomas J. Richardson (since February 27, 2019)
  • as Chief of EMS Operations Lillian A. Bonsignore (since May 7, 2019)

Staff level

The five New York boroughs

In the operational-tactical area, around a dozen Assistant Chiefs ( four-star chiefs) and deputy assistant chiefs (three-star chiefs) are responsible for the areas of training, fire brigade and emergency rescue services under the Chief of Fire Operations and his deputy , as well as for preventive fire protection, special tasks, counter-terrorism, communication or the training academy. From the ranks of the four-star chiefs and the chief of fire operations , an operations leader is appointed from the fourth alarm onwards . The Borough Commands provide the highest level of organization in daily use service. For each of the five boroughs (boroughs) of New York, there is a Borough Command . During the day, the Borough Commanders take over operations management in their own boroughs when a third party alarm is given .

From the three-star chiefs and the borough commanders, the role of the Citywide Tour Commander (translatable as shift supervisor for the entire city ), who is available around the clock for missions in all boroughs, is provided on a rotating basis .

Divisions and Battalions

The Borough Commands are divided into nine divisions : two each for Manhattan , Brooklyn , Queens and Bronx , and one for Staten Island together with part of Brooklyn . Each division is headed by a Division Commander and three Division Chiefs , each with the rank of Deputy Chief , both in operational and organizational roles. The responsible Deputy Chief is alerted as the chief of operations for operations from the keyword 10-75 .

Vehicle Battalion Chief 1 in Manhattan

A division is subordinate to between four and seven battalions . Analogous to the division, each battalion is led by a battalion commander and three battalion chiefs , all with the rank of battalion chief . A battalion chief moves out for every operation that requires more than one or two companies to process. A confirmed fire report , keyword 10-75 , is sent with two battalion chiefs. Larger deployments require additional battalion chiefs, depending on the extent, who take on standardized deployment sections in accordance with the US Incident Command System .


There are four to eight companies in each battalion . The Company is the base unit of the New York Fire Department. It consists of a regular Captain ( Engl. , Literally, captain), three other officers (lieutenants) and 25 firefighters (Firefighters) . The members of a company occupy a primary vehicle and possibly a special vehicle in shift work. The exact occupation varies depending on the vehicle type and special tasks of the company , but usually consists of an officer and four to five firefighters (short: 1/4 or 1/5).

Fire stations

Ladder 21 (with the inscription: " The pride of Hell's Kitchen ") is a 75-foot tower ladder

In New York City there are a total of 218 fire stations ( English : firehouse ) and a few other bases of the FDNY .

The most common combination is the Engine Company and the Ladder Company . However, there are also guards on which only one engine company or one ladder company is stationed. There is only one combination of two engine companies and one ladder company (Engine 264, Engine 328, Ladder 134 in Queens). In addition, there are any "second vehicles" from the companies . In addition to the companies , vehicles of the battalion or division are often stationed on a guard.

Units of the Special Operations Command are usually housed in their own guards. The exception here is Rescue Company 5 , which shares a guard with Engine Company 160 , among others . One of the SOC's main bases is on Randalls Island and another on Roosevelt Island .

Distribution of the individual units according to borough
Engine Ladder Battalion division Squad Rescue
Manhattan 41 32 12 2 1 1
Brooklyn 61 39 16 2 2 1
Bronx 30th 27 9 2 2 1
Queens 48 33 9 2 2 1
Staten Island 17th 12 3 1 1 1
total 197 143 49 9 8th 5

The emergency medical service

The establishment of the Emergency Medical Service (German, literally: medical emergency service, EMS for short ) in New York City is the largest public non-profit partnership in the rescue service in the world. In other states there are different organizational models of the EMS.

