Each year, the Yonkers Fire Department responds to over 15,000 alarms. Not all these alarms are for fires. The fire department also responds to calls for assistance in non-fire related emergencies.
While fighting fires remains our primary mission, the fire departments role has expanded in recent years to include providing emergency medical care, control of hazardous materials incidents, technical rescue, fire safety education, and more.
The following will outline some of the services the fire department provides to the residents of Yonkers.
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCIES
In response to the expanding use and transportation of hazardous chemicals throughout our city, the Yonkers Fire Department has established a HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESPONSE UNIT. The members of this unit are specially trained to respond to incidents such as fuel spills, chlorine leaks, propane fires, acid spills, gas main ruptures, asbestos incidents, and a host of other environmental emergencies. In addition, these members inspect sights where hazardous chemicals are used, to see that they are properly handled and stored. This monitoring program is designed to prevent environmental disasters from occurring.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
Seriously ill people need help fast! With this in mind, the City of Yonkers and the Fire Department established the FIRST RESPONDER PROGRAM. Under this program, whenever someone is seriously ill, the neighborhood fire company responds along with the ambulance to initiate medical care to the patient within minutes.
While it has always been the job of the Fire Departments 6 ladder companies to rescue people trapped in burning buildings, that role has been expanded to include rescue operations in a wide variety of other circumstances. These include: removal of people trapped in elevators, confined space and below grade rescue, high angle rescue, and building collapse and entanglement. Assistance is also provided for people who are locked out of their homes, or when children have locked themselves in a room.
Several ladder companies are equipped with specialized Heavy Rescue equipment such as an exothermic cutting torch, the Lucas rescue tool, and the Vetter high-force air bag system for heavy lifting operations.
The Fire Departments 18 companies also respond to the following public utility emergencies: steam leaks, manhole explosions, overhead and underground arcing power lines, water leaks, floods.
FIRE PREVENTION AND EDUCATION
When not responding to emergencies, fire companies perform fire safety inspections on a continuous basis. Fire safety information is available at every neighborhood firehouse.
In addition, the departments Fire Prevention Bureau is staffed with specially trained code enforcement officers who perform specialized building inspections and provide technical information to builders, architects, building owners, and the general public. The bureau can be reached at 377-7525.
The National Fire Protection Association selected Yonkers as one of ten cities, across the country, to receive the 1997 Learn Not to Burn: Safe Cities Award, designed to expand the associations efforts to help major urban centers deal proactively with the problems of fire-related death, injury, and property loss. As a recipient of this award, the Fire Department along with the Yonkers Board of Education began implementation of a pilot program in three public schools for grades Pre-Kindergarten through grade Three. Other Fire Educational programs are available upon request. Telephone 377-7525.
FIRE INVESTIGATION AND ARSON CONTROL
Under New York State Law, the cause of all structural fires must be determined. The task of investigating all fires in Yonkers belongs to the Fire Investigation Unit. Fire investigation and arson determination is a precise science requiring specialized training and certification. Since its inception, the Fire Investigation Unit has been successful in deterring the spread of arson. If you have an arson tip call the Arson Hotline at 377-7963.
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