The Port of Seattle Fire Department started with fewer than 15 firefighters in 1955 and has grown to the current crew of 81 uniformed personnel. Located at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, our primary mission is Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting, but we also perform the same functions as most fire departments — contending with structural fires, providing emergency medical services, dealing with hazardous material situations and providing technical rescue. As the airport has grown, so has the department. Many of the incidents involving fire or hazardous materials are quickly contained and not life threatening. However, were disaster to strike, the men and women of the Port of Seattle Fire Department are trained and ready to do what is necessary to preserve human life.
Our administrative officers include the Fire Chief and two Assistant Fire Chiefs. The Chiefs, and their support staff members, manage the daily business functions, including; policy development, personnel management, budget, regulatory compliance, records management and departmental oversight.
The Operations Division (Fire Suppression) is comprised of personnel and apparatus designated to respond to the various emergencies and calls for service at Sea-Tac Airport. The Division is separated into four shifts, each staffed by one Battalion Chief serving as the shift commander, two Captains and 14 Firefighters. Apparatus consists of a 4500-gallon HRET ARFF truck, 3000-gallon ARFF trucks, fire engines, medical aid/rescue vehicles, a hazardous materials response unit, a medical support/disaster unit, a foam re-supply vehicle and the command vehicle. The Port of Seattle Fire Department responds to approximately 6,000 alarms yearly including aircraft emergencies, medical responses, structure fires and hazardous materials.
The Fire Prevention division of the POSFD helps to assure safety and fire regulations are met within the Port Airport properties. The division is comprised of the Fire Marshall, a Fire Prevention Engineer, Fire Prevention Captain, Inspectors and an Alarm Specialist – all of whom work closely with contractors, architects and maintenance personnel. It is a busy office and vital component to the safe operation of the airport.
Training, Supply and Support
The Training Division assures that the Port of Seattle Fire Department personnel are certified and educated in all of the requisite disciplines to support the functions of a highly active international airport. Just some of the training includes FAA regulations, IFSTA certifications, EMT certification and special training for hazardous materials and technical rescue. This group also maintains the multitude of Personal Protective Equipment and related gear for firefighting.