As a rule, around 4,000 incoming emergency calls are processed every day, and around 5,000 emergency calls at peak times in midsummer. Although EMS is incorporated into the New York Fire Department, approximately a third of all ambulance operations within the system continue to be handled by private companies for both private commercial and not-for-profit hospitals . Some hospitals have been offering ambulance services since the middle / end of the 19th century. As of 2020, the fire brigade is operating around 470 ambulances every day, around 300 on the early shift.

A distinction is made between three different levels of use:

  • So-called Certified First Responder (for example: certified first aiders). These fire brigade units are supposed to provide first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation . The CFR test is compulsory for the FDNY fire fighters , as CFR units are used in major incidents and with breathing apparatus even in fires in high-rise buildings or tunnels.
  • BLS units ( Basic Life Support ) are vehicles manned by two EMTs (comparable to German paramedics ) that provide first aid, defibrillation and limited medical care.
  • ALS units ( Advanced Life Support ) are vehicles with two more highly qualified paramedics (equivalent to German paramedics or emergency paramedics ) who are authorized to use medication in precisely defined emergencies.

All of these types of operations and vehicles are distributed in an overlapping local area of ​​responsibility in such a way that the next FDNY unit is able to react to life-threatening situations until further help from Paramedics (EMT-P) arrives.

The EMS employees of the FDNY are not firefighters, but civilian employees who wear uniform. The New York EMS was originally operated by the city's Health & Hospitals Corporation and was independent until its integration into the FDNY in 1996. Due to the differences in pay and the organizational culture of the two services, this integration led to great displeasure, especially among the employees of the rescue service. This resentment led to demonstrations by the rescue service personnel in 2006 to improve working conditions.

On average, around 4,000 rescue services are deployed every day. During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States , an all-time high of 6,527 emergency calls in 24 hours was processed on March 30, 2020. On April 6, 366 cardiac arrests were recorded, while the usual number of such emergencies is around 60 per day. Over a contract period of initially 30 days, a total of 350 additional ambulances and ambulances were used in New York via the National Ambulance System of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from March 29 , of which 207 were assigned to the FDNY and the remainder for relocation trips coordinated by the New York York City Emergency Management were used.

Vehicle types

fire Department

The 218 fire stations ( English : firehouse ) of the FDNY are manned by companies in different combinations .

  • Engine Company: Engine companies represent the most common unit type of the FDNY (198 companies in total ). Engines are roughly comparable to German fire trucks , but they have almost no equipment for technical assistance. The two main areas of activity of the engine companies are fire fighting and first responder operations . Engines are predominantly 1/4 manned (one officer, four men).
The FDNY has four different vehicle types, all of which are referred to as "Ladders" in the generic term :
  1. 100-foot rearmount aerial: turntable ladder without basket (approx. 30 m ladder length)
  2. 100-foot tillered aerial: turntable ladder without basket (approx. 30 m ladder length), mounted on a semi-trailer with a steerable rear axle - these are much more manoeuvrable than the other aerial rescue vehicles of the FDNY and can cope better with the narrow streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn
  3. 95-foot tower ladder: telescopic mast with basket (approx. 28 m length)
  4. 75-foot tower ladder: telescopic mast with basket (approx. 22 m length)
  • Squad Company: The eight squads of the New York Fire Department report to the Special Operations Command . The vehicles look very similar to the engines , but have a smaller water tank and carry less hose material. Instead, like the ladders , they are loaded with material for technical assistance. In addition to fire fighting and technical assistance , the tasks of the Squad Companies include, above all, small and medium-sized dangerous goods deployments . A second vehicle is kept available for this, which is loaded with appropriate special material and only moves out when necessary. The squads can be used universally and often represent a kind of "trump card" for the chief of operations in larger deployments. As a rule, a squad company moves out every time a fire report is confirmed (building fire) . Squads are always 1/5 occupied.
  • Rescue Company: Like the Squads , the five Rescue Companies (one per borough ) report to the Special Operations Command . Originally, these units were created to search for firefighters missing in a fire and to rescue them from the danger area. Over the years, the Rescue Companies have developed into highly specialized units for technical assistance and dangerous goods operations as well as rescue at heights and water . The Rescues themselves are often jokingly referred to as "toolboxes on wheels" refers to ( Engl. , About: "toolboxes on wheels" ) and with the German in about Rüstwagen comparable, but a lot bigger and walked inside. Due to their high training standards, the rescue companies in the FDNY are considered to be the elite and posts there are very popular. Rescues are always 1/5 occupied.

