More than many major cities in America, Atlanta is closely associated with the devastation of fire. History buffs are very familiar with the Burning of Atlanta in 1864 near the end of the Civil War.
Pre-Civil War fire protection began in 1848 when the City Council ordered residents to have fire buckets in their homes. The all-volunteer Atlanta Fire Company Number 1 was formed in 1851. Fire Protection and prevention was stepped up beginning in 1852 when dedicated firefighting water sources known as fire cisterns were placed at strategic downtown locations. About thirty years later the first paid fire fighters went into service in Atlanta.
Today over 1000 fire and safety services professionals are stationed at the city’s thirty five fire stations. Atlanta’s firefighting pros also assist residents outside of Atlanta when necessary. They do their job with the most modern fire protection and emergency response equipment available. Initial entry training is challenging and thorough and ongoing training is part of the job.
Atlanta is protected by the well-trained fire and safety services professionals of The City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. As the department’s name implies the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department includes Emergency Medical Services specialists. Fire and EMS professionals are also ready to spring into action during severe weather events. These brave men and women are trained and equipped to handle a wide range of other emergencies including hazardous materials, chemical spills and special situations at the city’s bustling Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The likelihood of major fires is reduced by building codes requiring sprinkler systems in public and private buildings. Smoke detectors are available to all residents at no charge. Atlanta’s fire and safety services professionals are active in schools and throughout the community conducting classes, organizing fire drills and public awareness events on a regular basis.
Private fire safety companies play an important role too. These watchdogs work closely with small and large businesses, hospitals, industrial concerns, warehouses, museums and historic landmarks. Like the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department fire safety companies are staffed by well trained professionals to insure compliance with building and fire protection codes. Fire safety companies monitor thousands of fire extinguishers across the city and keep businesses equipped with up to date equipment. They also provide fire protection training and take other measures to reduce risks.
The media is involved too. Public service announcements are broadcast on TV and Radio. The FCC requires broadcasters to include periodic emergency action alerts in their programming.
We’ve come a long way since the days of bucket brigades. When all is said and done it is up to everyone to play their part to prevent fires. Make certain you know what to do to prevent fires, minimize damage and most importantly, save lives!