Fire Stations and Apparatus
The Palatine Fire Department operates out of five fire stations located throughout the village. Various types of apparatus, including specialty vehicles are housed at each of these locations.
• Station 81 (Northwest area)
• Station 82 (Northeast area)
• Station 83 (East / Southeast)
• Station 84 (South / Southwest)
• Station 85 (Central)
There are several different types of apparatus we operate to fill different needs. Each is assigned to a station based on needs in that area and to allow for the best coverage of our entire response area. Here are examples of the different types of apparatus we operate.
Ambulances are units that are used to provide medical care and transportation of sick and injured patients. Our ambulances are staffed with two firefighter / paramedics. They are equipped with a large complement of state-of-the-art, Advanced Life Support medical equipment, including cardiac monitor / defibrillator / external pacemaker units that are also capable of taking 12-lead ECGs. Other equipment includes a transport ventilator, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) unit, a selection of medications, advanced airway equipment that allow us to perform endotracheal intubations and surgical airways, on-board oxygen and suction systems, an IV warmer for fluids that can be infused through an intravenous (IV) or interosseous (IO) line, trauma management supplies, immobilization equipment, splints, patient transport equipment and voice, data and ECG telemetry communications gear. As the personnel are cross-trained as firefighters and paramedics, these units also carry basic forcible entry tools and self-contained breathing apparatus. They are also equipped with ice rescue suits, water rescue ropes and life vests for water rescues. We maintain a fleet of five fully-equipped ambulances; four of them front-line (quartered at Stations 81, 82, 83 and 84) and one reserve (at Station 82).
Engines are the workhorses of a fire department’s fleet. The primary job of an engine company is to apply water to a fire. Our engines all are staffed with a crew of three members: one lieutenant (who is in charge of the crew), one engineer (who drives the vehicle and operates the pump), and a firefighter. At least one member (and often all three) is also trained as a paramedic. Our engines are equipped with a 1,500 gallon per minute fire pump, a 500-750 gallon booster tank, and over 2,000 feet of hose of various sizes. They also carry a master stream device, an assortment of nozzles, appliances and adaptors, a foam eductor and several buckets of foam concentrate for flammable liquid fires, hose packs for use in a standpipe-equipped building, a selection of forcible entry and hand tools, self-contained breathing apparatus for each member of the crew, a thermal imaging camera, environmental monitoring equipment, several different types of portable extinguishers for various types of fires, a positive pressure ventilation fan, saws, and a generator and flood lights. All of our engines are also equipped as Advanced Life Support first response vehicles, and carry medical gear including oxygen and airway maintenance equipment, trauma supplies, a selection of basic medications and IV fluids, and a defibrillator / monitor. The Palatine Fire Department maintains four engines; three are front-line at Stations 81, 82 and 84, and one is in reserve at Station 81.
Our Tower company is primarily responsible for providing support operations on the fireground. Also referred to as “truck work” (as these tasks are traditionally performed by “truck” or “ladder” companies), this includes such tasks as forcible entry, laddering, search and rescue, ventilation of smoke, heat and fire gases, overhaul, salvage, utility control and so on. In short, it includes any work not directly associated with applying water to the fire. With this range of responsibilities, the tower must carry an extensive selection of forcible entry, hand, and power tools including multiple saws, ventilation fans, a hydraulic forcible entry tool, a thermal imaging camera and a cutting torch in addition to tools like axes, sledges, pry bars, Halligan tools, pike poles, and the like. This unit has a 95’ elevating platform with a pre-piped waterway allowing a flow of up to 1000 gallons per minute. It also has over 140’ of ground ladders, a 1,500 gallon per minute pump, a 500 gallon booster tank and over 1,500 feet of hose. The platform on the aerial device allows for greater safety for the members operating, as well as more extensive rescue options. In addition to fire responses, this unit also responds on vehicular and machinery entrapments, carrying a Genesis hydraulic rescue tool system, a set of air lift bags, hydraulic jacks, and an extensive assortment of cribbing (used to stabilize an unstable vehicle) in addition to the other tools outlined above. It is also used for above-ground rescues such as construction accidents or injuries on roofs of buildings. The Tower is housed at Station 85, (a central point in our response area allowing an efficient response village-wide) and is typically staffed with a crew of two, usually a Captain and an engineer (specially trained to operate this unit). At fire incidents, an ambulance crew supplements this unit's staffing. Like our engines and quints, it also carries Advanced Life Support equipment.