In addition, many companies perform secondary special tasks. For example, some companies are assigned special support tasks when deploying dangerous goods (supporting the Hazmat Company , replenishing chemical protective suits or decontamination ), for which the respective company manned a second vehicle on which the corresponding material is loaded. Other special tasks include fighting forest and land fires , foam inserts , transporting special equipment for use in high-rise buildings and skyscrapers , supplying fire-fighting water and, in winter, thawing hydrants.

Ambulance service

Since the parking strategy is operated in Manhattan instead of ambulance guards, the ambulances are often ready at intersections and squares or in the clinics and wait for the next deployment. The Paramedic Response Units (PRU), which do not transport patients , have been in test operation in the Bronx since 2016 . Officers use their Conditions Car as a command vehicle .

During large-scale operations, the Major Emergency Response Vehicles (MERV) and Medical Evacuation Transportation Units (METU), comparable to large-capacity ambulances and ambulances, can be used to treat and care for numerous patients at the scene of the operation. The Mobile Respiratory Treatment Unit (MRTU) makes it possible to diagnose and treat smoke gas intoxication and other impairments of lung function, even of fire brigade members after respiratory protection deployments, at the scene of action.

Special Operations Command

The Special Operations Command (SOC) ( engl. , As: "department for special tasks" ) are various specialized units and vehicles of FDNY assigned. In addition to the squads , rescues and the Hazmat Company , these include:

  • Recuperation and Care Units (RAC): These "units for recovery and care" carry beverages, hygiene articles and material for setting up a recovery and decontamination zone for fire fighters. In order to improve occupational safety and health care, they have had expanded tasks in implementing the black and white principle at deployment sites since 2018 . In addition, they have been given more staff and are positioned more easily accessible close to the incident. The newly created position of Rehab Manager derives the use keyword "second alarm" the insert portion Rehab .
Marine 1 of the Marine Division - Fireboat Three-Forty-Three
  • Marine Companies: The Marine Companies are the FDNY's "harbor fire services" . Three of these units ( Marine 1, 6 and 9 ) are in service all year round and occupy three large fire boats and a few smaller boats. In the summer, three other marine companies are manned, which are only equipped with small and agile boats. The floating units are led by the Marine Battalion .
  • Command units for special situations: This category includes the Rescue Operations Battalion (roughly a platoon leader for technical assistance ), the Hazmat Battalion ( platoon leader for the deployment of dangerous goods ) and the Safety Battalion ( platoon leader for safety and occupational safety ). You will be alerted in everyday life in special situations (e.g. Hazmat Battalion in the case of large-scale use of dangerous goods, Rescue Battalion in traffic accidents with trapped people, Safety Battalion in building fires from the operational keyword "Second alarm") or at the request of the operations manager on site.
  • Command Tactical Unit (CTU): The command documentation unit operates cameras and drones for site documentation. She can transmit her pictures to the Field Comm Unit and give the management staff in the control center a picture of the situation by telecommunication. This unit was created after the experience of September 11, 2001 and is part of the special unit for robotics .

Other special units

The special vehicles that are not subject to the SOC also include other permanently manned units:

  • Mask Service Units (MSU): " Mask service units " - such as equipment cart respiratory protection , for transport, but not for refilling breathing air cylinders.
  • Field Communications Unit (Field Comm): Command support unit - used for larger operations, e.g. B. building fires, to coordinate the radio communication with the control center.

