The administration of the department is responsible for identifying and managing the resources necessary to achieve the mission of the department. This includes fiscal management, personnel administration, policy development, and planning. Currently, there are six (6) personnel assigned to the Administration division, the Fire Chief, Executive Assistant, and four (4) Battalion Chiefs who are also responsible for the Operations Division as well as other concurrent support service duties.
Londonderry has three fire stations that cover forty-four (43) square miles, which are geographically located for appropriate response times. Each station houses a “first-run”engine company, ambulance, and a forestry unit. The main fire station (Central) additionally houses a rescue truck, an ambulance, a command car, and an aerial platform truck. These vehicles are unique to certain tasks depending on the type of emergency, and are housed in a centralized location.
The Operations Division is responsible for the response and mitigation to all emergencies. This is the service that will most likely have a direct effect on you and your family’s well-being and the quality of life in Londonderry. The Operations Division is the single most important resource to effect the mission of the department. Inclusive of the geographical size of Londonderry’s forty-four (43) square miles, are 15 miles of interstate highway, 30 miles of state highway, a major Regional Airport, which serves 3.6 million passengers and 185 million pounds of cargo annually, Public Utilities, and the Armed Forces Reserve Center which houses 800 military personnel. Although Londonderry is primarily a residential community, other very significant types of businesses or infrastructure have a substantial impact on emergency services.
It is usually underestimated what impact an effective service can have on it’s residents, businesses, transient population, and the overall quality of life in Londonderry. This includes the protection of 2.2 billion dollars in property, a population of approximately 24,000, an estimated school population of 5,600 children, and a transient population of approximately 10,000 people (business owners and employees, interstate travel, tourism, airport travel, etc.). It should also be noted that 61,800 cars per day use I 93 at exit four (4)
The Fire Department is a very labor-intensive service, which requires highly skilled and trained personnel. The diverse nature of our job requires Firefighters to perform life-saving techniques and various mitigation applications in many areas from medical emergencies to hazardous material incidents.
The department has forty-two (42) full-time Firefighters that are assigned to four (4) battalions. Currently there are ten Firefighters assigned to each battalion in order maintain a staffing level at each station. This allows Station One (North station) to have three (3) Firefighters on duty, Station Two (South station) to have three (3) Firefighters on duty, and Central Station to have four (4) Firefighters on duty.
Every Firefighter of the department is at least EMT certified, and twenty-two (22) members are Paramedic certified. Londonderry has one of the best Advanced Life Support EMS systems in state, with an excellent working relationship with the hospital’s emergency departments. This service is the front-line of all medical treatment. The first few minutes of any EMS call can make a difference between life and death or the quality of life for many patients.
To coincide with the responsibilities of EMS, each member must also specialize in Hazardous Material Incident Response and Mitigation, Basic and Specialized Fire Suppression Techniques (Aircraft Firefighting), and other Technical Rescue Operations, which include but are not limited to: vehicle rescue, water rescue, heights rescue, and confined space rescue.
Airport travel alone is unique to Londonderry and the Fire Department. Londonderry is the primary EMS provider for the airport, which includes single medical responses and mass casualty response. To coincide with EMS at the airport, Londonderry is responsible for the fire protection and hazard mitigation of the terminal, parking garage, fuel farms, and other special occupancies associated with the airport.
The primary responsibility of the Fire Prevention Division is the prevention of fires and the minimization of hazards. Through plans review, site review, code enforcement, facility inspections, life safety inspections and enforcement, and scene investigations, the risk of potential hazards is greatly reduced. The Fire Prevention Division is also responsible for fire scene cause and origin investigations and public education.
The Fire Prevention division, inclusive of the above mentioned responsibilities, performs over 1,800 activities each year. Of these activities, there were multiple code violations that are corrected including life safety violations. (The single most important aspect of the Fire prevention Division) There is one (1) employee assigned to the Fire Prevention division, a Division Chief of Fire Prevention who is responsible for the subsidiary goals and objectives as assigned.
The Communications Division is responsible for communications relative to normal business calls, emergency calls, alarm notifications, emergency fire and medical dispatch procedures, and other related emergency procedures. This division is also responsible for the emergency and non-emergency statistical information, data input, report generation, fire and special permits, and emergency plan updates. This is where the emergency response process starts. Upon receiving notification of an emergency, the appropriate vehicles, equipment, and personnel are dispatched. All activities are then recorded until the emergency is concluded. Communications has one (1) communications supervisor and four (4) full time personnel assigned. All full time communications personnel are Certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers, able to provide pre-arrival instructions until emergency personnel arrive on scene. Londonderry is one of a few departments in the state where this form of advanced dispatching is available.
As with any organization, support for the resources are needed to effect to mission. The Support Services Division is responsible for this. There are no additional personnel employed to this division. Rather, existing personnel are used in a concurrent capacity to fill this need. The coordinators associated with Technical Services are: EMS, Vehicle Repair/Maintenance, Station Repair/Maintenance and Supplies, Geographical Mapping/E911, Communication Repair/Maintenance, Hazardous Materials, Public Fire Education/Community Relations, Wellness/Fitness, Department Equipment, Training, and Emergency Management.