St. Louis Fire Department
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St. Louis Fire Department
St. Louis Fire Department
St. Louis Fire Department Logo.png
"Justifiably Proud"
Operational area
Country  United States
State  Missouri
City St. Louis
Agency overview[1][2]
Established September 14, 1857 (1857-09-14)
Annual calls 63,388 fire 78,000 ems (2014)
Employees 817 (2017)
  • 567 - Uniformed
  • 190 - Civilian
Annual budget $44,906,052 (2018)
Staffing Career
Commissioner Dennis Jenkerson
Facilities and equipment[3]
Battalions 8
Stations 30
Engines 9
Trucks 22
Tillers 0
Ladders 5
Squads 2
Ambulances 12
Fireboats 4
Rescue boats 2
Official website
IAFF website

The St. Louis Fire Department (STLFD) provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the city of St. Louis, Missouri. The department is also the second oldest paid fire department in the United States.[4][5] The STLFD is responsible for 62.5 square miles (162 km2) and has a population of approximately 308,626 with a daytime population over 1 million and with events going on.[1] The department is a division of the Public Safety Department - City of St. Louis. The current Fire Commissioner is Dennis Jenkerson who was named to the position on November 19, 2007.</ref> A third generation St. Louis firefighter, he has thirty-three years of operational and tactical firefighting experience. [6]

Departmental history

The first organized fire department in St. Louis was created in 1822, had several volunteer fire departments in the area. An ordinance was passed to purchase the equipment, which primarily consisted of leather buckets. When the alarm sounded, members of the department would fetch their bucket and rush to the scene.[7] On September 14, 1857 the department transitioned to an all paid department. The St. Louis Fire Department is the second oldest fire department, second only to Cincinnati.[8]

Specialized units

In addition to fire suppression and emergency medical services, the St. Louis Fire Department also has specialized units which include:[9]

  • Aircraft Rescue Firefighting at St. Louis Lambert International Airport
  • Hazmat Task Force
  • Marine Operations with a Boston Whaler called the "Jack Buck," which is permanently moored on the Mississippi River, along with several other small *Rapidly deployable boats.
  • Dive & Swift Water Rescue
  • High-Angle Rope Rescue
  • Trench & Collapse Rescue


The St. Louis Fire Department is headed by a Fire Commissioner . Currently, the Fire Commissioner is Dennis Jenkerson who replaced former Fire Commissioner Sherman George in 2007.

The SLFD'S's organization consists of Five bureaus. These include: Each bureau is commanded by a Deputy Fire Chief.

  • Bureau of Administrative Services
  • Bureau of Fire Prevention
  • Bureau of Operations
  • Bureau of Support Services
  • Bureau of Emergency Medical Services


Ranks of the STLFD

Typical rank insignia In the St. Louis Fire Department.

In the St. Louis Fire Department, helmet colors often denote a fire fighter's rank or position. In general, white helmets denote chief officers, while red helmets may denote company officers, but the specific meaning of a helmet's color or style varies from region to region and department to department. The rank of an officer in St. Louis Fire Department is most commonly denoted by a number of speaking trumpets, a reference to a megaphone like device used in the early days of the fire service, although typically called "bugle" in today's parlance. Ranks proceed from one (lieutenant) to five (fire chief) bugles.

no bugles
3 Chevrons
1 bugle
2 either traditionally side by side
or less usually crossed bugles
Battalion Chief/District Chief
2 either side by side
or more traditionally crossed bugles
Division Chief or Assistant /Deputy Asst.


3 crossed bugles
Deputy Fire Chief/Commissioner
4 crossed bugles
Fire Chief/Commissioner
5 crossed bugles
  • Note: In place of Bugle(s) Captains and Lieutenants assigned to: Ladder Companies are signified by axe(s), Rescue Companies by Life gun(s), Squad Companies by crossed Ladder(s) and Stacked Tip Nozzle(s) and Marine Companies by Bugle(s) with Anchor.


Jack Buck patrols the Mississippi during Fair Saint Louis

As of 2013 there are four small fireboats operated in St. Louis.[11] The largest two are named.[12][13] The 27 feet (8.2 m) Jack Buck was commissioned in 2003 and the 44 feet (13 m) Stan Musial in 2013.

Notable incidents

Great Fire of 1849

On May 17, 1849, at 9:00 p.m. an enormous fire broke out in the heart of St. Louis.[14] A steamboat named "The White Cloud" sitting on Cherry Street was on fire. The Fire Department, which at that time consisted of 9 hand engines and hose reels, responded to the scene. The moorings holding the boat broke and the steamer floated down stream setting 22 other steamers on fire as it went.[14]

The flames leaped from building to building sweeping everything on the levee for four blocks.[14] The Firemen, after fighting for over eight hours, were completely exhausted. The entire business portion of the city appeared lost. In a last ditch effort to save the city, 6 buildings were spread with explosive powder and blown up. When the fire was finally contained after 11 hours, 430 buildings were destroyed, 23 steamboats along with over a dozen other boats were lost and 3 people had died including a Fire Captain.[14]

Stations & apparatus

The St. Louis Fire Department currently has 30 firehouses strategically located throughout the City of St. Louis, including two located at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.[15]

St Louis Airport Fire Department

The St. Louis Fire Department also provides structural fire protection, emergency medical services, rescue response, and aircraft rescue firefighting at St. Louis Lambert International Airport from two fire stations located at the airport.


  1. ^ a b "About". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2015. 
  2. ^ "2015 Budget" (PDF). St. Louis. Retrieved 2015. 
  3. ^ "Fire Suppression". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ "St. Louis Fire Department". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Newly appointed fire chief Dennis Jenkerson
  7. ^ "Volunteer Department". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2015. 
  8. ^ "History". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ "History". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ "About Us". 
  11. ^ Brett Blume (2012-05-24). "New Rescue Boats To Patrol St. Louis Riverfront". CBS News. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ "St. Louis Fire Department names newest marine unit "The Stan Musial"". Fox News. 2013-09-29. Archived from the original on 2013-09-30. The St. Louis Fire Department bought the boat, because of the growth of the St. Louis inland ports, which is now the third largest port in the United States. 
  13. ^ Bob Hamilton (2013-09-29). "St. Louis Fire Department Getting New Boat". CBS News. Archived from the original on 2013-09-30. Retrieved . It can pump up to 7,000 gallons of water or fire-suppressing foam per minute and can fight fires even while it's moving. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Great Fire". St. Louis Fire Department. Retrieved 2015. 
  15. ^ "Complete List Of Firehouse Locations". Retrieved 2018. 

Coordinates: 38°37?38?N 90°11?52?W / 38.62722°N 90.19778°W / 38.62722; -90.19778

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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