The Carrick Fire Station – 23 Engine – in Pittsburgh, PA is staffed around the clock with firefighters who save lives by responding to emergencies in the area.
Firefighters at 23 Engine respond to local 911 emergency and hazard calls. When a call is received, it may not be clear who to send – leading to 23 Engine firefighters being dispatched. They could arrive at a fire at a house or other structure, a brush fire or a car on fire, a vehicle accident where victims are trapped inside, a medical call that requires first aid to be administered, a natural gas leak, or even a building collapse.
Four firefighters are assigned on each shift at 23 Engine – a lieutenant and three firefighters. One firefighter is assigned as a driver. They live and work at 23 Engine during a 24-hour shift, followed by 72 hours off.
Pittsburgh firefighters often work extra shifts. “It is common for firefighters to work 60 to 72 hours per week,” Tim Leech, Vice President of Pittsburgh Fire Fighters, IAFF Local No. 1, wrote in an email.
Firefighters at Carrick’s 23 Engine are certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMTs). EMTs are health professionals who provide emergency medical services. They help the community as first responders – people with with specialized training who arrive quickly and provide life saving assistance at an accident or disaster.
Pittsburgh Paramedics could also be dispatched. Paramedic services to Carrick are provided out of Medic 2 on Bausman Street at Matthews Avenue in Knoxville.
23 Engine uses a fire engine that is typically called a pumper. Pumpers are the most commonly used vehicles in firefighting. Pumpers carry hose and fire fighting tools. The hose draws water from a large tank on the engine or from another water source, like a fire hydrant. Firefighters use pumpers to pour water on a fire.
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire is geographically divided into four Battalions. 23 Engine is part of the bureau’s 4th Battalion.
Along with responding to thousands of emergency fire and medical calls annually throughout Pittsburgh, the Bureau of Fire develops public safety programs, investigates the causes of fires and handles hazardous materials enforcement. The bureau employees more than 600 uniformed members.
The Bureau of Fire Bureau supplies and installs smoke detectors. All any resident has to do to receive one is contact the city’s 311 Response Center.
Pittsburgh firefighters are represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 1 (IAFF), which works to protect firefighters and secure higher wages and benefits.
Extinguishing fires, providing emergency medical services and handling hazards is stressful. The IAFF operates the Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. The center provides treatment to professional firefighters who experience substance abuse and related behavior health issues including PTSD, depression and anxiety.
23 Engine firefighters are ready to respond to a wide variety of emergency calls 24/7 from their station located at 1704 Brownsville Road.