In addition, a whole range of vehicles will be manned by the engine companies and ladder companies if required. These include:

  • High-Rise Units: "high-rise units" - equipment trolleys that transport special equipment for fighting fires in high-rise buildings.
Collapse Rescue 1
  • Collapse Rescue Units: These vehicles are loaded with material, including firewood , for technical assistance in the event of building collapses , construction accidents, etc.
  • Satellite: The Satellite Units are a combination of a hose trolley and a mobile monitor . The satellites have neither a water tank nor a pump and are therefore supplied with water by at least one engine company . For this reason, the satellites are always stationed with engine companies . With their large supply of large-diameter hoses (five inches, or 12.7 cm), they are primarily used to supply water using a large manifold . With the monitor you can dispense large amounts of water or fire-extinguishing foam , e.g. B. in industrial fires. The name comes from the "Super Pumper System", which was based on a large pump driven by a marine diesel engine on a semi-trailer and was in service from 1965 to 1982.
  • Mobile Command Center (MCC) and Incident Management Team Planning Vehicle (IMV): The "mobile command center" is used to manage operations during long-term major incidents and major events, such as the New York City Marathon or meetings of the UN General Assembly. The " operational planning vehicle" serves as a meeting room in comparable locations and brings maps and access options to geographic information systems .



Fire Patrol Guard # 1 in Midtown
  • In 1731 the city of New York bought the first fire trucks
  • From 1803 to 1839 the fire insurer "Fire Patrol" operated one of the predecessor organizations in Manhattan
  • In 1809 the first fireboat was put into service
  • 1861 first turntable ladder for the unit (Company) "Lafayette Hook and Ladder 6"
  • In 1898 the boroughs of Brooklyn , Queens, and Staten Island became part of New York
  • In 1907 there was the first motor-driven fire engine
  • In 1922 the last horse syringes were in use in Brooklyn
  • Radio traffic was introduced in 1937
  • 1975 Introduction of the Paramedic System
  • 1976 first operations control computer
  • 1996 Merger with the rescue service NYC✱EMS
  • 2001 the operation on September 11th in the World Trade Center marked the greatest turning point in history
  • 2009 Help for an aircraft that crashed on the Hudson
  • 2012 Cyclone missions during Hurricane Sandy

Development of the number of stakes

A fire lane on 6th Avenue

1990, there were (without medical assistance) 243,855 inserts ( "incidents"), of which about 147,000 malicious false alarms ( malicious false alarm ).

The following missions were carried out in 2018:

  • 0027,053 fires in buildings
  • 0013,730 outdoor fires
  • 0256,560 emergencies without fire
  • 0300,598 medical rescue missions
  • 0021,437 malicious false positives
  • 1,862,159 ambulance services

In 2018, of the total of 40,783 extinguishing operations, 1,797 (= 4.4%) were classified as "all hands" operations ("every hand is needed" = use of at least four units) or in even higher alarm levels.

Up to 2009, 1,137 men and women in the fire brigade lost their lives on duty in 144 years of service.

Significant historical missions

In 1911, the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Manhattan triggered an amendment to the law introducing fire and occupational health and safety regulations and against child labor .

In 1966 ten fire fighters died when a cellar ceiling collapsed. An art store's storeroom under the Wonder Drugs store on 23rd Street, Manhattan, burned.

In 1978 the roof structure of a Waldbaum's supermarket in Brooklyn collapsed in the early stages of the fire fighting. Six fire fighters died. The potential risk of column-free roof structures then received more attention.

See also: List of Fire Service Accidents in the United States of America

The FDNY on September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001, the fire brigade lost 343 employees. Most of them died after the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manhattan in and on the towers when they collapsed. In the following years, according to the fire service union, over 170 employees died of illnesses caused by the consequences of the attacks. Around one in eight firefighters deployed there fell ill with cancer.