Quints are versatile apparatus that can fill any one of several needs at a fire or emergency scene. They can function as either an engine or a truck company due to the equipment they carry. Our quints each have a 1,500 gallon per minute pump, a 500 gallon booster tank, and over 1,500 feet of hose. They are also equipped with a 75’ main aerial ladder and over 140’ of ground ladders. The aerial ladder has a pre-piped master stream that can flow over 800 gallons per minute, and the vehicles also carry a similar selection of tools, appliances and equipment as an engine, including a thermal imaging camera and self-contained breathing apparatus. In addition, they carry a wider selection of forcible entry tools, as well as the same Advanced Life Support medical equipment as our engines. These vehicles are also staffed with a crew of three: a lieutenant, an engineer, and a firefighter. We currently have two quints, one front-line and one reserve, both of which are quartered at Station 83.
The Squad is the “rolling tool box” for the Palatine Fire Department. Staffed by two firefighter / paramedics, this unit is equipped to respond to a variety of incidents including medical calls, rescues of various types, hazardous materials incidents, fires, and other responses. Many incidents can be handled with the equipment carried on this and other front-line units; for other, more technical responses, this unit is set up to provide an initial response. With these variable responsibilities, this unit must carry a lot of equipment. It carries a full complement of Advanced Life Support medical gear to be able to stabilize a patient prior to arrival of an ambulance, as well as a cooler to provide chilled fluids for patients who require in-field initiation of theraputic hypothermia. It also carries a set of Genesis hydraulic extrication tools for vehicle crashes, including a spreader, a cutter and two rams powered by a “simo” pump capable of powering two tools simultaneously. These tools are pre-connected to reels mounted in the front bumper for rapid deployment. Other rescue tools carried include a set of Paratech stabilization struts for structural collapses, trench incidents or overturned vehicles, several saws for cutting materials from wood to metal to concrete, an air chisel set, ropes and rope rescue equipment for high-angle and low-angle rescues, confined space rescue equipment, Stokes and Sked stretchers for patient packaging in various environments, a supplied air respirator set for extended operations, and other assorted hand and power tools. For water rescue, this unit carries SCUBA gear with fully encapsulated dry suits and full-face masks with hard-line communications for dive rescues, as well as a surface ice rescue suit, water rescue ropes and life vests. It also carries hazardous materials equipment such as decontamination equipment, monitoring gear, specialized protective clothing, and tools needed for various hazardous materials responses. It has a thermal imaging camera, an assortment of portable extinguishers, and an extensive collection of hand tools for firefighting. In addition, it carries special equipment for a “Rapid Intervention Crew” that is set up at any working fire incident. This crew is responsible for rescue of a firefighter who is trapped, disoriented, or otherwise incapacitated in a hazard area, such as inside a building on fire. This crew is mandated by national standards to be available any time our members are working in any hazardous atmosphere; all of our members are trained to be able to function in this role. The vehicle is equipped with a 25,000 watt PTO generator, a 6,000 watt light tower, numerous portable and fixed floodlights, and a reel-mounted electrical cord, a 6-bottle high-pressure air cascade with dual fill stations and an air hose reel for air tools. The Palatine Fire Department runs the squad out of Station 85, along with a smaller reserve squad at Station 82 that is sometimes staffed during high call volume times such as during extreme weather.
Our Battalion Chief responds in this specially equipped Ford Expedition. It carries extensive communications equipment, a computer, and a complete set of incident command and management materials for a wide variety of incident types. The commander has, in this vehicle, printed, computerized and on-line reference material at his fingertips that can be used to help in the mitigation of an incident. He also has a first aid kit and AED available in case he arrives first on the scene of a medical emergency. The vehicle is set up to allow the commander and assistants to efficiently work with writing desks, lighting, and communications equipment. The Battalion Chief responds in this unit out of Station 85.
The Palatine Fire Department has several special teams with personnel specially trained to high levels to respond to unusual, technical incidents. Due to the nature of these incidents and the specialized equipment needed, we maintain units equipped with the particular gear needed to support some of these teams, and supplement equipment carried on front-line apparatus.
Our Dive Rescue Team responds with this step van and inflatable Zodiac boat to water and ice rescue emergencies. It carries gear for dive rescues and recoveries, surface ice rescues and ice dives, and swiftwater / flood responses. Under agreements with the Palatine Rural Fire District and the City of Rolling Meadows, this unit (and divers) responds to any water rescue in those jurisdictions as well as in Palatine. It also responds to other departments requesting mutual aid for these types of incidents. The dive van and boat are housed at Station 84.