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