Objectives and conditions of use

After the explosion of flight AA 11, the fire brigade wanted to evacuate the north tower, rescue the employees working there and possibly extinguish the fire. Relatively soon, the goal of rescuing and evacuating the workers was withdrawn, because elevators for transporting fire-fighting teams to the transfer floors and higher were not available.

Partial collapse of the building was expected from the aftermath of the explosion of flight UA 175 in the south tower at the latest. Other workers and means of transport for the injured were alerted and brought in. The evacuation order to the fire brigade units in the north tower only partially led to the rescue work there being aborted.

In the course of the rescue work after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, firefighter calls in an additional ten personnel (September 15)

After the two towers collapsed, the mission was to rescue those buried, later also to rescue the dead, including the colleagues who were missing there. Due to the collapse, other buildings within a radius of 500 m were in some cases massively endangered. The command infrastructure of the FDNY was immediately afterwards largely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

Subsequently, among other things, the operational guidelines had to be checked and in some cases changed. The joint report by the fire service management and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co was a basis for this. Not all of the demands made there were implemented (as of August 2006).

Worldwide solidarity

Grief, solidarity and help came from all over the world. A 250 strong German fire brigade delegation also conveyed their sadness at the death of the many helpers on November 18, 2001 in New York at the world's largest funeral march. At the subsequent memorial service in Madison Square Garden, US President George W. Bush , Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and New York Fire Department Chief Thomas von Essen spoke . In New York, the donations were given to the “Help for Helpers” campaign, which is intended to support the relatives of the perished rescuers. The President of the German Fire Brigade Association (DFV) Gerald Schäuble personally conveyed the sympathy of the German fire brigades with a check for three quarters of a million DM raised by fire brigades , private individuals, companies and charity events.


On June 10, 2006 , a memorial of the FDNY was inaugurated on the outer wall of the Liberty Street fire station, the "10 House", in which the Engine Company 10 and Ladder Company 10 are stationed, exactly opposite the former WTC complex. On it are the names of all 343 fire department dead.

Almost all fire stations in Manhattan lost men on September 11th. The hardest hit was the guard at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 at 48th Street and Eighth Avenue . She lost 15 men. Even today it is again a special unit for high-rise fires and is considered to be the guard with the highest density of operations in NYC.

Alerting system and operational sequence

The professional fire department in New York City is responsible for all fire fighting , technical assistance and dangerous goods operations. In addition, the rescue service is coordinated by the FDNY and to a large extent also driven by the FDNY . The emergency call system in New York is very similar to the German alarm system .

Emergency calls can be made to the fire brigade in various ways:

A radio transmission system of the FDNY. Here in Woodhaven, Queens
  • The most common type is the telephone alarm, i.e. an alarm over the public telephone network. If you dial the emergency number in New York (uniform telephone number 911 ), you do not reach the FDNY directly , but a general emergency call center, which is manned by the New York police ( “city-wide 911 answering point” ). The local dispatchers (so-called "Unified Call Takers" - Engl. , About: unified dispatchers ) dealing with emergency calls and provide the data on a central information system ( "Starfire" ) to the competent authorities on ( police , port authority or even the FDNY ). If it is a medical emergency, the data to be rescue coordination center ( "Emergency Medical Service Communication Center" ) forwarded. For other emergencies, the responsibility of the FDNY fall, the appropriate fire service control center is the Boroughs ( "Fire Department Communications Office" agreed). However, a caller is only actually connected to the borough control center in exceptional cases (e.g. person trapped in a fire asking for instructions). Direct emergency calls to the borough control centers are still possible, but the corresponding number of the control center must be dialed.
Fire water feed devices at Rockefeller Center
  • The second most common method is automatic and manual fire alarms . This includes call pillars, the “Box Alarm Readout System” (BARS) with purely electro-mechanical functionality and the “Emergency Reporting System” (ERS) , where you can talk to the relevant control center, as well as automatic fire alarm systems . Due to the poor traceability of the users at the call columns, the abuse rate is very high here, but the system can be used independently of any other communication networks. After Hurricane Sandy, the call column system was no longer repaired in some parts of the city.
  • The third possibility is the so-called "verbal alarm" ( eng. ; As: oral alarm ), wherein an emergency is reported directly to a fire station or to a unit in use.

