The North Providence Fire Department has organized roots back to 1896, with the first company (Hose 1) established in the Lymansville district.  As with many mill towns, the stations were built near the mills and manned by volunteers who worked there.  Fire companies were established in the villages of Lymansville, Geneva, Centredale, Fruit Hill and Marieville.  Since their livelihood was at stake each time fire broke out, they had a personal stake in the success of their firefighting abilities.  Over the years their duties expanded to include first aid with oxygen on the ladder company (1949) to basic ambulance transportation in 1947, to Advanced Cardiac Life Support in 1984, to Paramedic service in the 1990s.
        The town hired the first full-time men in 1971, supplemented by a call/volunteer system on nights, weekends and holidays.  North Providence was unique in that the stations were manned by 4 platoons of call firefighters on rotating shifts, so that the response was immediate around the clock; most towns have volunteer forces respond from home or man the stations at their discretion.  However, as the town grew busier and call firefighters left or were hired full-time by neighboring towns, the need for a full-time career force could no longer be ignored.  In 1989 the mayor appointed 60 firefighters from the call system to the full-time force, providing more reliable protection from the same experienced men and women who had made this their avocation.

        Today the North Providence Fire Dept. averages over 7,00 calls per year, with about 4,000 rescue runs and the remainder fire calls. It is a small but well-trained force that mans 3 engines, 1 aerial ladder (with Jaws of Life, airbags, etc.), a Squad unit, 2 advanced life support rescues and a boat from three fire stations.  A Battalion Chief is assigned to each shift, responds on all box alarms and multi-engine stills, and normally is Command for fireground operations.  The department protects 5.5 square miles populated by 32,000 people, including residential and heavy industrial areas.  They are exceptionally well-trained and are a model for all of the area departments.  Several of the members have been instructors in the Rhode Island Fire Academy since its founding.
        Apparatus manning is set at a minimum of 20 firefighters per shift, including the BC.  Typically that means 3 firefighters for the engines and ladder, 2 EMTs for the rescues and 2 FFs for the squad.  Shift rotations are 2 consecutive days 0800-1800, then 2 consecutive nights 1800-0800, then 4 days off.



North Providence Fire Dept  .  1951 Mineral Spring Ave  .  North Providence, RI  02911  .  401.231.8505

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