Leadership

HOW WE BECAME BETTER PREPARED

Issue 2 and Volume 158.

The Passaic (NJ) Fire Department is a typical Northeast U.S. department, protecting an area of three square miles that has a population of approximately 90,000 people. It’s an urban area with a heavy fire load and plenty of potential for disaster. The department consists of 110 paid members who staff four engine and two ladder companies over four shifts of 24 hours. The department responds to more than 3,100 fire calls a year, not including first responder and EMS calls. LINE-OF-DUTY DEATH AND ITS AFTERMATH On May 9, 2001, the department suffered its worst tragedy in more than 25 years. At approximately 2030 hours, dispatch received a 911 call reporting a fire at 204 Market Street. The three-story building of ordinary construction was an occupied multiple dwelling with fire showing from the second floor rear B/C corner with smoke issuing from all floors. The first-alarm response was three engines, one…

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