Stations are strategically located though out the twenty-seven square miles of the City of Albany. These stations house a total of 8 Engines, 4 Ladder Trucks, 3 Paramedic Units, the Rescue Squad and 2 Battalion Chiefs. Engines and Trucks are typically staffed with an Officer and three firefighters, Paramedic Units are staffed with a Paramedic Officer and a Paramedic Firefighter. The Rescue Squad is typically staffed with an Officer and five firefighters.

Some of the situations where you might see one or more of these units are as follows:

  • For a small fire outside a structure, grass, car or trash fire, usually closest Engine Company is sent.
  • An “alarm of fire” is referred to as any time a citizen calls 911 and reports a fire in a building. This will require the dispatching of three Engines, two Ladder Trucks, a Paramedic Company and a Battalion Chief.  If the first arriving unit reports a false alarm or a small fire, some of the other units will be returned to service.
  • Medical calls in the City are handled in one or two ways. These are either basic life support (BLS) or advanced life support (ALS). If a call is for a minor cut or fall, the closest Engine or Truck is dispatched. If the call is for trouble breathing, a heart attack, or a serious medical condition, the closest Engine or Truck and the closest Paramedic Unit are dispatched. In most cases an ambulance is also dispatched automatically.
  • For the serious vehicle accidents, roll over, etc., an Engine is dispatched for a water supply in case of fire, a Truck company for extrication, the Rescue Squad for extrication, and a Paramedic Unit for advanced life support.

If units are not needed, they will be returned to service by radio.

Battalion Chief

Battalion Chiefs are in charge of day to day operations of the units throughout the City.  They work 24 hour shifts and command the on duty companies throughout the City.

Engine Company

There are eight Engine Companies in the City. Sometimes these units are also referred to as “Pumpers”. Engines carry a wide variety of different size hose. 5" diameter hose is used to supply water from a hydrant to the engine or from one engine to another. 2 1/2" hose line is used to attack a large fire or a fire in a large open commercial structure. 1 3/4" hose line is used to attack a fire in most single-family buildings.

Each engine company carries 600' of 5" hose, 500' of 3" hose, 450' of 2 1/2" hose, and 550' of 1 3/4" hose. In addition to this hose, these units carry the appropriate appliances, adapters and fittings to supply various hose layouts. Each unit also carries self-contained breathing apparatus, spare bottles, hand tools, a 24' or 28' extension ladder, and a 10' collapsible ladder.

All engine companies with the exception of Engine 10 primarily handle “basic” life support calls (BLS). They carry automatic cardiac defibrillators, oxygen resuscitator, suction units, and all the related EMS basic life support equipment to ensure proper patient care. Engine #10 primarily handles “advanced” life support (ALS) calls.  For this reason this Engine Company is referred to as "Paramedic Engine 10".  Every company in the City of Albany has the equipment to handle ALS calls if it is needed and if there is a paramedic aboard.

All of the current engine companies are equipped with a 1500-gallon per minute pump, with the exception of Engine 4, which has a 1000 gallon per minute pump.

The primary function of the Engine Company crew to suppress and extinguish fires by securing a water source (hydrant), locating the fire and using the appropriate hoses and equipment to put out the fire.  Engine companies also provide emergency medical services to residents and visitors in the City of Albany.

Ladder Truck Company

There are four "Truck" Companies in the City. Firefighters on Truck companies are responsible for using ground ladders and the truck mounted aerial ladder to reach victims and provide an escape route for firefighters on upper floors of buildings.  Truck companies also are responsible for force-able entry into secure buildings as well as searching for trapped victims.  They ventilate fire buildings through the windows and through the roof to let heat and toxic smoke escape. 


The tractor drawn aerial is shown above with some of its many tools and appliances.

Each of the tractor drawn aerial ladders is equipped with a 100' aerial ladder device. In addition, all carry a full complement of ground ladders such as 2 - 35' extension ladders, a 28' extension, 12', 14' and 20' roof ladders, collapsible ladder and an 8' "A" frame ladder.

These truck companies also carry devices for elevated hose streams, special water appliances, forcible entry tools, overhaul and salvage equipment, self-contained breathing apparatus, fans, circular saws and chain saws.

All Truck Companies primarily handle BLS calls but are equipped with ALS capable equipment as well. They carry automatic cardiac defibrillators, oxygen resuscitator, suction units, and all the related EMS basic life support equipment to ensure proper patient care.