Communication centers

Each of the New York borough control centers is manned by different dispatchers at the same time :

  • Alarm Receipt Dispatchers (ARD): The "emergency call dispatchers" process all verbally incoming emergency calls (public telephone, call column , telephone of a fire station, etc.), enter the data into a central information system ( "Starfire" ) and forward them to the decision Dispatcher continues.
  • Decision Dispatchers (DD): The "decision dispatchers process all emergency calls. The data entered into the Starfire system by the ARDs , automatic fire alarm systems and the BARS emergency telephones are" processed "by computers (location of the emergency, Art the emergency and proposed for alerting units) and the DDs sighted. then the required units by the Decision Dispatcher alarmed. This is initially only electronically, ie the alerted guards a Alarmfax is sent. Ready to use units that are precisely not at the police station receive a message on their mobile data terminal . The entire process from receiving the emergency call to passing it on to the guard or the respective unit takes an average of 25 to 30 seconds. In addition, the DD must ensure that a nationwide supply of operational resources in the borough , which often requires companies to be temporarily employed to move other guards (so-called. "relocations" ).
  • Voice Alarm Dispatcher (VAD): These dispatchers take over the alarming of the individual guards in the event of a failure of the alarm fax system. Furthermore, they are responsible for general announcements to the guards in the borough (e.g. major fires, severe weather warnings, general daily instructions, etc.). Communication with other authorities ( police , port authority , housing authority , traffic authority , etc.) is also part of their area of ​​responsibility.
  • Radio-Out Dispatcher and Radio-In Dispatcher: The Radio-Out Dispatcher is responsible for radio communication with the individual units, while the Radio-In Dispatcher enters information from the incoming radio messages into the computer system and also archives the individual missions.
  • Tour Supervisors: The shift supervisors are responsible for general coordination in the individual control centers. In addition to the five tour supervisors , at least one borough supervisor is always on duty in one of the five borough control centers from six in the morning to midnight.

Mobile data terminals

Each vehicle of the FDNY has a Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) ( Engl. , About: "mobile data terminal" ). As soon as a unit is alerted, it receives all important information (location and type of operation, other alerted units, special features at the operation site, etc.) on its MDT . In addition, similar to the German radio reporting system , a unit can transmit status messages to the control center via the MDT (e.g. "assignment taken over", "arrival at the deployment location", "ready for action" etc.). All of this leads to a relief of the radio traffic - which is also urgently necessary due to the high number of operations in New York. Many small and trivial missions, for example, are processed almost entirely without radio communication. Important information (especially from the CIDS ) can also be printed out directly in the vehicle.

Box number

Every address in New York City is assigned a box number . These four-digit numbers are "leftovers" from the time when the electro-mechanical call boxes ("boxes") were still the main route of alerting the fire brigade. Manhattan and Bronx share a set of boxing numbers, while the other three boroughs each have their own; H. Box 1234 can be in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island, so the borough is always specified (eg "Brooklyn Box 1234" - this would be the intersection of Carlton Avenue and Bergen Street ). The box numbers are still in use with the FDNY as they simplify communication in radio traffic. This four-digit number is sufficient to clearly classify a deployment location in a borough and the complete address does not always have to be used. The exact address is only given at the beginning of a mission via radio and transmitted to the MDTs of the vehicles used.

Critical Information Dispatch System (deployment knowledge base)

The Critical Information Dispatch System (CIDS for short) provides important information for the deployment site. This is all known information that could be of importance for fire fighting , for example , and is generally collected during the building permit process and fire safety inspections. These are among others:

  • exact location, type of development (residential building, office, warehouse etc.)
  • Information about the hoses and (water) connections installed in the building
  • Number of floors and apartments per floor
  • Possible risks at the place of use, type and condition of the risers .

