Skip Navigation

About BCoFD

The Baltimore County Fire Department provides fire protection, emergency medical and emergency rescue to more than 800,000 residents and visitors.

Geography

Baltimore County covers 610 square miles. Located in central Maryland, it surrounds the city of Baltimore on three sides and extends from the Chesapeake Bay in the southeast to Pennsylvania in the north. The Fire Department serves a diverse area including heavy industrial areas, small towns, suburban neighborhoods and farmland.

The northern two-thirds of the County is almost exclusively rural, with denser suburban populations and industrial areas—located east to west in a horseshoe—surrounding Baltimore City.

Mission

The mission of the Baltimore County Fire Department is to provide the highest quality fire protection, emergency medical services, fire prevention, safety education, community services and mitigation of emergency and non-emergency incidents to the citizens of and visitors to Baltimore County.

Our service delivery is enhanced through training, education, planning and teamwork. We will achieve our mission safely while remaining economically responsible through the effective and efficient use of all resources.

Personnel and Equipment

The department includes more than 1,000 paid emergency response personnel, housed at 25 career stations. Career personnel work at incident scenes alongside volunteer firefighters from the County's 28 volunteer fire companies. More than 2,000 citizens volunteer in the fire service as active responders, fundraisers and support personnel. Though volunteer companies are independent, private corporations, Baltimore County has a joint fire service with career and volunteer responders working together at emergency scenes                                         .

Baltimore County firefighters and emergency medical technicians respond to more than 135,000 incidents annually. About 75 percent of those incidents are medical calls.

Apparatus available to serve county citizens include:

  • 79 engines (28 career and 51 volunteer)
  • Seven trucks (six career and one volunteer)
  • Three tower ladders (one career and two volunteer)
  • 55 Advanced Life Support medic units (35 career and 20 volunteer)
  • One urban search-and-rescue unit
  • One decontamination unit
  • Five large-capacity tankers for rural firefighting
  • Three swiftwater units and a dive team
  • Various brush and squad units

Ten career engine companies have advanced life support capabilities; these are strategically located throughout the county. Volunteer companies operate the county's nine heavy rescue squads.

Special Operations

An Advanced Tactical Rescue (ATR) team, housed at Texas Station number 17, is specially trained for complex rescues such as building collapses, water rescues, trench rescues and high-rise rescues. The ATR team was dispatched to New York by the federal government on September 11, 2001 to assist with rescue and recovery following the terrorist attacks.

BCoFD's Urban Search and Rescue unit is equipped to handle building collapses, water rescues, trench rescues and other tactical emergencies.

Swiftwater teams are based at Station 17 and at two volunteer companies, Kingsville and Arbutus. The Middle River Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company has a Dive Rescue Team, and the Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Department has a Marine Emergency Team for open water rescues on the Chesapeake Bay, lakes and reservoirs.

The Department operates one hazardous material unit, stationed centrally at the Brooklandville Fire Station, and three satellite hazmat units.

Two volunteer rehab units, the Box 234 Association Inc. and White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company Fire, EMS and Rehab, supply food, drink and other services to Fire, EMS and Police personnel at emergency scenes and departmental events.

Emergency Medical Services

Emergency medical services account for more than 70 percent of the Department's calls.

Medic units are housed in fire stations alongside fire apparatus, and many career and volunteer personnel are trained in both EMS and fire suppression. The department operates 55 advanced life support medic units, 35 career and 20 volunteer.

Residents of Baltimore County enjoy a state-of-the-art emergency medical and trauma care system. This system features:

  • Advanced life support engine companies
  • Emergency medical technicians and paramedics on all medic units
  • Maryland State Police Medevac helicopters
  • The world-renowned Shock Trauma Center at University of Maryland Hospital

Training

The Baltimore County Fire-Rescue Academy provides year-round training and certification maintenance for career and volunteer personnel. The Academy has full-time career instructors, augmented by career and volunteer adjunct instructors.

Communications

Communications for the Baltimore County Fire Department is handled by an 800 MHz voice and data communications system.

All emergency apparatus is equipped with mobile radios. Medic units are equipped with mobile data terminals allowing voice and data communications while en route to an emergency scene. In addition, crews are equipped with portable radios to aid personnel safety and emergency scene communications.

The dispatching center, centrally located in Towson, is a combination center providing service for Police, Fire, EMS and 911 emergency calls. It is a 24-hours-a-day operation managed by civilian emergency communications technicians. A network of radio towers positioned strategically throughout the county ensures complete radio coverage for Baltimore County.

Support Services

The Baltimore County Fire Department supports its emergency operations with an extensive network of services including:

Contact information is available online.

 
Revised March 7, 2018         

 

@BACOPoliceFire Twitter

Did This Page Help?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*