Firefighting requires many skills in combating, extinguishing, and preventing fires; answering emergency medical calls; operating and maintaining firefighting equipment and living quarters; as well as, extensive training in an extremely diversified list of fire service and emergency management subjects.
Firefighters must meet minimum physical fitness standards and must successfully complete an extremely rigid nine (9) week firefighting academy that is offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Fire Services through the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. Andover Fire Rescue personnel provide fire rescue services to the over 34,000 citizens in a service coverage area of over 31 square miles. Andover Fire Rescue personnel respond to over 8,000 emergency incidents and calls for service annually.
Andover Fire Rescue personnel operate out of three stations strategically located within the community to ensure they can respond to any emergency incident within the shortest response time possible.
A minimum of fifteen fire personnel are on duty at any time and any specific shift can be bolstered to seventeen firefighters or more depending upon the situation, inclement weather being an example.
If an incident scene begins to escalate, additional on-duty Andover Fire Rescue personnel respond and are on occasion, augmented by off-duty personnel who respond to assist in controlling the incident. Andover Fire Rescue also has the ability to call in mutual aid from surrounding communities to either “cover” the fire stations and respond to additional incidents that are reported; or respond directly to the incident scene to allow the Incident Commander the ability to utilize immediate and available personnel and equipment resources that are required.
The organization utilizes a four platoon system with each led by a Deputy Fire Chief who acts as the shift commander and the Incident Commander on incidents.
The personnel respond to incidents on three engines, one ladder, two staffed ambulances and a shift commander out of the three fire stations.
Several of our fire personnel are members of the Northeastern Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team or are instructors at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy.
Our Risk Management Statement:
We will initiate our responses on the assumption we can protect lives and property.
We will risk our lives, if necessary to protect savable lives.
We will not risk our lives to protect lives or property that are already lost.