Rescue Company Operations

Rescue2_mSometimes Rescue Companies are called Heavy or Light Rescues. In the City of Boston, we have two Heavy Rescues: Rescue #1 & Rescue #2. The city is divided into two divisions and each Rescue covers a division. They can work independent of each other or together if needed. Each Rescue Company works as a team. There is an officer in charge, but he or she draws on everyone’s experience. There are no experts: some know a lot about one thing while others know a little about a lot of things. The Rescue Companies are always training on some new tool or a new way to do an evolution.

The Boston Fire Department is always being called on to handle not only fires, but all the accidents and mistakes that other people cause. So in the course of the day, a rescue company can be found:

  • running a hose line at a fire

  • setting up ladders at a fire

  • rescuing fire victims

  • overhauling the fireground

  • on the roof of a skyscraper

  • in a tunnel

  • under a car or train

  • in the harbor

  • 300 feet down a shaft and 9 miles out under the harbor.

  • basically anywhere

Rescue Company Operations

When reporting to a fire, a Rescue Company can be used as an Engine Company to run a hose line or a Ladder Company to overhaul. Many times they are sent in to do a secondary search for victims. Other times they are called to use their tools to cut open doors or walls to gain access to a building. As with all fire department personnel, their primary objectives are:

  • Rescuing victims

  • Protecting exposures

  • Confining the fire

  • Extinguishing the fire

  • Overhauling the fireground

Now all BFD personnel are being trained in all aspects of the skills needed to combat the many varied situations that the fire service is faced with each day. These situations encompass medical emergencies, hazardous material incidents, terrorism, technical rescues and many other complications of the modern day city. The BFD can draw on the training of other fire companies to complement the Rescue Companies. This enables a well coordinated team effort at an incident.