Paramedic Unit

The Paramedic units have a primary duty to treat injured occupants or provide advanced life support when they are on emergency (EMS) medical calls. At the fire scene, if they are not treating a patient, they will assist the Engine or Ladder companies. 

Paramedic Units, Rescue 1, Rescue 2, Rescue 9 are also sometimes called "Rescue" units. The primary function of the three free standing Rescue Units is the delivery of advanced life support during medical emergencies.

Each of these units carries defibrillators, hospital connected radios, backboards and splints, and life-saving drugs that can be administered in the field. This equipment is the same that is found in any well-stocked hospital emergency room. AFD paramedics can start IVs, interpret "12 Lead EKGs", identify and treat cardiac arrhythmias, perform endotracheal intubation, administer life saving medications and much more.  In addition, Rescue 1 & Rescue 9 carry "floor below" nozzles for high-rise fires.


Paramedic officers and fire fighters also do fire duty. Normally they would do search and rescue or fill in at the discretion of the Incident Commander. To aid them in this duty, the unit is equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus, hand tools and other firefighting equipment.

A Paramedic Unit is dispatched on all transmitted fire calls and on any advanced life support medical emergency (heart attack, stroke, respiratory arrest, etc.). Engine #10 located on Brevator Street is in service as a Paramedic Unit. This unit has all the capabilities of the smaller paramedic units.

Rescue Squad

The Rescue Squad is the team that will search for trapped occupants. They are also responsible for the buildings utilities, salvage work, and restoring sprinkler systems to working order. The Rescue Squad carries a large variety of tools and equipment. They respond to auto accidents where extrication of a victim is necessary. The Rescue Squad is also the City’s primary “Hazardous Materials” unit. These members will research an unknown substance, and if possible stop, plug, or contain a leak. This unit is sometimes referred to as a “Heavy Rescue”.

The equipment carried includes self-contained breathing apparatus, spare air cylinders (30 min, 60 min), forcible entry tools, lights, fans, generator, Hurst Rescue Jaws, air bags, salvage covers, and Hazardous Materials equipment. Numerous spare air cylinders are carried so that other units in the field can be re-supplied on the fire ground.

The Rescue Squad primarily handles BLS calls but is equipped with ALS gear as well. They carry automatic cardiac defibrillators, oxygen resuscitator, suction units and all the related EMS basic life support equipment to ensure proper patient care.

The primary function of the Rescue Squad is the rescue of trapped occupants. They would also treat the injuries of any victims at fire or EMS emergencies.

The Rescue Squad responds on all transmitted fire calls (a full first alarm assignment), odor of gas, flooding conditions, elevator calls, EMS calls, Hazardous Materials incidents, specialized rescue and auto extrications.

Specialty Equipment

Attack Foam/Resupply Trailer

The South End Firehouse is the home of a state of the art attack foam/resupply trailer donated to the Department by Global Partners. The Global Oil Terminal at the Port of Albany stores up to 25 million gallons of liquid hydrocarbons.

Albany's foam trailer is prepared to respond to spills and fires inside and outside the Global Terminal. The trailer is also available for disasters outside of the City of Albany.

The trailer contains 500 gallons of AR-AFFF concentrate, pre-piped eductors, three pre-connected hand lines and one large diameter master stream device. It is also equipped with a small pump designed for the transfer of foam at extended operations.

Recently, AFD received a second foam trailer from New York State and is part of New York's statewide foam response contingency.  

Marine 1

Marine 1 is a custom built heavy duty vessel manufactured by Lake Assault Boats.  It is 36 feet long and 10.5 feet wide.  It is propelled by two 300 hp outboard motors.  Marine 1 is capable of day or night operations in any weather condition.  It is equipped with precision GPS mapping, high resolution radar, an advanced thermal imaging camera system sonar.  It has a landing craft style bow which drops down for transfer of patients or equipment.  Marine 1's on-board fire pump can flow over 1500 gallons of water per minute through a roof mounted master stream as well as hand lines.

In addition to water rescue and firefighting operations, Marine 1 can assist the Albany Port Authority and the US Coast Guard with hazard mitigation operations such as deploying an absorbent boom system around a hazardous material spill.  

Hazardous Materials Unit

The Albany Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Unit is equipped to investigate and mitigate any potentially harmful material release in the City of Albany and in Albany County.  This unit is primarily manned by members of the Rescue Squad with support of other fire suppression/EMS units.