The dispatcher calls up this information from the deployment database and transmits it to the MDTs of the vehicles while they are on the way to the deployment site. In addition, this information is always read out by the dispatcher in the event of a fire, otherwise it is also read out over the radio on request .

Ten codes

The so-called Ten codes serve as a further means of relieving the radio traffic . The name comes from the fact that the actual code is always preceded by a 10 . Ten codes are used, among other things, to report status, describe operational situations and request additional units.

Examples of ten codes:

  • 10-04: "understood"
  • 10-05: "please repeat"
  • 10-08: "ready for use"
  • 10-18: "All units except an engine company and a ladder company can cancel their operations"
  • 10-26: "burnt food"
  • 10-36: "traffic accident"
  • 10-41: "Suspected arson"
  • 10-60: "Major damage situation"
  • 10-66: "Fire brigade missing - further forces required"
  • 10-75: "confirmed major damaging fire"
  • 10-80: "Use of dangerous goods"
  • 10-84: "arrived at the scene "
  • 10-92: "malicious false alarm "

Alert levels

Empire State Building, skyscrapers, skyscrapers

As with any fire brigade, different numbers of different units are alerted for different deployment scenarios. This ranges from an engine company in the event of a rubbish bin fire to the 5th alarm , for which more than fifty vehicles are deployed. The following is an "example fire" as it is represented by the FDNY itself :

  • 1st alarm: When a building fire is reported, two engines , two ladders and a battalion chief usually move out first .
  • 10-75 / All Hands: As soon as the unit arriving first finds a major damaging fire, it reports "10-75" , whereupon two more engines , another battalion chief , a squad company , a rescue company and another ladder move out. The additional ladder company functions as the so-called FAST-Truck ( "Firefighter Assist and Search Team" - English ; for example: "Team for the support and search of firefighters" ) and is only there to rescue fire fighters who have had an accident from the danger area. Announces the squad leader "All Hands working" ( Engl. , As: "all hands in use" ), one is additionally RAC Unit and Division Chief alarmed.
  • 2nd alarm and greater: If the available forces are still not sufficient, the head of operations can raise the alarm level. With every further alarm, four engines and two ladders are alerted. In addition, other Battalion Chiefs and various special units are deployed (e.g. for 2nd Alarm : Satellite , Field Communications Unit , Tactical Support Unit , Safety Battalion , Rescue Operations Battalion , Command Tactical Unit , Photo Unit and two other Battalion Chiefs ).
  • Special Call: If the head of operations needs additional forces but does not want to trigger the next full alarm, he can also request individual units from the control center .

In addition to the "normal" alarm levels, there are also some "special alarm levels" for special situations:

  • 10-76 / 10-77: These alarm levels, specially tailored to fires in high-rise buildings, are very similar to the 10-75 and are also on the same level (ie the 2nd alarm follows ). They are triggered by fires in buildings seven or more stories high. A 10-77 is given for residential buildings , while a 10-76 is used for commercial or mixed-use buildings. In a 10-76 , six engines , five ladders , five battalion chiefs , a division chief , a rescue company , a squad company , the field communications unit , a high-rise unit , the mask service unit , a tactical support unit , safety drive Battalion , Rescue Operations Battalion , a RAC unit and a press officer. In the case of a 10-77 the force is somewhat smaller, since the fire protection equipment is better in residential buildings and a fire is therefore usually initially limited to a smaller room.
  • 10-60: The 10-60 is an extended 2nd alarm and is triggered in the event of major incidents. In addition to the normal units of the 2nd alarm , further special units are alerted at the 10-60 (e.g .: Collapse Rescue Unit , Mobile Command Center , an additional squad company , additional ladder companies, etc.).
  • 10-86 / 10-87: These alarm keywords are used for foam inserts . Several engine companies with additional foam vehicles ( foam carriers ) and a satellite , as well as two additional battalion chiefs, drive to the deployment site.

