The Fire Department responds to over 8,000 calls for service each year. There are approximately 150 residential fires and approximately 175 total structure fires annually. In past history, there was an average of 2 to 4 fire related deaths each year. The fire department responds to emergencies such as commercial or residential structure fires, vehicle fires, grass fires, vehicle accidents, ship or vessel fires, a variety of types of rescue operations; and as first responders, we also respond to any medical emergencies within our jurisdiction. Medical emergencies are an important part of our service as they include about 70 percent of our emergency responses
We protect lives and property by delivering an all-hazard prevention and mitigation service which includes: Fire Prevention and Education, Firefighting, Medical Emergency Patient Care, Technical Rescue, Dive and Water Rescue Operations, Hazardous Materials Incident Management, and other services to address threats to our community.
A-shift Battalion Chief is Berton Jay Fountain
B-shift Battalion Chief is Jeremy Holland
C-shift Battalion Chief is Patrick Murphy
Each Battalion Chief, when on duty, supervises (7) engine companies and (1) ladder/rescue company; each with (3) paid personnel (Captain, Engineer, and Firefighter). The Port Arthur Fire Department protects approximately 60,000 people living in an area of 76.9 square land miles. The department operates out of (7) fire stations that protect a residential and heavy industrial area. Our department is a fully paid, full-time, civil service fire department with 107 firefighters providing the city with a fire protection rating of (2) as provided through studies by the Insurance Services office. The scale is based on values from (1 – 10) with the lower end of the scale being considered as best. Ratings assigned are determined from categories including, but not limited to, station locations within the city, emergency equipment and apparatus provided, response time to emergencies, water supplies available for fire protection, fire protection systems in buildings where required and fire prevention activities including inspections and investigations.
The Fire Department responds to over 8,000 calls for service each year. There are approximately 150 residential fires and approximately 175 total structure fires annually. In past history, there was an average of 2 to 4 fire related deaths each year. The fire department responds to emergencies such as commercial or residential structure fires, vehicle fires, grass fires, vehicle accidents, ship or vessel fires, a variety of types of rescue operations; and as first responders, we also respond to any medical emergencies within our jurisdiction. Medical emergencies are an important part of our service as they include about 70 percent of our emergency responses.
The Port Arthur Fire Department has a number of highly trained special teams which respond to calls for service with special circumstances or hazards causing immediate danger to individuals or the public as a whole. These teams include special activities such as:
Hazardous materials response: With the heavily industrialized area, numerous waterfront facilities and petrochemical and refining plants, the risk is increased for emergencies resulting from accidents involving liquid spills or gas releases of any of the many hazardous or toxic materials produced, stored, used, or transported within our protection area. If there is any chance any of these emergencies will affect our citizens, every precaution will be taken to advert casualties and property damage from occurring. Sometimes this may include taking steps such as issuing a 'shelter in place' directive, or calling for an evacuation of the affected area until the incident is controlled and safe for the public. Our hazmat team is highly trained and they have the specialized equipment to effectively handle these type emergencies.
High-angle rescue: Many of our industrial facilities have structures or towers of such great height which make rescue of individuals who become trapped or injured difficult. These individuals may require assistance to reach safety or medical treatment. Our rescue team has specialized training the equipment to reach these individuals and extricate them from the dangerous situation.
Confined space rescue: Industrial facilities often have tanks or other type structures, where workers doing construction or maintenance operations may become trapped or they may be overcome by a hazardous atmosphere within the space. These individuals usually require assistance from emergency responders to escape to safety and receive any medical treatment they may require. These types of rescues often require specialized equipment and preparation for working with hazardous materials. Our department often trains with other rescue teams with industrial facilities in our area.
Dive team: Automobile accidents where a vehicle leaves the roadway and enters a waterway, boating accidents, and other emergencies where people become trapped or incapacitated underwater require assistance from a specialized rescue team trained in scuba diving operations. This team is called upon for emergency underwater rescue or recovery operations.
Swift and Deep water rescue: Our area has a substantial amount of water; whether it is a river, canal, lake, or open water. People enjoy water activities such as swimming, boating, or fishing and sometimes accidents occur where these individuals need assistance from emergency responders. Also, our area has commercial fishing operations and they may have need of rescue when an accident occurs. The fire department operates a number of watercraft and vessels specifically for use in these type emergencies.
Special equipment and apparatus are required to conduct these special operations and with the assistance of federal grants, equipment such as a hazardous materials / heavy rescue truck, a hazardous materials response equipment trailer, and (5) water rescue vessels in a variety of different sizes were purchased and put into operation.
In addition, the Fire Department houses and maintains a Mobile Unified Command Vehicle which may be used for joint operations during large emergency responses or emergencies of long duration.
The fire department also participates in many public relations events such as safety fairs organized by entities or businesses within Port Arthur. Visits to schools and day care centers to show kids the fire engines and equipment used by firefighters is informative and exciting for the children. Tips on fire safety and instructions on such as Stop, Drop, and Roll, Exit Drills, and the importance in smoke detectors in the home may be passed on during the presentation.
Each year Port Arthur firefighters work together collecting funds for donations to fight Muscular Dystrophy. The 'Fill the Boot' champagne is used across the nation as a method for firefighters to raise money to help find a cure for this debilitating disease. Our firefighters take pride in the fact that they have been part of such a worthy and important cause. We sincerely thank our citizens for their generosity during this event.