See also


  • James S. Griffiths: Fire Department of New York - an Operational Reference . Eighth Edition: July, 2009. Comprehensive reference work on the organization, equipment and procedures of the FDNY.
  • Michael Boucher, Gary Urbanowicz, Frederick Melahn Jr .: The Last Alarm. History of deaths in the fire service from 1799 to 8/28/2006. 1,303 names are explained. (engl.)
  • Rudolph W. Giuliani: Brotherhood . Illustrated book. Main Street Press, USA. 2004. 240 pages, ISBN 0-916103-94-3 . With prefaces by Fire Commissioner Von Essen, Frank McCourt. English.
  • David Halberstam: Firehouse . Hyperion Books, USA. 2002. 201 pages, ISBN 1-4013-0005-7 . English
  • Richard Picciotto (with Daniel Paisner): Under use of my life , Malik / Piper, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-89029-232-1 (Original title: Last Man Down: A Firefighter's Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center . Berkley publishing house Publishing Group. 2002, ISBN 0-425-18677-6 . 272 ​​pages.)
  • George Pickett, Hugh Downs, John T. Colby Jr .: The Brave: A Story of New York City's Firefighters . Brick Tower Press, USA, 2002, ISBN 1-883283-37-X (About the 1970s)
  • Chris Ganci: Chief: The Life Of Peter J. Ganci , A New York City Firefighter . Orchard Publisher, USA. 2003. 40 pages, ISBN 0-439-44386-5 (English. Was the FD Chief on September 11, 2001. Biography written by his daughter. With photos.)

Web links

Commons : New York City Fire Department  - Album containing pictures, videos, and audio files

In memory:

Further pages:

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marc Pitzke: Disaster control in New York: Waiting for the apocalypse. In: Spiegel Online from January 24, 2007
  2. ^ A b Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro Appoints John Sudnik as Chief of Department and Thomas J. Richardson Chief of Fire Operations. In: February 27, 2019, accessed on July 17, 2019 .
  3. ^ Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro Appoints Lillian Bonsignore Chief of EMS. May 6, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 .
  4. ^ Tour Commander. In: Archived from the original on August 15, 2020 ; accessed on August 15, 2020 (English).
  5. a b COVID-19. In: Archived from the original ; accessed on August 15, 2020 (English).
  6. a b AMR ambulances deployed to NYC. In: Archived from the original on August 15, 2020 ; accessed on August 15, 2020 (English).
  7. a b On the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Pandemic with Paramedic Kimberley Laychock. In: FDNY Pro Podcast. May 22, 2020, accessed August 15, 2020 (American English).
  9. Citywide Performance Indicators. In: Fire Department, City of New York. Retrieved February 6, 2019 .
  10. 23rd Street Fire. In: New York History History. November 24, 2010, accessed April 3, 2020 .
  11. John Jonas: Waldbaum's: 40 Years Later. In: August 1, 2018, accessed April 3, 2020 .
  12. ^ Roland Hughes: Obituary: The 9/11 rescuers who died a day apart (en-GB) . In: BBC News , March 25, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018. 
  13. McKinsey and Co., report on the operation on Sept. 11, 2001 ( Memento from June 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF files from 2002, American.)
  14. ^ McKinsey Company Report. In: City of New York, accessed April 23, 2020 .
  15. Donation handover at the world's largest funeral march . In: fire protection - Deutsche Feuerwehrzeitung 1/2002 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2002, p. 2-5 . ISSN 0006-9094 . ZDB ID 240087-x .  
  16. A Hands-On Tribute to the Pain and Valor of 9/11 in: The New York Times from June 11, 2006. In German: A reminder of the pain of September 11, 2001 to touch